Director: Robert Lieberman
Writer: Marek Posival
Producers: Mark Burg/Oren Koules/Carl Mazzocone/Marek Posival
Starring: Jesse Metcalfe/Erika Christensen/Bill Moseley
BBFC Certification: 18
Duration: 78 minutes
From the producers of SAW comes a movie that, surprise, does what it says on the tin and delivers emotional and physical torture only this time, it’s become a little more personal. The Tortured has a pretty good storyline with some well-acted parts thanks to its leads, Jesse Metcalfe and Erika Christensen. The Tortured is about a couple, Craig and Elise, who lose their only son Ben, because of a child murderer who abducted, tortured and killed him. After the murderer receives his prison sentence, the couple doesn’t think that it’s suitable and they don’t think he should get off so lightly. So they kidnap their son’s killer and as they say, the rest is history. Make no mistake, this is basically SAW stripped down, there are torture scenes and a couple of elements that are familiar to the SAW franchise, even though they both have different stories. This isn’t really for the squeamish as there’s a couple of scenes that could make you squirm. As I had said above, Jesse Metcalfe and Erika Christenson perform quite well as their characters and you felt sorry for them as we see them grieve and see their perfect life broken because of one man and you could feel the emotion from their performances. The Tortured had some pretty good writing and directing, however the main problem with the movie was the plot and how thin it was, the movie just about covered the eighty-minute mark. The main thing I’m sure that many people may want to know about is the gore. Well this is from the producers of SAW, one of the goriest and graphically violent movie series to date so expect quite a bit of blood and some scenes that may make you a little bit uncomfortable.
The script and the dialogue weren’t bad, they were actually quite good for a straight-to-DVD movie but the only thing that let the movie down, apart from the thin plot, is the ending. While most people may say that the ending was a brilliant twist and they didn’t see it coming, it just felt like something was missing and felt a little too simple and quite stupid. Sure, I didn’t see it coming but I wasn’t sitting at the end of my seat, shocked. In fact, I weren’t really surprised at all. The perfect twist for me in a movie is not only something that I didn’t see happening but also something that shocks or surprises me. Unfortunately, The Tortured only managed to do one of these things. If you’re expecting The Tortured to offer something new that you haven’t seen before in other torture or revenge movies then you will be disappointed. The Tortured pretty much goes over old ground and the plot and story has been done a hundred times before. However, the story and the acting are very good, even though the plot is thin and the runtime is shy of eighty minutes.
It’s a good movie and it does have some scenes where you really feel the emotion from the characters and the performances were great but the plot was too simple and too small. I think if The Tortured would have went on any longer than eighty minutes, it would have become repetitive and boring so it’s good that the makers of the movie didn’t try to make it any longer. Just like the SAW movies, this does have a storyline with a twist waiting for you at the end but just like The Collector, it can sometimes feel like it was another excuse to make a gory torture movie that’d make you feel uncomfortable. This isn’t really a horror but it’s more like a violent drama-slash-thriller, it’s not scary but it’s definitely not for the weak-stomached or the faint-hearted.