Film Review: Tormented

Posted in Film, Reviews
By Sam Bathe on 18 May 2009

After a teenager commits suicide, when normally his school would be shaken to its core, the cliquey Fairview High students can barely remember him, never mind celebrate his life. Forever bullied before his death, Darren Mullet (Calvin Dean) didn’t have a happy time, but after a gruesome death the evening of his funeral, his bullies soon start to die off, in increasingly excruciating circumstances, leaving the school wondering just who is doing Mullet’s bidding.

Feeling like a cross between Skins and Scream, Tormented brings slasher films to a new generation, casting two ex-stars from the Channel 4 show’s first run. The film is slickly shot with cinematic values far above its standing or budget, and boasting a level of tension akin to Tormented’s Hollywood peers, the film had every opportunity to push the household names all the way.

Sadly, however, as Tormented progresses, its potential quickly starts to ebb away. As the story sticks in the second and third acts, failing to really develop what was a solid plot idea, Tormented comes to a frustrating finish. Under-exploring the big reveal of the murderer and dragging the set plays out a little too long, Tormented’s early promise fails to pull home. As you’d expect from a film in this genre, the gore is full on, but given the film’s embraced silly side, knows not to take itself too seriously, and as such, is pulled off quite well.

While it is solidly acted throughout, when the end credits roll you can’t help but think what might have been had the writers capitalised more on the scope for comedy, and instead went down the Shaun Of The Dead route. Amongst a teen audience, though, Tormented should still find enough fans to justify its release and shows signs of the genre making a comback in the UK.

★★★★★

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