The tagline for this film is raw perfection in its simplicity: ‘A mother stops at nothing to recover her kidnapped son’.
This trailer is dreadful in the truest sense: when a young boy is snatched from a public place right in front of his mother, all hell breaks loose as she tries everything she can to get him back. The odds are seemingly stacked against her: she loses her phone, so she is unable to call for help; when she reaches a police station, she is told to leave it to the professionals, whose success thus far in finding several other missing children is woefully lacking; worst of all- she is on her own.
At this stage I should say that this has never been an issue for cinematic mothers in distress before: we simply need to cast our minds back to Ripley in the loader-suit to know that if a woman sets her mind to protecting her child, the maternal drive gives her a super-human strength that defies all odds. In the trailer, we even hear an echo of the iconic line “Get away from her you BITCH” when Halle Berry’s as yet unnamed Mamma Bear unleashes vengeful fury on an unseen opponent.
There are echoes of the 2005 Flightplan about this film in the centrality of one woman going against the odds in the pursuit of her child, and as such follows a successful series of conventions in the suspense/thriller genre. Kidnap trades in the claustrophobic horror of an aeroplane for the gear-grinding driver’s seat of a familial people carrier. In putting the lead character in the literal driving seat, there is the cruel juxtaposition of control and helplessness that has viewers on the edge of their seats in an unwitting backseat driver’s position.
This film also promises to create a merger of suspense and action, with cars careering right and left across crowded highways, smashing, crashing and rolling as the focal vehicles leave chaos in their wake. At this stage in the trailer releases, Halle Berry’s character seems to be cast as the Everyman mother turned Superhuman mother, showing all the signs of the Hero Character arc: what begins as a white-picket fence mumsy-mum grows into a wrathful warrior, and Heaven help whoever kidnapped her child.
It will be interesting to see what further material is revealed in the next trailer releases, but this is certainly one to watch out for.