When I received an e-mail that Shimizu was going to be in town promoting his new movie “Tormented 3D” for the Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF), you better believe I jumped at the opportunity to interview him and see it in a rare theatrical screening. I was blown away by the twisted tale that unraveled in front of me. I knew there was so much going on that I would need to see the movie again. Thanks to Well Go USA, I got the chance with its release on Blu-ray.
After seeing a 3D horror movie featuring a stuffed white rabbit, siblings Kiriko and Daigo begin seeing it in a life-sized form. The giant creature stalks them and seems to be trying to tell them something. What is the rabbit attempting to communicate to them and what sort of psychological doorways will it open?
Director Shimizu told me “Tormented 3D” was a companion piece to his film “The Shock Labyrinth 3D.” I never realized how much it relied on “The Shock Labyrinth 3D” until I saw it again. It’s basically the trigger for all the misery Daigo and Kiriko suffer through in this movie. It’s the proverbial key that unlocks the dark recesses of their minds.
I know the idea of a giant white bunny rabbit running around grabbing people and stalking them might sound absurd. Trust me when I tell you, Shimizu takes the seemingly goofy concept and twists it around in your psyche to the extent that you’ll never want to participate in an Easter Egg Hunt or read the story of Peter Cottontail ever again.
“Tormented 3D” will thrill home audiences with its clean picture and bombastic 5.1 surround sound. The eerie sound effects will leave viewers clenching their teeth and nervously awaiting the next frightening moment. I did feel at times the picture was a bit too clear and lacked the warmth of a movie shot on actual film.
A lack of special features for the Blu-ray release of “Tormented 3D” is tragic. A 3D version of the movie and a trailer is all that’s included. If you get the chance to see the movie in 3D, you should do so. Shimizu told the audience at the screening I attended he preferred everyone see it that way. I expected a “Making of” featurette since “The Shock Labyrinth 3D” Blu-ray had one. I was disappointed not to find one.
If you love Asian cinema, “Tormented 3D” is an essential addition to your collection. It’s not likely you’ll only watch the film once, as it takes several viewings to truly take everything in that it offers visually. This is so much more than a typical horror film and offers an emotional journey as well as a thrill ride.