This Little Piggy Went “Ehh”
Click Image To Purchase “Tormented” On Amazon!
Kylie Winters (Alysa King – Chiller’s Slasher, Bed of the Dead) is your fairly average teenage girl. Despite her being notably attractive, she’s somewhat shy and has her share of adolescent self-esteem issues. When we first meet her, she’s dressed in costume for a high-school pre-Halloween party. You know the kind of party I’m talking about. It’s the type of party that usually involves underage drinking and lots of clumsy groping. The kind of party that parents usually never knew about, or at least weren’t supposed to. Ah, memories! If you don’t share these kind of memories, then I’ll shed a tear for your high school years.
You can tell just how “shy” Kylie actually is by the exorbitant amount of cleavage that she’s showing off in her sexy Little Red Riding Hood costume. As she more than adequately fills the costume, I find it a little difficult to believe that this is the type of girl that doesn’t get asked out or hit on fairly often, especially since most high-school boys tend to be so hormonal that they would dry hump a telephone pole if given the opportunity. Well, at least I was. I kinda still am.
She seems to be waiting for someone. And we do meet that “someone”, a guy named “Marcus” (Aaron Chartrand), when he enters the party only seconds later. Judging from the reaction that his entrance brings, it’s fairly obvious that Marcus is one of the more popular guys on campus. Just like your “real” high-school experiences, this means that he’s also a douchebag of gigantic proportions. And just like a lot of guys’ “real” high-school experiences, I highly suggest you keep staring at Kylie’s cleavage, because staring is as close as you are going to get now that this dickhead has made the scene.
He uses the old “the music is too loud to talk over” line to coerce Kylie into accompanying him somewhere “more private”. And by “more private”, he means the kitchen, which is only the next room over. Like most hormonal teenage (or older) guys, he wastes no time in making his advances towards her. At first, Kylie seems somewhat hesitant to his “moves”…. but she doesn’t seem to put up much of a fight when he says that he wants to put his cock in her mouth.
Despite the implications that Kylie may not be very “experienced”, she puts 100% effort into the job at hand (and mouth). So much so, that she understandably doesn’t notice Marcus’s friends filming the whole ordeal from outside the kitchen window. What is inexcusable though is that she never notices the cell phone that Marcus holds mere inches over her bobbing head to film his “director’s cut” of the moment. Now, don’t get me wrong. I, personally, would feel honored that someone is that into puffing on my junk. That said, I’d still question how they managed to be oblivious to things happening mere inches away from them. No. No, I really wouldn’t.
By the following morning, the “sex tape” has begun circulating around the school and Kylie is now the subject of jokes, insults, harassment, and slut-shaming. Her friends have turned against her. Marcus is seen bragging about the ordeal with his friends. His ex and her friends corner and accost Kylie. Her reputation is ruined. As if the day weren’t going badly enough, Marcus then asks her to tell the school principal that she knew about the filming so that he doesn’t get expelled. She flees from the school and drives home in tears, but upon arriving home she must deal with more shame from her mother, who has by now also been notified by the school of the tape.
Now Halloween night, Kylie drives out to a babysitting gig. The house is located in the middle of nowhere, far from any other homes. As this is a horror film, it’s more than a little convenient that the setting is far from any sort of “help” or rescue. It’s also more than a little cliched. As she drives, she passes a truck from a pork processing plant parked in a clearing on the side of the road. The truck itself isn’t particularly noteworthy…. , but the person wearing a pig mask standing next to the truck sure is. Enough so for Kylie to do a double-take. That said, she keeps on driving.
She arrives at the house as the parents are preparing to leave. Kylie’s evening starts out quietly and mundane enough. Whether as a reaction to her personal problems or to comments from the kids’ mother, Kylie starts off the night with a bit of an attitude. Honestly, she’s more than a little rude and aloof towards the children, especially the young boy. She can even be clearly seen rolling her eyes at him when he speaks on a couple different occasions, although the poor child is being nothing but sweet towards her.
The kids manage to talk Kylie into not being such a moody bitch and playing a game of “hide and seek” with them. As they play, the house phone rings. Kylie answers it, but quickly hangs up when the prankster on the other end asks the age-old question about whether her refrigerator is running. She resumes playing with the kids, but soon has to get them ready for bed.
