Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 26th, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2011
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Writers: Sôtarô Hayashi, Daisuke Hosaka, Takashi Shimizu
Cast: Hikari Mitsushima, Takeru Shibuya, Tamaki Ogawa, Nao Ohmori, Teruyuki Kagawa, Momoko Tanabe, Akira Takahashi
BluRay released: April 2nd, 2013
Approximate running time: 83 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Japanese, Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Tormented was directed by Takashi Shimizu, who is most known for his contributions to The Grudge film series. Tormented also marks his second foray into the 3-D format. With his previously 3-D film being The Shock Labyrinth (clips from that film also make an appearance in Tormented).
Key collaborators include composer Kenji Kawai (Ghost in the Shell, IP Man) and cinematographer Christopher Doyle (Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love).
Narrative wise, Tormented can at times be frustrating, since the plot is knee deep with ambiguity. And though some of this aforementioned misdirection does play a part in the overall scheme of things. In the end things are not resolved with crystal clear clarity.
With that being said, any of the aforementioned short comings of this film’s narrative and distribution of information all but becomes secondary, since it quickly becomes apparent that this film’s is first and foremost all about the spectacle of what is unfolding onscreen. And in this regard, the film actually does very well.
When talking about a 3-D themed film. It is only a matter of time before the focus then shifts towards how said effect is used in the film. For me 3-D has always been more hit, then miss. With the majority of the examples that I have seen being in the latter category. And though Tormented is not going to be the film that sways naysayers of the 3-D format. The film does show a considerable improvement, when compared to Takashi Shimizu’s previous foray into the world of 3-D, The Shock Labyrinth.
Besides being a movie filmed in 3-D, Tormented is also a Horror film and when compared to other J Horror films. The end result is anything but frightening, in fact the tone of the film at times almost feels like a send up of the J Horror genre. With one of that genre’s most iconic characters, the creepy looking girl with long hair covering her face making a very brief cameo in Tormented.
Tormented comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This BluRay disc contains two versions of the film, the 2D version and the #D version of the film. The image look clean and detailed throughout. Colors look nicely saturated, black levels look very good and there are no problems with compression. The 3-D version of the film does a good job with the format, even if the 3-D moments do tend to draw attention to themselves.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Japanese and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Japanese. As good as the transfer for this release looks. The audio is all the more impressive, especially the DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Japanese. Which does a superb job with the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack and robust when it needs too. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film and trailers for other titles also available on from Well Go USA. Overall Tormented gets a strong audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.