This joint U.S.-Canadian venture from 2009 was produced by Twisted Pictures, the company behind the Saw franchise. The Tortured is a film very much in line with its title and the Saw movies in that it favors presenting torture over creating suspense.
Benjamin, the 6-year-old son of Elise and Craig Landry, is abducted and murdered by a psychopath named John Kozlowski (played by Bill Moseley). Kozlowski is apprehended shortly after. At his trial, he’s handed a sentence of 25 years to life, but it’s not enough justice for Elise and Craig.
Domestic drama ensues as the couple go through emotional strain, blame, guilt and grief. The film is shot with gloomy and dark colors, while flashbacks of better times are shown with colors that are more vibrant. Unfortunately, none of the acting is convincing and what’s conveyed on screen doesn’t elicit any sympathy or heartbreak. The dialogue is also quite clichéd and laced with profanity.
Elise wants to kill Kozlowski, but then Craig realizes that, “Killing him is not punishment enough.” The couple plans to get to Kozlowski. As a medical doctor, Craig steals some equipment and medications from the hospital where he works. The plan is to abduct Kozlowski and then torture the hell out of him while keeping him alive and conscious.
How Elise and Craig go about getting Kozlowski requires a masve amount of suspenon of disbelief. They trail a prison van transporting the psychopath down an isolated road (the officers in the van never notice that they are being followed). Then everything depends on the occurrence of one ngular event – in this case, the van has to stop at a random gas station.
Although the bac concept of the film is good – the parents of a murdered child seek revenge on the perpetrator, the story presented is unbelievable. A scheme like the one in this film would require great preparation and calculation of probabilities to anticipate and ensure that a particular event would happen, yet the parents hatch out their plan quickly and the dered event unfolds conveniently (I know it is just a movie, but c’mon…).
Elise and Craig capture the prisoner traveling in the van. They keep him shackled to a table in the basement of a remote house surrounded by wilderness. The two take turns in torturing Kozlowski over the course of several days ung medical devices, tools, drugs and injections. When their prisoner is allowed to speak, he says he doesn’t remember anything other than being tortured.
In a Saw style series of flashbacks, repetitions of key scenes and revelations at the end of The Tortured, the story suddenly changes. It’s a twist ending, but an ending nonetheless. This film’s story is self-contained. The Tortured is tame compared to Saw standards and the acting leaves a lot to be dered. It’s a generic thriller with a little gore and a twist-ending; it’s nothing exceptional.
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