Also known as Rabitto horâ 3D, Tormented is a deeply personal and psychotic piece cinephiles will love to watch and re-watch. Siblings Kiriko and Daigo attend a 3D horror movie that features a stuffed white rabbit. The struggling siblings begin to see the human-sized rabbit in their dreams and day-to-day lives. Kiriko was birn mute, and Daigo traumatized after putting a dying rabbit out of misery with a brick. The pair lost their mother, leaving their father absorbed in his book crafting business and both kids without real parental influence. Life is not tilting fairly in their favor.
The story is very human and resonated with me. The film starts with a somber moment of Daigo euthanizing a dying rabbit at his school. Misunderstood by his classmates, Daigo leaves and doesn’t go back. His mute sister and he share a loving and strong link, and rely heavily on each other. Daigo is relentlessly pursued bu his sister, saved many times as his dreams drifted to close to the rabbit. It’s an easy pair to feel for and a huge part of Tormented‘s success.
Takashi Shimizu made a name in America with The Grudge, but in Japan, he was already well-regarded for the film’s original incarnation – Ju-on: The Grudge. His directional style is prone to artistic measure not often seen in 2013. Filmed dreamily, almost on an ethereal alternate Earth. Cinematographer, Chris Doyle, dissolves the world around us in Tormented, leaving us trapped in a Freudian-horror that feels like attending a county fair on potent blotter. I implore you to take this lunatic merry-go-round to an uncomfortable place.