The strain of the tragedy takes a toll on Craig's marriage to Elise (Erika Christensen), and the couple are all the more disturbed when Kozlowski cuts a deal to avoid life in prison. Infuriated and thirsting for revenge, they hatch a plot to kidnap and torture the killer, utilizing Craig's medical training to inflict as much pain as possible while keeping Kozlowski alive and awake long enough to feel everything. But how long can they stay one step ahead of the police in order to exact their revenge?
The End Result
Although the script is thin and feels like its only purpose is to build to the twist ending, that twist is a doozy, tying together some loose ends and putting a thought-provoking, moralistic spin on the tale. With its moral climax and brief running time -- only 75 minutes (minus credits) -- The Tortured feels like it should be a 30-minute entry in an anthology. If it were, we could more easily excuse the lack of character depth; i.e., a stereotypical psycho killer with mommy issues and protagonists with no personality other than reacting to the events around them. A further indication of the minimal attention paid to the characters is the fact that they flip-flop personalities, with Craig and Elise each alternating between the sympathetic softie who's unsure about the plan and the tough cookie who's dead-set on vengeance at any cost.
That said, torture porn fans should get a sadistic thrill out of seeing a guy get burned, injected, suffocated, crunched and more, and for once, their conscience should be clear, since he theoretically "deserves" it.
- Acting: C (A solid cast, but they don't fully deliver the emotional goods.)
- Direction: C (Competent but safe and sterile; it's apparent that Lieberman is a TV veteran.)
- Script: C- (A nice twist ending helps offset flat characters and some dubious plot elements.)
- Gore/Effects: B- (Solid gore but not too over the top.)
- Overall: C (Is a good climactic twist worth sitting through 75 minutes of mediocrity? I guess so.)
The Tortured is directed by Robert Lieberman and is not rated by the MPAA. Release date: June 15, 2012 (on demand May 11).