Friday, October 9, 2015

Month of Horror continues with Berkshire County (Tormented)

Growing tired of sifting through all the boring horror movies Netflix had to offer me, I decided to stop by a Red Box on my way home from work to see if their horror flick offerings were any better. I remember reading the description for Tormented on Red Box's website, but none of the kiosks around my home stocked the movie. Needlessly to say I was surprised when this one popped up.

From what I can gather, this movie, originally released as Berkshire County in Canada, is an independent Canadian film. Apparently it was given a new name (Tormented) and a new cheesy movie poster for it's U.S. home video release. Despite the poster and it's equally lame tag line, the movie isn't that bad.

There are a lot of sub-genres of horror these days. To me it seems like most of the modern horror movies being released are of the possession, ghost, supernatural type. I could care less for these in most cases. Every once in awhile I may come across a decent movie of that style, but where has the modern slasher movies gone to? While Berkshire County isn't exactly your typical slasher movie, it's the closest I've found in my recent search for horror movies in the month of October. With previous movies such as "When a Stranger Calls", "The Strangers" and "You're Next", there is a new sub-genre of horror...home invasion. 

Berkshire County doesn't really offer anything new to this genre. It's your typical movie where a girl is stuck in a house w/ invaders trying to get in. However don't write it off just yet. Where as the protagonists in "You're Next" wore creepy plastic animal masks, the protagonists in Berkshire County wear some pretty awesome looking pig masks. It seems as if these killers have a real pig fetish too. There isn't a lot of gore in the movie, but what there is was handled quite well and looked fairly realistic.

The movie opens up w/ your female lead, a high school girl who battles low self-esteem, getting a little friendly with a guy at a Halloween party. Let's just say the whole ordeal is video taped and quickly spreads through the High school. Now the purpose of this I'm not sure. Are we supposed to feel even more sorry for the lead female as we already know she is going to be victimized and terrorized in a house at some point in the movie? Personally they could have left out the sexual innuendo part and came up with something a little better to set the stage for the main character. Thankfully though the rest of the movie is free of anything sexual.

I don't want to give much of the story away. Kind of hard too when the story isn't really explained. Much like with "The Strangers", there doesn't appear to be a story. It seems as if it's just another movie where the protagonists are killing "just because". Frankly I hate crap like that. I wish there was a little more back story on why the killers were doing what they were doing...or at least a tiny tidbit of background info on them and their "pig-mobile" they drive around.

The acting I found to be pretty good. Actress Aylsa King (lead character, Kylie) I thought gave a pretty good performance. She appeared to be genuinely frightened through most of the home invasion scenes. I'm not quite sure however that I bought her "bad ass" self that appears later in the movie. I also wondered why she didn't appear to be limping or why she didn't appear to be in pain towards the end after what had happened to her. I already commented on how good the pig masks looked, but how on earth did the big hulking guy make such authentic pig noises?! I wasn't expecting that. The only real gripe I have is the ending scene. It seems forced and pegged on at the last minute. Once you watch the movie I think you'll see what I mean and agree with me.

Overall I'd say this is a slightly above average movie. It's by far the best movie I've viewed in the first 9 days of October for sure. This movie did make some noise in it's native land of Canada and I can see why. To be a independent movie, it's well put together for the most part. I hear that this was the first movie for the director Audrey Cummings. In my opinion it's not a bad start to a directing career. I should mention there is a brief post-credits scene so make sure you don't stop the DVD when the credits first roll. If you're interested in this movie make sure to check out your local Red Box or you can rent and stream it on Amazon.

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