Taken in Broad Daylight (2009 Lifetime)

Taken in Broad Daylight (2009 Lifetime)

Cast: Sara CanningJames Van Der BeekLeVar Burton

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

The true and inspiring survival story of kidnapped teen, Anne Sluti, and how she manages to stay alive by manipulating her captor, engineering her own rescue, and negotiating her safe release after six days of hell.


Teen, Anne Sluti, has loving parents and a brother back from the military. She gets into the college of her dreams and wants to celebrate with her boyfriend Gary and BFF Paige. 

On her way to her friend’s house in the middle of the day at a mall parking lot, Anne is apprehended, beaten, and thrown into a van as spectators watch on in horror. The kidnapper takes her into the woods, blindfolding and duct taping her arms and legs. The real-life crime is horrific. As it is portrayed, here is another story. James Van Der Beek plays Tony Zappa, and even with his voice an octave lower, he is not intimating.  

Lucky got Anne, LeVar Burton (National Treasure) is on the case. He questions the family and then holds a press conference. The story makes national news. Reporters are so intense that they are interfering with the case. The FBI is called because it appears that Tony Zappa and Anne have crossed state lines. 

Tony Zappa is a sick man. He makes fun of Anne as he blindfolds her and sends her walking around the woods. Then he crashes his car and leaves Anne inside to drown, eventually pulling her from the wreckage. Later he tows the car out of the ditch, and Anne etches “HELP” into a rock. The rock is not needed because Anne is forced to call home and tells them she is on a ” quality vacation.” The FBI records the call and have the evidence that they need to start searching. 

Tony plans to take Anne to the mountains. They stop at random houses along the way. Anne plays it cool and treats Tony with kindness. She also asks a lot of questions about his background and his plan. The more information she can get from him, the better. When he leaves to “take a piss,” (Really, he is shooting up.), she takes her chance and calls 911 and shares all the information she can before he catches her. The SWAT team arrives, but they have cleared out. Anne left behind a note on a leaf. To punish her, Tony makes Anne dig a grave to mess with her mentally. 

FBI agents learn that Frank Zappa is the kidnapper and has been wanted for two months. He has 20 criminal charges on his record and has been to prison. The FBI question Tony’s grandmother and learn he was abused as a child. The grandmother says he is a good Christan boy, and it cuts to him Tony raping Anne. Afterward, Tony sees Anne’s bruises and realizes he has taken things too far.

Anne cries but pulls herself together. When she sees a news story, it gives her the strength to continue. Tony also sees the news story and realizes that the police are onto him. They get a new car and continue to drive. Anne asks why he kidnapped her, and he tells her that he was “tired of being alone.” 

They finally break into the wrong house to crash for the night. A neighbor sees them and calls the SWAT and FBI who surround the building. Tony runs out of his heroin and is on edge. Anne ends up negotiating with the police for Tony.

Tony calls his grandmother and tells her that he will shoot Anne and then kill himself. She prays with him on the phone. Then they come out out of the house. Anne runs into LaVar Burton’s strong arms as the police apprehend Tony.

Anne is taken back home and reunited with her family.  Tony is serving life in prison

Side Note

Minority Report: Detective Mike, Agent Reynolds,  

Update on the REAL Anne Sluti

The thing about James Van Der Beek is that he played so hard against type that we lost what we loved about him. Him playing these terrible men might have been an acting challenge, but as an audience, we want lovable Dawson!

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Overall rating

🔪🔪🔪 (3 Knives)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)

*Photo Credit: © 2009 Lifetime

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