14th Jan2015

‘Torment’ DVD Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Robin Dunne, Katharine Isabelle, Stephen McHattie, Peter DaCunha, Amy Forsyth | Written by Michael Foster, Thomas Pound | Directed by Jordan Barker


Newly-weds Sarah and Cory Morgan have decided to take a relaxing holiday with Cory’s 7 year old son Liam to try and smooth over some of the teething problems Liam is having with his new Mum.

Despite the idyllic location of Cory’s isolated and luxurious country house, the family soon realise they have made a mistake in going there when they find that someone has been using the house in their absence. After having a police officer inspect the house and reassure them that there’s nothing to worry about, the couple decide that they will stay, at least for one night. Another big mistake. Their unwanted house guests will soon reveal themselves and the family will find itself caught up in a fight for their lives. What was planned as a relaxing getaway quickly turns into their worst nightmare as the family find themselves on a holiday from hell.

Psycho killers and children’s toys are both popular tropes of horror films which we know and love. So, I guess it was only a matter of time before you stumble across a film with psycho killers dressed as children’s toys. Enter Torment, the latest addition to the horror film industry which has confirmed to me that the USA has a serious psychotic killer problem. If someone ever offers to take you somewhere ‘isolated’ on a holiday involving some sort of cabin, house or cave, just say no guys. Save yourself the running and screaming and probably eventual torture/death.

Anyway, on to the film. In all honesty, I was hoping this film would be a little more The Conjuring and a little less Texas Chain Saw Massacre. At the start of the film, as the main characters creep around the house, it definitely looked like it was going that way. But soon enough, the killers come out of hiding and the creepy sounds and unknown baddies turns into full-on screaming, running and torturous fun. Depending on what you want from a film, this is either a good thing or a bad thing.

If you like your horror more in your face and ‘it’s behind you!’ then you will probably enjoy Torment. All subtlety and tension is lost quite quickly after the bad guys reveal themselves and to me, that is when it began to go downhill. I think the main problem is it wasn’t scary any more. The bad guys are on the prowl, you know it and when they leap out of the darkness all it really garnered from me was a shrug and a murmur of ‘Yep, saw that coming’.

I liked the idea of family, how it linked the main characters and the bad guys together and the overall story of Sarah trying to earn the love of Liam, but the film just didn’t feel as well put together as it could have been. In the end Torment just felt like a standard horror film which checked all the boxes but didn’t bring anything new to the table.

Torment is released on DVD on January 26th, courtesy of Altitude Film. Check out Phil’s review of the film from last years Glasgow Frightfest right here.


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