Monday, February 10, 2014

Tormented (2009) - Review - @BrandonCSites / #AlexPettyfer / #IFCFilms

Tormented (2009) *** 
D: Jon Wright 
C: Tuppence Middleton, Dimitri Leonidas, Alex Pettyfer, April Pearson, Calvin Dean, Tom Hooper 
P: A social outcast, who committed suicide, returns as a ghost so that he can pick off members of the in crowd that bullied him. 

REVIEW: In Tormented, the main characters are a bunch of snooty high students who, of course, are naturally good looking. They drive fancy sports cars and throw parties that look like something straight out of a music video. On the side, they bully and torment anyone that isn't up to their pedigree.

On the other end, we have the character of Darren Mullet, an obese student who the others call Shrek. Not being able to handle being bullied on a daily basis, he kills himself. ....But (and isn't there always a BUT?), he comes back to life to avenge his death.

The bullies end up becoming the protagonists as they are killed off one by one by Darren Mullet. The antagonist (Darren Mullet) ends up being the one who was bullied. The lines between whose good and whose bad gets blurred along the way. It's hard to be hateful towards the bullies. I mean after all, who didn't want to be popular in high school, even if that meant stepping on a few people's feet? And who can't relate to the outcast and his desire for revenge?

Tormented is a slick film. It's manipulative and knows exactly which buttons to push. Tormented is pure and utter trash, but it sure is entertaining trash! It's stylish, handsomely packaged trash. Not the kind of trash you would find on the street corner, but the kind you would find on Rodeo Drive or Beverly Hills. 

The term "guilty pleasure" is one that gets thrown around a lot, but in my opinion, it's a term most people don't fully grasp. A guilty pleasure is a film that makes you feel guilty in some way for actually enjoying it. Tormented is a first class guilty pleasure in the sense that:
1.) It's well made and well acted. That gives it a bit more class.
2.) It blurs the lines between what's right and what's wrong.
3.) You're willing to go along for the ride either way. [R] 91 mins. 

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