I’ll admit it: I watched this movie because Zane Holtz tweeted out yesterday that he was starring in a Lifetime movie (I love him as Richie Gecko in From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series). I had no knowledge of the Colleen Stan case beforehand, and went in with very small expectations. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised.
Girl in the Box is based on the true story of Colleen Stan (played by Addison Timlin), a young woman who decides to hitchhike from Oregon to a friend’s place in California. She’s picked up by Cameron and Janice Hooker (Holtz and Zelda Williams) and kidnapped. For the next seven years, she’s kept locked inside a box that’s built into the couple’s bed. She only gets one hour outside of the box each day, in which she performs household chores and cares for the couple’s young daughter, believing she is the family’s slave. Colleen is also frequently placed in bondage by Cameron Hooker, who is addicted to S & M, and would proceed to beat and rape her.
Let me just say, Zane Holtz was electric in this role. I was equally repulsed and captivated by him, and formed an attachment to his character. He was an absolute dream, and I’ve never felt worse for liking such a horrible character. Zelda Williams was fantastic as his wife, herself a former slave of Cameron’s before he agreed to kidnap another woman in exchange for her becoming his wife and having his child. Addison Timlin made me care about Colleen. Sometimes her naivete pulled me out of the film, but I was genuinely rooting for her to escape.
I actually wish this film was a feature film. I loved it, and wanted certain parts to be more fleshed out. I was surprised by how much was allowed to be shown, considering this is a made for TV movie. I still wish I had seen more, though, so I could glean more facts from the story and have more empathy toward Janice and Colleen.
I highly recommend watching Girl in the Box if you see it airing or on a streaming service. Zane Holtz is a dream in the role of Cameron Hooker, and this story is so messed up it’s hard to stomach that it actually happened.
*Images courtesy of Lifetime TV