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I saw this at Frightfest over the weekend and Tortured is a laughably
bad attempt at a "torture porn" film. It starts with a frantically
edited sequence of pointless flash-backs and flash- forwards in a vain
attempt to lend some interest to the trite set up. The filmmakers then
go hilariously over the top in making the villain's lair creepy, with
old dolls, stuffed animals and clown masks all over the place. The two
leads look and act like something out of a US daytime soap and almost
every line they say can be anticipated seconds before they open their
mouths. The plot and it's "twists" are equally predictable. Ultimately
the film never really delivers on its promise of gruesome retribution.
The vengeful protagonists talk and talk about all the horrible things
they are going to do to their victim, but what they come up with is
really rather lame.
Tortured is good for some unintentional laughs, but otherwise don't waste your time on this one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Tortured tells the story of a young couple (Metcalfe and
Christensen) whose life is torn apart when their young son is abducted
and murdered by a pedophile (Moseley). Devastated and angry by his
recent prison sentencing, the couple take matters into their own hands
and kidnap their son's killer...
...and it ain't gonna end pretty.
It's not exactly the most original plot in world of horror films, but The Tortured does have a decent script, good performances, and some bloody good torture. Some of the methods of torture that our lead couple carry out are rather grizzly and will surely make a few people flinch.
I was impressed with the performances in the film. Erika Christensen is really impressive as the grieving mother (especially in the first half of the movie) and Jesse Metcalfe gives his best and most serious performance to date. Horror vet Bill Moseley is also good, but his role mainly consists of screaming, so his 'acting' is hard to critique here. He was really good when we saw him in his sadistic action near the beginning though.
If you aren't a fan of really short movies though, then this movie is one to miss. It's barely over 70 minutes long, so know what you are getting in for. It's a fast-paced film and has a very thin plot. I, personally, saw the runtime as a good thing. Surely a movie where two people torture a helpless man can only be entertaining for so long. It could have turned into a repetitive bore if it went on for any longer, especially when the script isn't very strong to begin with.
The twist was interesting, yet somewhat illogical and stupid. It contradicted common sense and came off as forced. But I was entertained overall. In the world of endless remakes, re-imaginings and 3-D movies, this might be seen as a breathe of fresh air to some people. It's unoriginal, but better than some of the crap in theaters. And it looked like it had a budget, so it shouldn't be written off as DTV trash immediately.
Overall, an entertaining and gory little flick. Only worth viewing if you are a fan of the torture sub-genre or films like 'Saw' or 'The Last House on the Left'. Looking for intelligent horror? Look elsewhere.
I also had low expectations after coming to IBMD and seeing some bad
reviews about this title. After watching it, I have to say I loved it.
At the beginning it seemed like an all too familiar plot, I won't spoil
it, but basically its about a family who's child is kidnapped and
murdered by a local psychopathic child serial killer. The family
decides they want revenge and think that prison is too good for this
scumbag.(a suitable part played by Bill Mosley)
I know we have seen this type of movie before and I warn you there is a lot of "uncomfortable" torture scenes going on for quite awhile that may make a few uncomfortable and turn others off. As we move towards the ending and the plot started to unfold I realized why we had to go through all that torture which wasn't mindless at all. We start to feel for this child killer/molester and the pain hes going through and we even have to be reminded that this is the scum of the earth getting what he deserves. The ending definitely is the best part and doesn't let us down in the least. No spoilers here sorry...
More for seasoned Horror fans.Great acting all the way through and each actor gave it their all, great directing, and most importantly great GORE!. Not really a hidden gem per say, but a decent genre flick that makes you think nonetheless.
I gave it a 8 even though its probably only worthy of a solid 7. I think it deserves alittle extra help from us genre fans.
