Craig and Elise’s lives are destroyed when their little boy Benjamin is kidnapped in broad daylight. Not long after, reports of crying coming from the home of a local man attract the attention of police. A quick look through the front window reveals childrens books, toys and clothes, giving the officers just cause to enter the home and look around. Upon further inspection they discover the battered Benjamin dead and place the pedophile Kozlowski under arrest.
Charged with multiple counts of assault and homicide, Kozlowski agrees to cooperate with authorities on identifying the remains of multiple children found in his backyard in exchange for a plea deal that would only require him to remain incarcerated for twenty years. Elise, unwilling to accept such a light sentence, convinces her husband that something must be done to end Kozlowski’s reign of terror for good so he can never kill again.
A plan is quickly set in motion to steer the monstrous child molester from protective custody into the waiting arms of the grieving couple and their torture table.
Twisted Pictures’s The Tortured is a nicely shot, competently acted film with some genuinely gruesome sequences of torture…and that’s about it. Unlike most revenge films that play into male domination fantasies, The Tortured instead touches on a highly sensitive subject, namely what society believes should be done with child murders/molesters once its been proven beyond a reasonable doubt of their guilt. This film would be quite the triumph if it were not for two problems, The Tortured’s story is an absolute mess and this concept has been done far more effectively by Daniel Grou with his adaptation of Patrick Senécal’s novel Les 7 jours du talion (7 Days)
For starters it just so happens that Craig is a doctor so he can keep Kozlowski alive during torture and Elise is a real estate agent so she could find the perfect spot to bring him? Somebody call Ripley’s. How did Elise and Craig know when Kozlowski was to be transported? How did they know the prison transport guards would make a pit stop during the trip? How did they know they’d purchase coffee? What if they didn’t get coffee and instead got two cans of Red Bull and wrapped honey buns? How would they have distributed the eye drops used to make the guards nauseous?
See what I’m getting at here? Everything was just too convenient, there were far too many coincidences to make this this believable despite its positives. With the addition of a left-field “twist,” the entire production felt like nothing more than a cheap, After-School special attempt to preach about the evils of retribution. Exactly what the audience doesn’t give a shit about.
I’m not at all sure how Twisted Pictures, director Lieberman (D3: The Mighty Ducks) and writer Posival were able to get away with a film so blatantly stolen from Senécal & Grou but in the long run it just won’t matter. People will see “From the producers of Saw” and the name Bill Moseley on the DVD and automatically rent or purchase this before ever seeing the infinitely superior 7 Days, which is a shame. The Tortured can’t fairly be called a horrid film by any means but it is one that I have no intention of seeing again.