Erika Christensen and Jesse Matcalfe play Elise and Craig Landry, two loving parents whose child is abducted and murdered by John Kozlowski (Bill Mosley). Haunted by the events that unfold in court and repulsed by the lenient sentence suggested by the court, the Landry's hatch an plan to nab Kozlowski from a Correctional Facility transfer van in an attempt to dole out their own brand of fitting justice.
Unfortunately for John Kozlowski, their plan works and even more unfortunate for John is that Craig Landry just happens to be a physician which will give him the knowledge and the means in which to keep John alive and in pain for hours and days on end.
Being that The Tortured is from the producers of Saw, you can expect some gory and prolonged torture. They start us off simple enough. A small burn on John's chest. Soon, needles are being used to cause all kinds of pain. Some of the tactics result in John's untimely death, but with Craig being a doctor, resuscitation only adds to John's torment.
At only 78 minutes, there isn't much development in The Tortured. We breeze through the child abduction and the trial right into the torturous basement in an abandoned home that will be the setting for the majority of the film. We do get to watch as the police follow clues to try and find out what happened to their prisoner, but it is hardly engaging and is likely there just to keep extend the running time further than a simple hour.
Everything seemed to be going according to the Landry's master plan and to the audience's expectation until the final chapter of the film that veers drastically into a WTF moment leaving you scratching your head and going back a few chapters to piece it together.
Normally this would be a good thing, but in the hands of director Rob Lieberman, The Tortured just peters out towards the end and then slaps us in the face before abruptly revealing the end credits.
We can't write on behalf of the acting in the film. People are more reacting than they are acting. And we can't give kudos to the plot which has been done before (ironically we screened the superior Canadian film 7 Days that same evening). There was some gore by way of the torture scenes, but we never turned our heads away in disgust or saw something outside of what the Saw and Hostel franchises have brought us over the last 10 years.
You can do a lot worse than The Tortured. And at barely over one hour's length, you wouldn't be putting yourself out to use this as a time filler between other more worthy films of your time. But for us, it was just average.