Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Black Torment (DVD Review) - Kino Redemption

Directed By: Robert Hartford-Davis
Written By: Derek Ford, Donald Ford
Starring: John Turner, Heather Sears, Ann Lynn
Color/86 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: April 29, 2014

The Film
Richard Fordyce is returning home to his family's estate with his new wife. Upon his return he doesn't quite find the warm welcome he was expecting as he is being accused of rape and murder by the locals. Knowing he hasn't been home in many months, Richard fights back against his accuser's until guilt from a previous marriage and some ghostly happenings have Richard questioning his own sanity.

THE  BLACK TORMENT is a Gothic horror thriller, which burns slow and lets the psychological trauma build. Is Richard guilty of the crimes the locals have apparently seen him commit? Is he losing his mind? Is someone setting him up? These are the questions you'll be asking as you watch the film which aside from a few standout moments is rather boring. The good moments are blessed with some eery photography and imagery but mostly I struggled to stay engaged with the film as those moments were few and far between and all too often the movie turned into an episode of Scooby Doo with people seemingly going in and out of random doors accusing each other. By the time the truth is revealed it comes as no surprise and left little impression on me.

THE BLACK TORMENT isn't a terrible film, there are a handful of strong moments which carried me through. The in-between however, turns into a clock-watching exercise waiting for the next worthwhile moment to come or the credits to roll. I'm a big Gothic horror fan and was rather disappointed with this effort.

The Audio & Video
Kino Redemption have released THE BLACK TORMENT on DVD with a solid 1.66:1 widescreen transfer. The color palette is a bit muted, which adds to the dreary English setting and the haunting atmosphere of the mansion. The print used was kept in rather good condition with only a few intermittent scratches and heavy grain. A single Dolby 2.0 track is included and gets the job done without a problem. There is no background noise to speak of and dialogue comes across clearly without any issues.

The Extras
The lone extra is a 13 minute video interview with director Robert Hartford-Davis where he discusses his views on film and film making. 

The Bottom Line
Fans of Gothic horror will want to give THE BLACK TORMENT a look to add to their collection as it features some creepy images and psychological horror.


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