Christensen & Metcalfe's Guide to DIY Torture
Craig (Jesse Metcalfe) and Elise Landry (Erika Christensen) are left devastated when first their young son is abducted from their front yard and then found murdered, it leads to Elise blaming Craig for letting it happen and Craig wanting to kill himself. But after their son's killer, Kozlowski (Bill Moseley), is given a 25 years prison service they decide it is not enough and take matters in to their own hands as they plot to kidnap Kozlowski as he is transported to prison and torture him in the same way that he tortured their son. But as they put their plans in to action the consequences of them will be far reaching.
"The Tortured" is one of those movies which after reading a synopsis like the one above will lead you to think about those consequences. There are various possibilities; the Landry's could end up on the run from the police, they are probably going to feel some sort of self loathing, they could end up getting some sort of sick enjoyment out of it and become addicted to torturing people. There are other things but one thing is for certain there has to be a twist because without the twist this is just torture porn. The trouble is that the concept of revenge which is shown in "The Tortured" isn't new and so there is a good chance that you will guess the twist before it arrives.
Now in fairness there is an entire movie before the twist and to give director Robert Lieberman and writer Marek Posival their credit they do try to build the storyline and feelings of the characters. We get the drama of the abduction done in Hollywood style as Craig gives chase; we get the blame, the pain, the sitting in the child's now quiet bedroom and much more. But as I said "The Tortured" has a certain ring of familiarity about it and it starts to feel like this opening series of scenes which builds to the Landrys concocting a plan is just a distraction before the torture porn stuff arrives because it doesn't spend enough time on it to really create character depth but ironically too much time for those who watch because they want the graphic nature of the revenge.
As for the torture porn side of "The Tortured" well for those who enjoy gore and the in your face psychopathic tendencies of someone wanting to hurt someone else it may feel a bit too controlled and suggestive rather than in your face. In fairness it is in keeping with the build up and to suddenly turn the dial up on the graphic nature of the movie would be wrong but it is likely to disappoint those who watch "The Tortured" because they saw mention that it was from the producers of "Saw". Yet on the flip side those who saw that it stars Erika Christensen and Jesse Metcalfe may find it more at their level with both doing a solid but unremarkable job at playing their characters.
What this all boils down to is that "The Tortured" is entertaining but only in a middle of the road sort of way as it never really hits the heights of uncomfortable torture whilst delivering a lot of familiar scenes and story ideas. The one thing it has is a twist but even then it is one which movie addicts will probably be able to guess.