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THE TORMENTING (2016)

aka POIGNANT
Directed by Jaspreet Kaur
Written by Jaspreet Kaur & Prabhjot Bhangu
Starring Laura Mitchell, Steve Baran, Eric Schweig, Gemma Martini, Corinna Rennie, Mia Fiona Kut, Emily Bandel, Annalise Gardner, Priya Rajaratnam
Find out more about this film here, @thefilm2016, and on Facebook here

A group of people decide to buy a building in a joint funded effort, but the longer they stay in the place, the more they feel as if it may be haunted. This leads the main investor Amy (Laura Mitchell) to reach out to a police detective in an attempt to uncover an age old crime involving a living girl and a dead one to track down the real killer.


Inexplicably once named POIGNANT, THE TORMENTING is a film filled with many inexplicable things. The film seems to have been made by a lot of people who have seen ghost stories and LAW AND ORDER episodes, yet really has no clue as to how to integrate the two elements. The film never really knows what type of film it wants to be. Does it want to be a ghost story? A crime story with supernatural elements? A police procedural? A haunted house film? Yes. But it does none of it very well.

This has everything to do with some key blunders that go one throughout the entire film. First and foremost, the story is strictly dullsville. One completely flat scene plays out after another, each sucking up valuable time best spent elsewhere the longer you spend with this turkey. The acting doesn’t help as the film seems to be populated with what I can only describe as soft core porn actors. None of them get naked or anything, but the flat relay of words between them all, coupled by some porn like sound issues which makes everyone feel as if they are being dubbed (though they are not, it seems) makes every scene pretty ineffectual. The soft lighting filters by which the film is presented also takes away any edge to the film, which is not a quality that should be sought after in a horror film or a crime film. And I guess, the worst crime of THE TORMENTING or POIGNANT is that it simply isn’t scary. The score sure wants you to think something scary or edgy is going on with it’s ever-droning, repetitive, and overly dramatic tones even when it is inappropriate to be that way. And there are a few creepy looking ghost girls floating about and a hooded assailant, but because of everything listed above, none of it will cause even the slightest of chills.

Sorry, but THE TORMENTING is just a tepid attempt at horror that will cause heavy eyes instead of tingles down your spine. Skip it.