The idea of a good torture porn flick went out the window when they decided to make six sequels to the infamously profitable Saw franchise (and to some extent the Hostel franchise as well) but film makers and studios continue to churn out derivative horror film to derivative horror film with complete disregard or lack of understanding of what it takes to actually make a decent much less good torture porn film. I am sad to say that despite the heavy presence of decent star names above the title The Tortured (2010) is yet another easily forgettable film.
The Tortured stars Erika Christensen and Jesse Metcalfe as loving couple Elise and Craig Landry whose son is kidnapped and then killed by psychopath John Kozlowski (played by the always entertaining Bill Mosely). Kozlowski is subsequently captured and tried for the murder of which he is sentenced to prison where he may have the chance at parole one day. Elise & Craig are torn asunder by this injustice and decide to take matters in their own hand. When Kozlowski is being transferred to prison they hijack his transport. Elise and Craig want to deliver as much pain and suffering to Kozlowski as he put their son prolonging his death until they are ready to let him die.
Now the set up for this film is actually not that bad because it depicts every parent’s greatest fear which is the loss of a child. They seek justice for that loss but when politics get in the way they decide to deliver their own justice. This is played very serious by Christensen and Metcalfe who do their best with the mediocre script, but when Mosely appears everything becomes very tongue in cheek. For most of Mosely’s other films this would be fine but not for this film which takes itself seriously. Then when the Landry’s start torturing Kozlowski the unintentional comedy jumps into high gear and the seriously established from the beginning is completely lost.
There are a few things to offer which is that the performances, for the most part, are solid and Robert Lieberman’s direction is well paced and suitable but the biggest part is with the script which starts off real well but falls apart part way through because of the horror film aesthetics associated with the torture porn genre. There are a lot of good points to be made through the film but its trapped in its own mode of torture from it cannot escape from.