The kids now in bed, Kylie begins walking the house, somewhat in awe of the place. She receives another prank call during this time, this call significantly more eerie and worrisome than the last. She hangs up on the caller and returns to inspecting the house, only to soon be alerted to a banging at the front door. She looks out the peephole to see a figure standing a few steps back, dressed in a pig mask. A child is the one knocking, the top of the pig mask it is wearing barely visible at the bottom of the peephole’s view.
Kylie hesitantly opens the door to find the child with an open sack. She asks if he would like some candy, to which he replies with a nod. Kylie walks only a couple of steps away to grab a few pieces of leftover candy from that evening’s supply. She returns to the door to find that the young boy has retreated a few steps from the doorway. Kylie steps out to fill the kid’s bag, but as she does, a brutish man in a pig mask rushes in from the side and tries to grab her. Kylie fights her way back inside and tries to slam the door, but the big burly figure has fit his arm through and tries to grab her. There is some sort of symbol carved into his arm.
Kylie manages to force the man’s arm out, slamming and locking the door shut. She rushes to the kitchen and attempts to call the police from the home’s landline, but as is the case in all good (and “not-so-good”) horror films, the phone line is dead. She then attempts to use her cell phone, which surprisingly works. The call gets through to a male dispatcher, only to be disconnected within a matter of seconds. She calls back and this time is connected with a female operator. She informs the dispatcher of the invaders. The dispatcher puts her on hold while they attempt to relay the matter to police.
The dispatcher returns to the line, but by now, Kylie is in full panic mode. She runs through the house pulling curtains shut and locking doors. She’s so caught up in what she’s doing that she doesn’t notice that the young girl, Phoebe, has woken up and come downstairs. She tells the girl to go back to her room and warns her to hide. Phoebe runs off, seemingly obeying the command, only to be heard screaming seconds later. Kylie follows the sound and finds the front door wide open, the girl’s teddy bear laying on the floor by it.
Phoebe is missing. The masked assailants have made it inside the house. This leads to an extended game of cat and mouse between Kylie and the intruders, one that does not prevent the young boy, Sam, from being snatched up and carried off as well.
Kylie makes it out of the house and to her car, and even has a clear path of escape. However, “something” stops her from leaving. Maybe it’s her moral compass not wanting to see these kids get slaughtered. Maybe she just doesn’t want her reputation further damaged by allowing them to die while she escaped. Either way, she resolves herself to go back and rescue the kids.
Kylie frees the kids from cages in the pork wagon, but a couple unfortunate souls pay for this move. From here out, Kylie’s game of “cat and mouse” with her assailants takes up the majority of the film’s runtime, although it is worth noting that Kylie and the pigfolk don’t actually directly encounter each other very often. Police officers eventually arrive on the scene, but as is the case with most law enforcement in horror films, they prove to be more than inept.
Marcus also resurfaces to make Kylie’s night just a little worse, but by that time, Kylie is a changed girl. No longer willing to be the victim, she is prepared to fight back in her efforts to save the kids, as well as save herself. Kinda like “Laurie Strode” by the end of the original Halloween, which is a more than fitting comparison as Tormented features a couple of ideas that almost seem lifted from later films in the Halloween franchise.
Despite feeling at times like a cheap knock-off of The Strangers or When a Stranger Calls, Tormented unfortunately features little of those films’ sense of tension. There just aren’t many scenes where you feel that Kylie or the children are in immediate danger. Although the film does feature a couple of death sequences, they aren’t very shocking or gory, and there is no personal connection to most of the characters that are killed off, so you really won’t care much when they do die.
Tormented is the feature debut from director Aubrey Cummings. The film was originally titled “Berkshire County”, but later retitled to the much more generic sounding Tormented seemingly so that it could be sold aside another release from the same distributor, entitled Torment. Beside the similar names and cover art, the 2 films have nothing to do with each other.
King and Chartrand give credible performances, but seeing as they are the only developed characters in the film, they kinda have to. While it may not be fair to call it a “bad” movie, there just isn’t much besides the similarities to other better known horror films to make Tormented really stand out. Worth watching once, but ultimately forgettable.
Warning: Trailer Contains Spoilers