Sunday, June 17, 2012

Movie with Abe: The Tortured (Capsule Review)

The Tortured
Directed by Robert Lieberman
Released June 15, 2012

There are certain subjects that have no hope of being pleasant. “The Tortured,” a film whose name doesn’t inspire confidence, is the ultimate example of that, as it follows two parents whose six-year-old child is abducted and murdered by a madman. After that dim, disturbing start, things only get worse when, unable to get over their grief and faced with the notion that their son’s killer may one day be freed, the couple kidnaps him and plots to exact revenge upon him for taking away their child. It’s a miserable, awful premise with no hope of redemption, and watching its protagonists, Craig and Elise, test their limits and explore their ability to inflict pain is entirely unsettling. It’s particularly disturbing to see Erika Christensen, who has found a regular gig playing a mother on NBC’s family-friendly “Parenthood,” in this part, and Jesse Metcalfe should stick to happier, lighter TV fare like “Desperate Housewives” and TNT’s reboot of “Dallas” where murder is a much less dreary and horrible business. The film’s visuals are dark and gloomy, and the editing is choppy and uneven. A major, highly far-fetched plot twist comes late in the film, long after it has descended into depravity and far beyond any saving. 79 minutes has never felt so unbearably long.


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