Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I just watched Jon Wright's Tormented - the film he made before Grabbers. I'm not sure if I liked it, but I didn't hate it. It was strange.
Like Grabbers, there is some comedy involved here, but it's not as obvious as in his follow up. There's an awkwardness and clumsy quality to the whole of it that makes it uncomfortable to watch at times. The camera work is overly kinetic, the pace is odd and the story seems like it could be far stronger if the running time was shaved by 20 or 30 minutes.
HOWEVER, this is not a "bag on it" review. I still enjoyed the film. The point here is that Grabbers does many things better than Tormented which is a good thing. I was actually happy that I viewed the films in this order. It shows a progression forward that got me excited about seeing future works by Mr. Wright.
Tormented is somewhat basic. It opens on a school memorial service for a boy that killed himself. The boy's one friend calls out that various people in the school tormented (Heh? Heh?! ok...he didn't come out and SAY tormented...) the boy and that they were all hypocrites for being at the memorial. Long and short, there was a "Beautiful People" group that teased and harassed the boy to death. One boy one, said group gets nasty comments texted to them via the dead boy's cell phone. Death and violence ensues with - spoiler - graphic violence and some supernatural turns.
Tormented has another level to it as well. While the device of bullies and vengeance is really nothing new, there's a grand show made of the other end of the spectrum that is overlooked from time to time. Those folks that may not bully directly, but may not jump in to help the victim either. I liked this aspect of the film. Sadly, I've been that person before with disastrous results. (The girl I didn't stand up for in 3rd grade turned out to be a model later in life. She had the pleasure of smirking at me and slowly shaking her head no when I said we should hang out sometime.) :)
While the main plot is very well known, there are a few fun twists and takes on this familiar, genre classic that I enjoyed. Again, while I wasn't thrilled overall, I wasn't sad about the time I spent watching, either. All in all, it's worth a viewing.
Jon Wright's OUR ROBOT OVERLORDS (currently set for a 2014 release) will be the tie breaker. Will it be even better than Grabbers or will it drop back to Tormented levels? I'm hoping the upward and onward progression continues.
TORMENTED can be found on YouTube at the moment.