From Twisted Pictures and producers Oren Koules and Mark Burg (‘Saw’ films), comes ‘The Tortured’ which will be in theaters June 15, 2012 for a limited release. In May ‘Tortured’ became available on VOD. The movie stars Jesse Metcalfe (Desperate Housewives), Erika Christensen and a favorite of the horror/torture genre, Bill Moseley.
Craig Landry (Metcalfe) is a doctor happily married to Elise (Christensen), a realtor. Together this upper middle class couple enjoy their adorable, much loved, six-year-old son named Benjamin (Thomas Greenwood). Everything is gushingly perfect so, of course, the movie audience knows it’s all about to be blown to hell.
And it is.
Elise goes to work one morning leaving Craig to watch their son. During playtime with his son in the backyard, Craig notices that one of Ben’s toys needs fixing and goes to fetch a screwdriver. Gone for only a moment, Craig is a helpless witness from the kitchen window as his son is kidnapped. Craig races outside but the evil man got away.
Young Benjamin’s beaten and tortured body is quickly recovered and identified by his horrified parents. Elise turns on Craig—who is already awash in guilt—and blames him for letting this happen. Their marriage begins to decay. Elise walks out.
The police receive a tip that leads them to a serial killer, John Kozlowski (Moseley). The grieving parents are brought back together by their shared pain over Kozlowski’s trial. The murderer receives a lesser sentence by telling police where other bodies are buried and the Landrys are aghast that their boy’s killer was sentenced to only 25 years and will be eligible for parole in 10.
Though this movie was made prior to the recent Pedro Hernandez confession to the kidnapping and murder of poor little Etan Patz, the topic of revenge couldn’t be more timely. Who among us hasn’t, at least for a moment, thought Etan’s abductor deserves “an eye for an eye” punishment?
Here is where the movie begins to enter the twilight zone. The Landrys, who reunite for blood thirsty revenge, manage to intercept the vehicle transporting Kozlowski to prison, create an accident thereby providing a decoy, then whisk the evil man off to an isolated cabin in the woods.
Canadian director Robert Lieberman is known for his work on “Dexter” which might explain tying the monster to the table and meticulously slicing him. What happens in ‘The Tortured’ though is way past what happens on Dexter’s table. The special effects and atmospheric lighting make these scenes so gruesome that there is no other way to describe them than torture porn. That’s not to say ‘The Tortured’ isn’t exciting for those fond of this genre. Those types of folks should walk out of this flick feeling sated, happy that they got their fix.
Opens in select theaters in NYC June 15, 2012. 79 minutes. NR.