TORMENTED 3D (BLU RAY)
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
Young school librarian Kiriko serves a protector of sorts for her little brother. Mom's dead and Dad's busy illustrating Little Mermaid pop-up books. Her little brother Daigo winds up killing a wounded rabbit at the same school where she works (and covering her with blood in the process), which sets a really bizarre chain of events in motion. Horrible memories start flooding in, including giant scary rabbits.
Is it good movie?
Literally released in Japan as "Rabbit Horror", Tormented is a
complicated, convoluted and yet still somewhat familiar-feeling tale
about young people with tortured pasts whose secrets get revealed
through the presence of a menacing horror (in this case, a big killer
rabbit). Coming from Takashi Shimizu, creator of the Grudge, you might expect this 3D horror flick to rock your socks. Instead, it'll likely make you scratch your head.
Yeah, this is a weird, weird movie. There are surely some parallels to
Alice in Wonderland here, but in this flick, the little boy finds the
rabbit instead of the other way around. Of course, the rabbit literally
comes out of the movie screen (and why Kiriko takes her little brother
to see a terrifying J-Horror flick, I'll never know) and into his hands.
I guess from here, the movie either becomes ridiculous or effective,
depending on how you take it. I'm not sure if the movie is meant to be
somewhat light satire, or if we're supposed to take it seriously. The
sound work is effective with the use of a moody score, but do you think
the idea of a big guy in a rabbit suit stumbling around a wide open
area is scary? Well, if you don't, you should check out early because
besides a few bodies thrown in for good measure, things don't exactly
pick up from here. You never really have any idea what's going on in
terms of the main story, until near the end when things get "put
together" in a "twist" that just didn't work for me. The movie slams on
the brakes and completely shifts tone to try to clear up the family
mysteries, and it is jarring.
It's not exactly a pretty movie either. Though 3D is employed, the
movie is ugly looking and feels amateurish. It feels like a homemade
movie in terms of visual style. And why is the mute person narrating
the whole movie? The whole movie seems really nonsensical and the plot
just doesn't add up. I understand it's a spiritual successor to Takashi
Shimizu's earlier film, Shock Labyrinth but I really don't think that
helps. On top of that, the character development is almost
non-existant. Why don't any of the characters learn anything? They're
never really faced with anything tough, they're just acting accordingly
based on what's going on.
Ultimately, it's strange, ugly looking, and laden with melodrama.
Tormented's 3D landscape isn't overly impressive (though there are some
really cool moments- just not enough) and sort of falls flat, to make
it a bit worse. Weird? Sure. Out there? Absolutely. For everyone?
Hardly. For me, it was too all over the place and hard to follow. A
lack of real scares didn't help things for me either, unfortunately.
This one's just barely comprehensible and sometimes seems weird just
for the sake of being weird.
Video / Audio
Video comes in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer and it's
impressive in 2D or 3D. Ideally, if it worked well you could be
impressed with what the movie tries to bring forth but it's just so
murky and dank that few things really pop.
Audio is mixed as a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and
Great surround work and dialogue is clear.
Just a few trailers.
I can't imagine ever choosing to watch this again, to be honest. If
you're drawn to really bizarre plots and evil rabbits, this weird one
might be for you. If you're looking for chilling, understandable 3D
horror, look elsewhere.