At the first 25 minutes the movie try desperately, with a series of crude flashbacks, to convince the audience of something the actors themselves could not: To believe that they are suffering for the lost of their child. And even that isn't enough to make believable an apple-pie family turning the new Hewitts. An unbelievably long hour later the film was over with a very confusing but mildly interesting 5 minutes ending. One moment you are wondering "how that will turn out?", the other, roll credits. Through out the whole movie, flashbacks continue to appear over and over and over again showing nothing relevant to the plot or the characters psychology. The torture parts are also not terrible enough to please the "Painjunkies" out there, which makes sense if an upper-middle class family would perform it, but the characters most of the time make it looks like its not a big deal to do that to a person. The script is very poorly directed. Even for a TV Series Director. It takes too long to begin, and not long enough to finish. Climax of the story happens in 5 minutes. If the movie was turned into a 15 minutes episode of "Tales from the Crypt", it would be nice enough. But surely not far a movie. To the fans of Twisted Pictures, I advice you to wait for the Next Saw.
My summary title has nothing to do about how I feel about the movie. I
actually enjoyed it. The premise is as follows.(cut and paste)In
Rutland Country, the six year-old Benjamin Michael Landry is kidnapped
by a psychopath in the lawn of his house. His father Craig Landry
unsuccessfully runs after the truck but the abductor escapes. Sooner
the police discovers that John Kozlowski had abducted and killed
Benjamin. When the criminal is sentenced to 25 years in prison only,
Benjamin's mother Elise Landry presses her husband to kidnap John and
torture him. Craig is a doctor and knows exactly how to inflict pain to
the psychopath. They succeed to kidnap John from the prison transport,
but Craig has an accident and John is hurt. The couple tortures the man
until they find the truth about their victim.
I actually enjoyed this film; as I viewed it entirely from the parents point of view. I have no sentiments for murdered and Bill Mosley plays one of his most diabolical and sinister yet. I would have loved to have see more of his performance, but I guess it would break away from the actual plot. I was thinking if he played one of the parents doing the torturing, but that would probably make the parent look to maniac-ish.
I didn't find many flaws. Both Jessie Metcalfe and Erika Christensen play solid roles as a young couple who have been tortured by the premature murder of their only child. One flaw I did find was how brainless the jury could have been to only give Bill Mosley's character 20 to life. Excuse me? Didn't the prosecutors present pictures in this case or did the defendant's lawyer go the "They entered his house without a warrant" plea. Either way, it shows how "Broken" the judicial system really is.
I have both love and hate for the story's ending as well. I love the twist, but I feel the last scene itself was weak as ever. I wanted to know what happened when the couple went home and turned on the news. What went on through their heads knowing that 20 to life isn't that long and someday.... To me the ending was inconclusive and could have been much better.
I give it a seven, because I love all kinds of horror and suspense...and would someone please torture those who still use the term "Torture Porn". That's a nasty word dreamed up by haters of the horror genre and should never be used by an actual fan.
A couple's son is kidnapped and murdered. The killer only receives 25
years to life, so they decide to take the law into their own hands.
They kidnap the killer and torture him to death.
If that plot sounds familiar it's because The Tortured is a mix of several different films. Think Seven Days, Law Abiding Citizen and the Maters of Horror piece Family. I'd mention Saw, but since this film boasts "From the creators of Saw", I figured I'd side step that obvious comparison. The parents in the film are played by Jesse Metcalfe and Erika Christensen, both in roles that demand emotion and recklessness. They both deliver their scenes as best they could, but not once did I ever really feel anything towards them. We never are given a chance to connect to the family, the first thing we see is the aftermath of the kidnapping. Had we spent a little bit more time with them, not in flashback, then the connection to the audience would have been greater.
Bill Moseley, who usually pops up in Rob Zombie films, plays the man who kills their son. He's a freak who wears make-up and yells at the boy as if he's several different people. Again, bits and pieces used from other films, he comes off as a very poor Buffalo Bill type character. He's being transported to, I'm assuming prison, when the parents come up with a plan that in retrospect, was pretty inane. They manage to steal the van he's being transported in, and accidentally crash it. They take the clearly beaten and almost unrecognizable killer to a secure location, where they can torture and eventually kill the man who took their son's life. The mother is a real estate agent, so she knows the perfect location to use. The father is a doctor, so he has the medical expertise to keep him alive and feel all the pain they will inflict.
