Jesse Metcalfe’s performance isn’t great, either. His portrayal of Craig Landry is better than Christensen's performance, but nothing to rejoice over.
As I mentioned previously, the script isn't well written. I'm disappointed with Marek Posival's feature screenwriting debut. The story was undoubtedly inspired by The Last House on the Left. And that isn’t a bad thing. Everyone has to draw inspiration somewhere. However, I was appalled to see that the male lead in The Tortured was a physician. It was as though Posival just lifted major plot points and characters directly out of The Last House on the Left. Of course, The Tortured has a few differences that keep it from playing out like a direct rip-off of its much superior muse piece, but, it borders dangerously close to plot infringement.
What really did the film in was the excessive and overly zealous nature of the Landry's retaliation. It plays out quite sickeningly. In films like The Last House on the Left, the performances are realistic enough that the audience sees the family as justified in their actions. In The Tortured, the weak performances fail to convince the viewer of the grief the couple is going through and make it impossible to stomach what they put their son's killer through. The Landrys come off as a couple of kill happy psychopaths. Their zest for torture comes straight out of left field. One moment, they are grieving, and the next they have kidnapped and begun to persecute their son's killer in the worst ways imaginible.
The Landry’s decision to kidnap and torture the child murderer is made even more implausible by the fact that their victim is sentenced to 25 years to life. It's not as if he went free on a technicality and there's no self defense aspect like there was in Last House. It's really just torture for the sake of torture. Their revenge is so brutal and mean spirited that I couldn't get behind their actions. Normal people don't behave this way. These are not average citizens who have been pushed to their limit and snapped, like the protagonists in films such as I Spit on Your Grave (1978) or Mother's Day (1980). These are two people who would have to have been sick as hell before their son was taken from them. But, the film never addresses that, it just commands the audience to accept The Landry's sick revenge as justified.
The Tortured is now available via VOD, but don’t bother. If you’re in the mood for revenge, check out a classic like The Last House on the Left (1972), Mother’s Day (1980), or I Spit on Your Grave (1978).