Film Review: Tormented (2011)

SYNOPSIS:

Daigo doesn’t speak anymore. Not since he killed that rabbit on the playground at school. His sister, Kiriko, is worried. He’s bullied. He sleepwalks. And their father is no help, trapped in his own grief and illustrating fantasy worlds where families are happily reunited and no one dies. They never should have gone to that 3D movie. The one with the stuffed rabbit that floated out of the screen. Now Daigo is missing. He’s in danger, and Kiriko will have to follow him into a world of nightmares to discover the truth. And the truth is worse than any dream. From the legendary director of THE GRUDGE, Takashi Shimizu takes an unflinching look into childhood fears, the ties that hold a family together, and bloody secrets that won’t stay dead.

REVIEW:

From the Japanese Asian horror genre comes this new entry into the 3D arena. Now if you are going by title alone, you are probably saying to yourself…how many films need to come out this and last year with the name “Tormented“? Well, I agree…..it’s time to let that word go and move onto other inventive titles. It also makes it hard to keep track of considering that it “feels” like deja vu, whenever another “Tormented” film title arrives on my desk.

But, besides that little soap box moment, there were some really cool things I have to mention on this film. Before that, let me just say, that the storyline to this is…well pretty involved. I got the gist of it, however, it’s just one of those films, you probably need to watch twice to catch all the premise changes. While alot of that is also rooted in Asian culture, the film might be too heavy in total for American audiences to “get” every suggestion. Directed by Takashi Shimizu (of the Grudge), we do get some of his trademark film inclusions. Namely, the use of a closet space, the use of long hair (here and there) and even a few “Grudgy” moments. Though not alot……. New this round is a young girl who is haunted by a stuffed bunny rabbit. Yep…and the bunny is kinda creepy (in nice or evil form)

Daigo who is having issues at school due to a rabbit-killing moment has decided to give up talking (as well as attending classes). His sister Kiriko who works at the school tends to look after him due to their mother’s passing away. Dad is pretty much non -existent (most of the time) preferring to stay in his studies and build cutout children’s books. His current project is a book called “The Little Mermaid”. Note: Viewers may want to pay attention to some of the book aspects, as they correlate with the “some” of the story explanations……..

Though beyond his family drama, Daigo is beginning to have nightmares. Upon attending a horror movie showing with his sister, Daigo manages to interact with the film and grab a stuffed bunny out of it. The bunny who befriends him turns out to have an evil side which quickly turns dreams into night mares. Now if this all sounds a little weird, it’s because there is alot for surreal moment which jump from hallucinations to reality to …well Kiriko just being a bit nutty. No worries though, as the story has its moments and a clever “twist within a twist” premise. The details can get a bit heady and sometimes even get lost but it does it with some cool 3D visuals to keep us going. Cool edited tracks make it all work and elevate certain parts above the norm.

The version I got was in 2D, but you could tell that the filmmakers “really” wanted you to experience this film in 3D (there are plenty of 3D bubbles to attribute to that).

Tormented 3D” is weird but exciting taking a few different directions than …well these “Grudge” movies. It’s got enough new elements to make it a worthy watch. I’m not so sure I really got the ending, but all I can say is it was hinted at earlier. For fans of Takashi Shimizu’s style, you do get the occasional creepy female stare here an their…which feels right in line with what you crave from this director.

One of things I loved in this film was the use of transitions. In hand full of scenes, the footage moves from one scene and back into the other making for a pretty cool visual inclusion. I began to wonder if the new “Silent Hill” movie maybe borrowed some of the bunny bits from this film, but I’m sure to the Asian culture it has a deeper rooted meaning. “Tormented 3D” is now available of bluray and worth at least one run thru. You’ll love moments and scratch your head over others…which come to think of it is also a trend in Asian horror…..Evil Bunny…..cool!

Tormented (2011)

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