Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 2nd, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: Belgium, 2014
Director: Hans Herbots
Writer: Carl Joos
Cast: Geert Van Rampelberg, Ina Geerts, Johan van Assche, Laura Verlinden, Dominique Van Malder, Roel Swanenberg, Kyan Steverlynck, Ingrid De Vos, Michael Vergauwen
BluRay released: July 7th, 2015
Approximate running times: 131 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Flemish, Dolby Digital Stereo Flemish
BluRay Release: Artsploitation Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $22.99
The screenplay for The Treatment was adapted from Mo Hayder’s novel of the same name. It is the second novel in a series of book that feature a protagonist named Jack Caffery. To date there are a total of five novels in this series.
As mentioned before the protagonist Nick Cafmeyer suffers from a childhood trauma. When he a boy his brother was abducted by a pedophile named Ivan Plettinckx, who over the years has routinely returns to taught Cafmeyer about his brothers’ disappearance. From there his past and the present then collide, when he is assigned as case that due to similarities it brings back memories of his missing brother.
From the get go, The Treatment firmly establishes a bleak tone that it maintains throughout its grueling two hour plus running time. And when it comes to the subject of pedophilia, this disturbing thriller deals with subject matter in a head on. With that being said, based solely on subject matter this is a film that many perspective viewers will find difficult to fully digest. Fortunately when it comes to showing said subject matter this film takes on the less is more approach.
From a production stand point the visuals does a great job reinforcing the tone of the film. And when it comes to characters and their back-stories this film does an excellent job establishing who everyone one is and what their motivations are. Also having such well-defined characters lends greatly to this films pacing which moves along at a deliberate pace that allows each new revelation just enough time to fully sink in.
And when it comes to the performances the entire are all very good in their respective roles. With this film standout performance coming from Geert Van Rampelberg (The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Memory Killer) in the role of this film’s protagonists Nick Cafmeyer. He does a remarkable job portraying a character whose obsession with solving his brothers’ case has him waking that fine line between sanity and insanity.
Though thrillers are known for their exploration of the darker side of humanity, it is not that often that a film dives head first into an abyss like The Treatment.
The Treatment comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. Though black levels look consistently strong and shadow detail is very good during darker scenes. There are a few minor instances related to compression during these moments. Fortunately these moments are never intrusive. Details generally look crisp, colors look accurate and there are no issues with DNR. It should be noted that the first 500 Blu-Ray copies of The Treatment are replicated discs and that future pressings will be replicated discs.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Flemish and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Flemish. The DTS-HD 5.1 is hands down the winner of these two audio mixes as it exhibits more depth and range then the other audio mix included with this release. And though this is a dialog driven movie, a lot of what makes this film work so well as it does is its use of ambient sounds and in this regard the DTS-HD 5.1 mix delivers and then some. Also included with this release are removable English and English SDH subtitles.
One more thing regarding this film’s audio, since it is a foreign film most viewers will be watching via the English subtitles and therefore would not be aware that this film’s native tongue is Flemish and not Dutch as listed on the box art for this release. Oddly enough on Artsploitation Films own website they list the language for this film as Flemish.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 17 seconds, in Flemish with English subtitles), five deleted scenes which can be played all together or individually (8 minutes 30 seconds, in Flemish with English subtitles) and a segment titled ‘Premier Footage’ (7 minutes 42 seconds, in Flemish with English subtitles).
Topics discussed in the extra titled ‘Premier Footage’ includes, the film plot, the characters which populate the film, the source novel, the cast and their thoughts on the final product.
Note: Artsploitation Films are also releasing this film on DVD.