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Tormented (2009)

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Posted 9th October 2009 at 12:25 PM by Philleh

Tormented (2009)
Pathé

Justine is the head girl of her school, and as part of the role she is called to give a speech at the funeral of fellow student Darren Mullet; who has recently committed suicide. Jason, Darren’s only friend, is outraged as Justine didn’t actually know him and has an outburst during the ceremony and is violently tossed out by the schools PE teacher. After the ceremony the ‘it’ kids decide to throw a party, Alexis has a crush on Justine and decides to invite her along – she agrees.

At the party, all of the in crowd receive media messages containing insults from Darren’s phone, they assume its Jason and plan on getting him back. It transpires that Darren was bullied by this group and was actually in love with Justine; it also appears that he’s come back for some much deserved vengeance against all who wronged him while he was alive, first to feel his wrath is the whack-ass DJ of the party who urinates over his grave!

Tormented is, surprisingly, good fun. I wasn’t expecting much from it, what with the ‘slasher for the Skins generation’ quote plastered all over it, but much to my relief, it’s a genuinely funny little film with a pleasing nasty streak. Rich kids in peril isn’t going to win any originality points, but the film’s biggest source of enjoyment comes from the repulsive characters and the ugly demise that they meet. Some may be put off by the slow start that introduces us to the bullies and their day-to-day running’s – mostly partying and picking on uglier people than them; all the while building an air of menace that explodes in the final thirty minutes.

The anti-bullying message is a little on the strong side, but hey, it’s for a good cause; as nobody likes a bully… especially when they’re very attractive rich ones! The kills are also gloriously macabre, from drowning to impalement, to decapitation and amputation; these kids aren’t given an easy way out from their fate at the hands the zombified Mullet. The humour is also one of the more enjoyable aspects of the film, dark humour it may be, but it works very well; such as a scene where Mullet towel whips one of the characters so hard in the face that their eye pops from the socket, and after pummelling the zombie with a cricket bat, they have to pop it back in – ouch!

The film isn’t without its flaws, the students are NEVER in class and don’t seem to have parents, there appears to be only 3 members of faculty at the school and I never knew British schools were so… Americanised! The characters are also fantastically clichéd, but they’re all cannon fodder and they have their charms, thanks to the recognition we have with such characters from other movies – plus seeing them get their ass handed to them is so much damn fun that you’ll forgive the stock character traits.

Overall, given the budget, Tormented is a well-made little slasher; the visuals are as gorgeous as the cast and the soundtrack is effortlessly cool to match the ‘in’ clique. It’s not big, clever or even original but it’s a guaranteed pleasant surprise for anyone looking for ninety-minutes of good, disposable, British genre cinema; one of 2009’s pleasant surprised to be sure.

Directed by: Jon Wright

Written by: Stephen Prentice

Cast:
Justine - Tuppence Middleton
Tasha - April Pearson
Bradley – Alex Pettyfer
Darren Mullet - Calvin Dean
Alexis - Dimitri Leonidas
Jason – Olly Alexander
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