I just saw the follow up to Malevolence a few days ago. I think I'll have to watch it a few more times before doing a full blown review, but right now I'm thinking Bereavement > Malevolence. It's a sprinkle of TCM, a dabble of Psycho, with a dash of stalk and slash. Nothing anybody here has never seen before, but I thought it came together nicely with some dark twists at the end and a journey into the psychosis of a madman that will unnerve the tame. The most compelling part of the story for me was the utter tragedy of all the people involved, everyone is fucked from the first frame. It’s more than another dead teen flick; it deals more with the nature of tragedy, how in an instance someone can come along and take away everything you know and care about, and the impression violence and evil has on the development of a child’s psychological makeup. Malevolence showed us the boogeyman Martin Bristol would later become; Bereavement sets the table in a way that doesn’t insult the viewer’s logic.
A child (Martin Bristol) afflicted with a rare disease, one that prevents the young boy from feeling pain, is kidnapped from his backyard swing in a scenario that would give any warm blooded parent a serious case of the heebie jeebies. Later the same child is subjected to psychological and physical torture that would break the resolve of full grown men. The movie seems to suggest that Martin’s nerve affliction helped him survive the trials of the madman he’s held captive by, but the psychological damage done to him is irreversible. Nurture and nature have equal play in his development, but due to the perfect storm of tragic circumstance he becomes a living ghost, unfettered by the morals of modern society; Martin is a silent stalking killer, a moon faced boogeyman, and his “father”, his cruel captor, seems proud of his son before Martin swiftly buries an ax into his chest. And why not…he has become a twisted reflection of his own lunatic teachings…keeping a legacy of evil alive that had begun with his father..
Some might call this a torture porn, but that’s really not the case. There was one scene that displays torture that goes far beyond psychological; but I believe the movie was just playing to the conventions of the genre. You have to add a little visceral punch to your product when you wear influences like TCM, Psycho, and Halloween on your sleeve; the rest of the “torture” is purely mental, like in a Buffalo Bob from Silence of the Lambs kind of way.