The torture scenes are nice, and since the film is called The Tortured, they would have to be. The best part about the torture scenes, are how minimal they are. No over the top gadgets that are used in Saw films, instead we have simple burnings, suffocation, needles to the jugular, breaking of toes, etc. Enough to make people cringe and not overly aggressive with it either.
The ending I mentioned is what will make or break the film for a lot of people. Some people dig it, others find it insulting towards the audience. Meaning they felt cheated. In theory, I like it, in execution, I didn't. As a horror fan, I know who Bill Moseley is, as will most of the people expecting to watch this. So when the ending pops up, it's not that much of a surprise. What the film needed for a final conclusion, were the reaction of the parents to the news, leaving the audience knowing information and the characters not is a cop out. Especially when you know that they will eventually find out.
The tortured is decent enough for those looking for some torture fun. It's definitely a genre specific film. I hated how the characters would flip flop all the time and it tries to be a film that raises important questions. For example, how far would you go to punish those who hurt you, but it never reaches those depths to ask. The second half is more fixated on the torture aspect and not the morality aspect. The film poorly juggles drama and horror. It's as if the film set up a question to be asked, but forgot to ask it.
How far would you go? That's a question asked by the filmmakers of The
Tortured, a film from the producers of the Saw franchise that has the
parents of a murdered child extracting their revenge on the killer who
plea bargains his way to lighter sentence.
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.
In Rutland Country, the six year-old Benjamin Michael Landry is
kidnapped by a psychopath in the lawn of his house. His father Craig
Landry (Jesse Metcalfe) unsuccessfully runs after the van but the
abductor escapes. Sooner the police discovers that John Kozlowski (Bill
Moseley) had abducted and killed Benjamin. When the criminal is
sentenced to 25 years in prison only, Benjamin's mother Elise Landry
(Erika Christensen) presses her husband to kidnap John and torture him.
Craig is a doctor and knows exactly how to inflict pain to the
psychopath. They succeed to kidnap John from the prison transport, but
Craig has an accident and John is hurt. The couple tortures the man
until they find the truth about their victim.
"The Tortured" is a film with a promising premise ("What Would You Do with the Killer of Your Son?") that unfortunately has many flaws and holes in the plot and a rushed conclusion. The prison van, for example, would have Craig's finger prints everywhere but the police officers do not find any clue. The truth about the victim is confused and unlikely and difficult to understand. The screenplay is corny in some moments and the torture scenes are very graphic, therefore not recommended for sensitive audiences. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Cegos por Justiça" ("Blind for Justice")
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For a movie called "The Tortured", I feel pretty tortured from watching
it. I would've given it 0 stars if it was possible.
This wannabe horror-movie thriller is badly acted, coarsely edited, the audio is unsynchronized, the list goes on and on. Oh, and of course it's disgustingly graphic, which can be justified and work in some movies (i.e. Se7en), but it was just unbearable and gross in this movie.
To start off, this movie's plot just screams cliché. In fact, a good way to describe this movie is just one big horror movie cliché. The horrible plot is this: A psychotic man kidnaps a couple's son while the dad is distracted and the wife is at work. The police can't find sh*t, and of course the mom, being emotionally vulnerable as she should be, blames the cops for not finding her son. Screw logic! I mean seriously, investigations take a long time, and if the killer left no clues or evidence, then it will be harder. But, the mom just "needs someone to blame", as she says later, and of course she has to stick it on the hard-working, low-paid officers. Then, the police find the man, illegally enter his home, only to discover the son is already dead. Wow. Then, as the clichés roll on, the couple decide to get revenge on the man. Nothing in this movie ever deviates from formula. In fact, I'm not even sure if there IS a formula to this movie, as it seems like a jumbled mess.
Besides the formulaic, cliché plot line, the editing is horrible. Many times, a character might be saying something but their mouth isn't moving, or it's unsynchronized. Hence, the title of my review. Whoever edited this movie needs to go back to film school immediately.
