Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Tortured (2010)

Fear 0/5
Gore 2/5
Entertainment 0/5
Creepiness 0/5

The Tortured is the most superficial and soulless film I've seen this year. If torture porn was a real thing (I don't consider it to be a true sub-genre), this would probably be the definition of it. There is no justification for any of our character's actions and every single one taken within the story is hollow and again, without purpose. Not too mention it has some of the worst acting I've seen in a genre film, starring two washed up actors who made their name in teen flicks.

Elise and Craig (Erika Christensen and Jesse Metcalfe respectively) are two grieving parents. They've come to find out that their son, who had been abducted from their front yard, was sexually assaulted and murdered by a dirty old man driving around town in a beat-up van. Not much is known about him except that he's dirty, creepy, and drives around in said van. The child killer is played by non other than genre vet Bill Moseley who's quickly become a parody of himself. It's like someone gave him a stack of 100's, pointed a camera in his face, and said 'OK Bill, now act creepy.'

So mom and dad can't handle the death of their only child but instead of letting the justice system do it's thing they decide to take matters into their own hands. They hatch a plot to intercept the killer's prison transport and overtake it. Mom and dad suddenly turn from grieving parents into expert hijackers. They disable the transport and incapacitate the two armed guards and extract our child killer.

The whole of the rest of the film is mom and dad torturing this guy in a house out in the woods. It just so happens that mom does some real estate dealings on the side and she was able to score this perfectly secluded home, perfect for taking someone into it's basement, tying them up to a gurney, and torturing the shit out of them for days on end.

This film is exhausting and not in a good way. It's slow and plodding. While mom and dad's grief should resonate with the viewer it comes across as both contrived and insincere. This film serves one purpose and one purpose only: to shock. But the only thing that is shocking is that A) this film was produced in the first place and B) IFC thought it was a good idea to pick it up for distribution. I'm going to call a mulligan on this one guys.

If 'torture porn' is your thing, this might be up your alley. But fair warning, the acting is horrid and even the torture aspect you've seen ten times over in other films. This is the most pointless and worthless film watching experience I've had this year.

Cortez the Killer


Mike @ CardboardConnection.com said...

I have to totally disagree with you on this one. I didn't think this was torture porn at all. In reality the movie isn't that graphic at all, especially considering the premise.

I also thought the plot and the acting was good and that the twist at the end was great. As a parent, if someone abducted and raped and killed one of my kids this is exactly how I would react to it (or at least I would strongly consider it). Are you sure you didn't mix this movie up with Absentia? Because I would literally swap the ratings between those two movies as I thought Absentia was one of the most mediocre horror movies I've seen in quite sometime while the Tortured was a really good (albeit not great) surprise.

Guess its a matter of preference. I really respect your blog and it is one of the few horror movie resources I consult regularly so not trying to rag on you, just wanted to put my 2 cents in to encourage people to give it a shot as I think a lot of people will be pleasantly surprised.

Planet of Terror said...

I appreciate the intelligent discourse Mike. This is what makes horror so great, it's entirely subjective. What I find to be trite and superficial you found to be true to life and realistic.

While I understand one's inclination to get back at or want to seek vengeance due to the actions of a terrible human being, their own reason and rationale felt hollow. There was very little by way of character development so when tragedy struck, there wasn't a strong feeling of empathy. The overacting didn't help either. Just my opinion.

I didn't label this torture porn as I don't consider that to be a true sub-genre (different topic for a different post). I said that it would more than likely get lumped into that category if such a thing existed.

And no, my labeling is not incorrect. I find Absentia to be one of the most original horror films of the past few years and an outstanding exercise in psychological horror. Again, this is what makes horror so great. Different strokes for different folks.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate the feedback and kind words.

Mike @ CardboardConnection.com said...

Good point - horror really is subjective.

Seriously though, keep up the great work on the blog. I LOVE indie horror movies and you are the first blogger I've found that really has the same passion for it as I do (and is a TRUE horror fan) while also having the ability to write about it in an entertaining and candid manner.

You've recommended so many great movies that I would have otherwise not heard about that I REALLY appreciate what you are doing here.

One movie I haven't seen reviewed yet here is The Divide. While it it is post apocalyptic movie that doesn't necessarily fit the traditional horror mold, I think it definitely would fall into the genre. And it is a FANTASTIC movie. If you haven't seen it already, be sure to check it out. One of my favorite movies of the last couple of years. The acting is fantastic, the storyline depicts human nature - in its most horrific, primal, and believable form - in a way that few other movies ever have. And the music is top notch as well. The ending is jaw dropper as well.

Planet of Terror said...

Thanks Mike, I appreciate it. I have yet to see the Divide but I really want to. This might be shooting to the top of my list after your glowing recommendation. Sounds like a good one.

Mike @ CardboardConnection.com said...

I believe you can stream it from Youtube's movie service for like $3 or $4. Fantastic movie that blew me away. Hope you enjoy it half as much as I did.