Director Jon Wright wants his secondary school comedy horror to be the favourite pupil of Professor Shaun of the Dead and Ms Heathers, but his failure to study film history or show a basic grasp of storytelling ensures that Tormented makes popular E4 drama Skins look like the work of Godard. It falls into the same trap as recent ‘girls in uniform’ comedies St Trinian’s and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging of expounding all the clichés found in 80s John Hughes teen movies and 1986’s Slaughter High at the expense of essential elements such as originality and character development.
Misleadingly, the first sounds of the school bell offer false hope, as popular student Tascha (April Pearson) is escorted, blood on her face, down the school steps, in a slow-mo that could almost be Gus Van Sant’s Columbine massacre meditation, Elephant. From there it just becomes elephant dung. We flash back and are force fed stereotypes of bullies, jocks, It girls and Emo. The pupils are getting mysteriously killed off after the recent death of the school fat kid, now reaping slasher revenge. F-grade.
Selected release from Fri 22 May.