Another thing is the picture and cinematography. The whole movie, save the flashbacks, is all washed out in color. This is a misconception with horror film directors that by washing out your film, it makes it scarier. All it does is make you look desperate and your film look amateurish. On another note, the cinematography was also abysmal, scoring no points for this otherwise dismal film. The shots were rough, almost feeling like a montage. They would have the same shot just moved a couple of inches over. Why they felt the need to do that is beyond me. Also, the shots had no style or feel to them, as if the editor and cinematographer just said "screw it" and slapped together the shots to make this movie.
Moreover, the movie is disgustingly graphic. What was once fresh and gripping in Se7en is now overall gross and appalling here. The couple shows no mercy as they torture their sons killer. At least John Doe had SOME shred of human decency! Additionally,it was horribly acted. I cannot fathom how these actors made it into Hollywood. They cannot act! I am half confident that I could do a better job then they did! Jesse Metcalf just sulked and sat there while Erika Christensen blathered on about how they would move on and find a better life. That was the whole first half of the movie.
Also, the script was disappointing. The dialogue was-- yes, you guessed it!-- all clichés! Jesse Metcalf says to Erika Christensen, "Killing (our sons killer) isn't going to change anything." Wow, the screenwriters couldn't come up with anything more original? That's sad.
To close, this was an abysmal, depressing, disgustingly graphic D movie with D list stars. I leave you with one thing: You'd be hard-pressed to find a worse horror movie then this.
HandHStudios Rating: 0/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In an age where our most primitive and violent impulses can be
satisfied by cinema with very little boundaries thanks to the 'torture
porn' subgenre, any movie which boasts that the producer of the "Saw"
franchise is behind it is guaranteed to be sought after. However,
people seem to have grandeur assumptions of a producer. One needs to
remember that a producer's job is to promote the film and to get it off
the ground - he/she rarely has anything personally to do with the
making of the film. And it's evident here with "The Tortured", which I
admit looks good on paper, but unfortunately, the resulting concoction
is unsatisfying, frustrating as well as confusing. The ending
completely aborts any kind of material or scenes which make the film
recommendable. "How Far Would You Go?" one of the films taglines asks
us. Basically it's asking us here just how far we would go in enacting
revenge/justice on someone who kidnaps, tortures and kills a child
belonging to us, or indeed, any other loved one.
Craig and Elise are a young, hard-working married couple with a healthy six-year old son. Craig is a doctor so they are pretty well-off and they live in a beautiful suburban home in Vermont. However, their lives are irrevocably shattered when their son is kidnapped by a serial child murderer who tortures and murders him. The killer, a giant of a man named John Kozlowski, is arrested for the crimes but receives a pretty flimsy prison sentence, prompting the young couple to seek their own kind of justice. In an elaborate (albeit extremely far-fetched) operation, they hijack the prison van transporting Kozlowski and capture him. They take him to a cabin in the woods and tie him to a table, and using his medical expertise, Craig maintains that he can keep him alive and conscious for as long as he wants so that he can feel everything they are about to do to him.
"The Tortured" is first and foremost a very frustrating film to watch (From a gore-hardened viewpoint). The two lead characters are just so countermanding and awkward in their approach to the task on hand, I mean, one minute they are vehemently spitting at one another for revenge, saying that the other half is not doing enough for their dead son blah, blah, blah. But then when it comes down to it, Elise - who had talked her husband into this - begins to have second thoughts about what they are doing. It just goes on and on. The torture is quite brutal (Isn't it all?) but what makes this kind exceptionally barbaric is that Craig, being a doctor, knows the devastating and painful effects that certain injections can have on the body - in one scene he bursts the man's ear drum with an injection of some vile substance into his ear. The diabolical ending is inexplicably unsatisfying; but what would one be hoping for in watching a movie like this? It's relentlessly dark, grim and nasty, and just when we want to believe that what we are watching is justified, the film turns around and smacks us in the face, making us question ourselves as we are left with a bitter taste of blood in our mouths.
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