In Tormented (aka Berkshire County) a teenage girl named Kylie goes to school one day to discover the chad she reluctantly went down on at a costume party not only video taped the entire thing, but shared the video with all of her classmates. Although the boy said he and his girlfriend had broken up, it turns out they haven’t (shocking, right?) and the girlfriend’s more pissed at Kylie than her douchebag boyfriend.
The bullying doesn’t stop at school. When Kylie gets home, it turns out even her mother blames Kylie for the video leaking. After all, this is a fairly generic horror movie: parents just don’t understand.
So what does this subplot have to do with the rest of the movie? I’m not entirely sure. I guess it’s about a bullied young girl having to choose between facing her fears or dying horribly, but Kylie’s already been through too much by the time the movie brings in its horror elements. Having a family of masked psychos break into the house where she’s babysitting a couple of kids seems needlessly cruel here. Maybe they were trying to make some kind of statement, but if that’s the case it’s little more than an after-school special tacked onto the beginning of a slasher film.
And I know teenagers are dumb (and even dumber in movies than they are in real life), but there’s a part where Kylie gets a chance to get away. She’s sitting behind the wheel of her car, keys in the ignition, when the 911 dispatcher tells her, “You’re better off staying where you are.” Kylie agrees before getting out of her car and going back into the house that’s under assault by masked maniacs.
I’m not saying I was a smart teenager (I wasn’t), but I know for a fact I would have groaned at that scene just as loudly as I did as an adult.
I think that’s the biggest problem with Tormented: you’ve got fine direction, a really good actress, and competent filmmaking, but a silly script. This is basically You’re Next Lite. There are a few surprises, a lot of boneheaded decisions, stupidly incompetent cops, and a twist ending which will surprise no one who’s ever seen a slasher film before. Even so, I’d be interested to see what the director and some of the on-screen talent could do with a better story.