DVD Region 2. Entertainment One.
term 'torture porn' is popular amongst idiots who hate horror
movies - and sadly has been picked up on by the more pathetic
genre fans as well - and having the word 'torture' in the title
probably doesn't help the case for this film against critics
who, when not complaining about PG-13 horror and remakes, are
bemoaning the rise of extreme horror in the last decade or so.
Given that this also comes from Twisted Pictures - the people
who bring you a new Saw film every year - and
you can almost hear critical minds shutting down before they've
even seen the film.
as someone who appreciates hardcore horror, I was interested
in seeing this, especially as it promised to be a morally ambiguous
look at vengeance. Which it is - though the final results are
film tells the storey of a young couple (Erika Christensen and
Jesse Metcalfe), whose young son is kidnapped, tortured and
murdered by deranged Bill Moseley (all taking place in the first
five minutes and mostly off-screen). When the killer is convicted
but not given what they see as an adequate punishment by the
courts, the couple manage to kidnap him (in the film's unlikeliest
moments) and take him to a remote country house, where they
proceed to torture him slowly.
The Tortured doesn't quite work. The
film has a distinct TV movie feel - swearing aside - during
the first half, and the torture scenes, though certainly graphic,
don't quite have the same impact as those in other films - probably
because we've been made to share our sympathies with the torturers,
rather than the victim. The two leads are too plasticly pretty
and don't have the acting chop to be convincing characters,
and the screenplay doesn't help, having them each flip from
being cold-blooded and merciless to horrified at what they are
doing - and back again - within minutes. Some degree of moral
questioning is what a film like this needs, but here it's done
so haphazardly that you never know if a character will be puking
in disgust or impassively watching as eardrums are burst and
film has some saving graces - a final twist that you won't see
coming might make even News of the World readers
think twice about vigilante behaviour, and the film doesn't
waste any time, clocking in at an admirably tight 76 minutes.
However, it's a minor entry in the extreme horror genre.
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