Tormented (15)

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Jon Wright's slasher horror tugs its forelock to the American high-school genre, though its vernacular ("you twisted dyke slut") clings profanely to our native tongue.

The funeral of a suburban grammar school boy (Calvin Dean) hides a grim back story; the boy, a sad roly-poly asthmatic, was mercilessly bullied by a gang of classmates, and committed suicide. Now his ghost returns to wreak vengeance on his tormentors. Tuppence Middleton – she's probably heard all the jokes by now – plays head girl Justine, whose introduction to Alex Pettyfer and his fashionable clique coincides with their increasingly gory deaths. It's sort of Grange Hill meets Friday the 13th, with Stephen Prentice's script going for laughs and larks amid the slaughter. Only once, when a website reveals the banal horror of the suicidal boy's persecution, does the film briefly but chillingly comment on the culture of bullying. The scene's unsettling power is at odds with its otherwise juvenile tone.