Following the Keira Knightley-starring 'The Hole', 'Tormented' is yet another horror set in an English secondary school where the bullied becomes the bully. Only this time the bullied bully is bullying from beyond the grave - a sentence more complicated than the plot.
'Stormbreaker's Pettyfer plays the leader of the 'cool' kids who have been making life hell for one student, Darren (Dean). After he takes his own life, instead of mourning, the students celebrate the fact that he is no longer around. However, a series of unexplained text messages from Darren's phone gets their attention as they realise his ghost has returned to exact revenge.
While the gore factor is not unimpressive - with a castration and spike hanging added to the usual guillotine, pencil and water-induced deaths - these scenes are rushed together towards the end. Incomparable on so many levels, what sets 'Tormented' apart from other teen horrors such as 'Carrie', 'Fright Night' and 'Scream' is the sex factor. There's plenty of nudity to add to the appeal for the target demographic, which glosses over the terror and suspense of the aforementioned classics.
The film's anti-bullying message is clear, although I'm not sure it's what campaigners had in mind. Also, Darren's ghost loses perspective halfway through and ends up targeting the handful of people who were on his side.
Frustratingly, this ghost makes the rules up as he goes along. More zombie than Candyman, his feisty victims knock about this posthumous vigilante but these are merely delay tactics. And Darren needs an inhaler to overcome (no doubt stress-induced) bouts of asthma. What's the worst that could happen without it? He dies... again?!
Like 'The Hole', this low budget British film is more a launching pad for a couple of young actors than it is a gripping horror.
Writer Stephen Prentice and director Jon Wright have successfully captured the humour and minutia of high school juveniles. However, a lack of action and entertaining dialogue makes the 91 minutes pass slowly.