Runtime: 79 minutes
Release Date: August 28, 2010
Director: Robert Liberman
The Tortured opens with a scene of Craig (Jesse Metcalfe) screaming into a cell phone that someone kidnapped his son. Through flashbacks, we learn that his wife Elise (Erika Christensen) left him in charge of their son Benjamin when she went to work. When he headed inside to find sunscreen, a stranger (Bill Moseley, House of 1,000 Corpses) grabbed his son and took off running. Though the police later find the man, they don't find him before he kills their son.
After the stranger receives a sentence of 25 years to life, the couple decide to kidnap him and inflict the same amount of torture onto him that he gave to their own son. Though the setup of how the two actually manage to find the man and kidnap him is a little unbelievable, the torture scenes make the payoff well worth it.
The Tortured definitely asks viewers to suspend belief for awhile. Craig is a doctor, but he seemingly has knowledge of hundreds of different areas and superhuman strength. After drugging the coffee that the drivers drink when transporting the prisoner, Craig manages to steal the prison van. He drives a little too fast, which leads to an awesome scene where the van careens off the road and flips over multiple times before landing on the roof and crushing in the driver and passenger front. Somehow, Craig climbs right out of the van with only a few scratches on his face.
I'm willing to overlook that minor problem because The Tortured is so dark and disturbing. They immediately grab the stranger and tie him to a table in the basement of a house they find in the middle of nowhere. Since there is no one around for miles, they have no problem inflicting their own form of pain on the man. They place his feet in a vice and twist until bones pop, shove a lit cigar deep into his skin, and in one particularly gruesome scene, Craig places a mask over his face and covers the air vent until the man suffocates. Just as he's about to pass out, Craig gives him access to air again, and the cycle continues.
The Tortured didn't get a lot of good or positive reviews, which is definitely sad because this is one of the best horror films that I've seen lately. Despite originally being released in 2010, the film wasn't widely available until the last few months. I grabbed a copy from Redbox, which was so scratched that it wouldn't play, but I found a copy at a local rental place. It was the type of film that I didn't want to watch because it was so gory at times, but it was also the type of film that I couldn't stop watching. Add it to your list if you haven't yet seen it.