As it is #PleasureAndPain month here at TGUK, this month’s 6 of the Best looks at the genre of torture films.
The genre has recently been subject to a resurgence in mainstream cinema, initially coming back to the attention of the masses with Eli Roth’s much publicised Hostel. The “torture porn” genre, as it is often known, has recently culminated in films such as The Human Centipede 2, which was the subject of much controversy and a “ban” by the BBFC until certain parts were cut from the movie. But the history of on screen torture is long standing with films like Marathon Man and A Clockwork Orange being considered cinema classics. So sit back, prepare to wince, hide that pair of pliers (just in case) and enjoy six of the best…..
In Eli Roth’s genre setting film, a trio of American students on a back packing trip around Europe find themselves drawn to a Hostel in an unidentified Eastern European country, lured with the promise of sex and hedonistic pleasures. But the Hostel serves to provide young victims for a business which allows the rich to pay to have a private room in an abandoned factory, which is well equipped with every tool and torture device imaginable. The payment allows them to do whatever they want to poor, helpless victims. What follows is a nightmare of pain, graphic scenes of torture and wince inducing moments. For those who are not too keen on watching people have their kneecaps removed with an electric drill, there is always the beautiful looking Jay Hernandez to take your mind off the dank basement horror on display. Hostel was also rated in our most homoerotic horror movies.
When his child is abducted and murdered by a paedophile, a young doctor takes matters into his own hands and kidnaps the maniac to exact his revenge. Keeping the killer chained up in his basement, he uses his medical knowledge to ensure that the maximum amount of pain is inflicted whilst keeping him the right side of consciousness. But as the torture continues, the doctor finds himself increasingly struggling with his morals, despite the fate of his child. Jesse Metcalf sheds his Desperate Housewives image with this brutal film which raises an interesting moral debate about how far you would go if someone hurt your loved one which is set against the cruel acts being perpetrated.BUY IT FROM AMAZON
This French Language film is one of the most notable films to come out of the French New Wave Horror Genre. A young girl seeks revenge on the people who held her captive and tortured her as a child. In her perusal of her captors, it leads her and her best friend, another victim of abuse, on a horrific journey which unfolds the mystery of who the organisation is and why they have a programme of systematic torture. This film is a disturbing mix of psychological horror and brutally realistic scenes of relentless torture, particularly in the latter half. This is extreme cinema and is certainly not for the faint hearted. If you have a low threshold in terms of screen violence, then this is a film you should avoid. If you have a strong stomach, then this film provides some original viewing. This is a good film but certainly not one for everybody.
A young couple head to Eden Lake, a beauty spot which will soon be turned into a gated community, for a romantic weekend together. After a run in with a group of hoodie wearing teens, whereby the gang leader’s beloved dog is accidentally killed, the couple find themselves on the run through the woods, relentlessly pursued by the youngsters. This tense British horror/thriller is an excellent film and is filled with realism and scenes which make you hold your breath and peek through your fingers. Michael Fassbender stars in this underrated and incredibly tense film. Watching a gang of youngsters torture the couple is uncomfortable viewing and if you ever wondered what it would look like to cut out someone’s tongue with a Stanley knife, then this is the film for you.
After three weeks of chatting on line, a thirty-two year old photographer arranges to meet a 14 year old girl in a coffee shop. After she shamelessly flirts with him, despite the age difference, she suggests going back to his house where she drugs him and ties him to a chair. She accuses him of being a paedophile and proceeds to try and extract a confession out of him. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, but has she got it wrong, and is his photographic project the real reason why he has met her, or is there something more sinister going on? This film raises a number of moral questions and has you guessing all the way through as to who is right and who is wrong; who is the victim and who is the villain. Once again featuring some moments to make you grimace, this thriller is a tense film which keeps you guessing.
I Spit On Your Grave
In this remake of the classic 1970’s film, a writer heads to the solitude of an isolated cabin in the woods to cure her writers block. But after falling foul of a group of locals, she is sexually assaulted in a disturbing attack. Managing to escape, she rebuilds her strength and exacts her revenge on each of the gang, one by one, and in fitting ways to how they had treated her. This film is vicious at times and is one of the better remakes of old films of late. Despite the graphic violence on screen, you can’t help but find yourself root for the heroine as she gets one over on the gang who attacked her. And, if you have often dreamed of Chris Hemsworth naked and tied up in front of you, then look no further.
In between visits to the theatre, watching films, photography, walking, scuba diving and singing (badly); Paul writes for TheGayUK.