- Last Updated: 11:20 AM, June 15, 2012
- Posted: 10:43 PM, June 14, 2012
Zero stars. Running time: 82 minutes. Not rated (extremely graphic violence, profanity). At the IFC Center, Sixth Avenue and Third Street.
The twist behind “The Tortured” is that the title doesn’t refer to the person you think (a 6-year-old boy murdered in a pervert’s dungeon). No, dear audience, you are the one who’ll be volunteering for cinematic thumb screws if you’re dumb enough to give this cheap exploitation picture your time.
Hollywood all but stopped making TV movies. Yet, in a way, thanks to indie-film channels, it makes more than ever — with added ingredients of, for instance, massive gory “Saw” violence. This heavy-handed IFC Films product, having a token theatrical run, finds TV actors Erika Christensen and Jesse Metcalfe playing grieving parents. When their child is kidnapped and killed by a psycho (tiara, lipstick, calls himself “Princess”), they first fall into despair — then, when the killer gets a light sentence, they resolve to sort out some justice for themselves. This involves administering severe, prolonged and gruesome pain.
Who says modern couples are too busy to work on mutually satisfying projects together?
The movie is so inept — with its flat characters, histrionic acting, dull dialogue (“Killing him is not going to change anything”), a dreadfully overdone musical score and la-la-la flashbacks starring the kid — that its clichés grow slightly funny. But not funny enough to make the endless torture scenes bearable.