Japanese horror is a lot of fun, although it can be an acquired taste. Some folks find it too quirky, since the Japanese culture has different views on society and what scares them. Others find it too nonsensical. But for me, I love it. These films usually hit on something primal, a deeply ingrained nerve that gives everyone an uneasy feeling, regardless of race. TORMENTED is one of those films. Deeply rooted in psychological fears, this film will haunt you long after it is over.
If you are not familiar with TORMENTED, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Well Go USA’s website:
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.
Last summer, long before my blog crashed, I reviewed another one of Takashi Shimizu’s films titled SHOCK LABYRINTH 3D. I had mixed feelings on that particular film because, although it was shot well and had a nice chill to it, the storyline was sketchy and didn’t make sense in certain parts. This is important for TORMENTED because the film pulls from SHOCK LABYRINTH in a few different ways.
Let me explain: the characters in TORMENTED go to a movie theater and see SHOCK LABYRINTH in 3D…which is where the rabbit comes from. It literally flies out of the picture and into their world. Sound crazy? Trust me…it is…but it is really cool. This “tie-in” runs throughout the film as well, even taking the characters to the hospital in which the previous movie was set.
But TORMENTED is not a sequel, nor is it technically related to the other film. It just relies on SHOCK LABYRINTH a bit to give it some plot-plugs. I really like how Shimizu was able to pull this off; if it were done any other way, it would have been cheesy.
TORMENTED is shot very well with some eye-popping 3D effects. The acting is really good as well, with a well-rounded cast that gives great performances. There’s even a bit of good looking gore (although it is very brief) for you gore-hounds out there.
This film is a wide-eyed win for me and I suggest checking it out. It has an awesome twist that I didn’t see coming and some spellbinding 3D for total immersion. The film hit store shelves earlier this week, so give it a look.