Tormented begins with the funeral of Darren Mullet (Calvin Dean, Passengers), an unpopular student in a British private school. It seems that Mullet was driven to suicide by a group of nasty bullies. Not long after the service, Mullet’s tormentors begin to die under mysterious circumstances. At first, the deaths are attributed to freak accidents, but there are signs that the students have been targeted by someone, or something, with an insatiable thirst for revenge. Who would survive the carnage?
Reaction & Thoughts:
Tormented is a painfully ineffective, and predictable “black comedy” with nearly zero redeeming value. Despite a few creepy moments, this a pretty lame attempt at reinventing the ’80s slasher movie.
Who is this movie for? It’s retro-slasher — the sort of thing that wants to ignite feelings of nostalgia in older horror buffs. But Tormented, written by Stephen Prentice, directed by Jon Wright, is so embedded in millennial angst that any viewer over the age of twenty-one will have a hard time connecting here — I never understood why the characters were so angry and mean-spirited.
Director Wright (Grabbers) tries to use humor in order to reach a varied audience. It doesn’t work because this horror-comedy is neither scary nor funny, and as I said before, the characters are disgusting. The truth is that I didn’t care whether they lived or died. Wright refuses to give us a nugget. Not even the nominal scream queen (Tuppence Middleton, The Imitation Game) is worth saving — it’s nihilism of the nth degree.
Perhaps today’s uber-jaded teens don’t see a problem with a film that has no appealing characters, but I found it hard to connect with a bunch of sociopaths. If this is the new slasher, I don’t want any part of it.
Conclusions & Final Thoughts:
Tormented is a cold, nasty, and poorly executed little film. With Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike and Endless Love), April Pearson (Home for Christmas), Dimitri Leonidas (Centurion), Sophie Wu (Kick-Ass), and Olly Alexander (Enter the Void). Color, 91 minutes, Rated R.