Tormented 3D DVD Review
Directed by Takashi Shimizu
Written by Sotaro Hayashi, Daisuke Hosaka and Takashi Shimizu
2011, Region A, 83 minutes, Not Rated
Blu-ray released on April 2nd, 2013
Hikari Mitsushima as Kiriko
Takeru Shibuya as Daigo
Teriuyuki Kagawa as Kohei
All genres have their highs and lows. This tends to be the ebb and flow of the movie industry. Right now, poltergeists and unseen apparitions are in; torture and slasher villains are out. The rest of us who devour whatever we can get our hands on, there is always something that can be enjoyed. As for one of my all-time favorite sub-genres, Japanese horror has had its fair share of ups and downs. When I heard that I'd be getting the chance to check out a new film by legendary director Takashi Shimizu (Ju-on: The Grudge), I got giddy as hell and then promptly felt like a school girl and promptly hung my head in shame. Was this at all what I was expecting? Yes and no. Oh, and this was yet another 3D horror attempt (initiate deep sigh).
Kiriko and her half-brother Daigo live with their father, a book illisturator. One day at school, Daigo beats a rabbit to death and is afraid to return because he fears being ridiculed by his classmates. As her brother's behavior continues to become more strange, Kiriko worries as her father loses himself in his latest project and ignores the both of them. After viewing a 3D horror film together, Daigo begins to have dreams involving a figure dressed in a rabbit suit. Together, the two are determined to destroy the rabbit and end the haunting. Is what they are seeing truly real or a figment of Diago's tortured imagination?
As far as plots go, I was wondering where Tormented 3D was headed from the start. My fascinating with Japanese horror has always been because of the feeling that it leaves you with after the initial viewing. Sure, there are things that we're not ready for (queue rabbit blunt trauma death) in each film that we see. Hell, even a film such as Audition carries you along just to crash you head-first into a “what the f#@k was that” wall at a specific point in the film. Maybe that's where Tormented 3D missed its mark. The mood is phenomenal; few films I've checked out recently start with a feeling as captivating as Tormented 3D does, but that about sums it up. There was no connection with the plot and its characters. Visuals can only carry an audience for so long before you're waiting for that “wow” moment.
But before you think I've just come here too trash talk, there are things that Tormented 3D did very well. The 3D (or lack there of) is something that I'll never complain about. Actually, aside from a few moments in the film, there aren't too many instances where random objects are being launched at your face unnecessarily. I don't even know why there was a 3D element added at all (enter my 3D bias), but rumor has it that director Takashi Shimizu and cinematographer Christopher Doyle butt heads because it was Doyle's first 3D film. With that said, it seemed that his expertise reigned supreme but not without Shimizu calling Doyle a “troublesome but refined old bastard.” Also, the voice-over work done by actor Hikari Mitsushima is quite fantastic and adds another element to the film, being that her character happens to be mute.
If you've run dry with your queue, don't hesitate to grab Tormented 3D. If not for anything else, enjoy the atmosphere of Tormented 3D. One can only hope that this is just a brief lull for Shimizu and we'll all be screaming and terrified in no time once again.
Video and Audio:
Tormented 3D is presented in sexy 1080p, 1.78:1 and with the Japanese 5.1 DTS-Master Audio, things look and sound pretty badass. Replay the scene where the poor defenseless bunny is crushed over and over in high definition!
Well Go USA has jam-packed this Blu-ray release with trailers for their films Bedeviled, The Shock Labyrinth and Splintered. Yeah, that's pretty much it.