For all the lovers out there celebrating the hangover from Valentine’s Day, I guess I’ll continue my “themed” weekend reviews with the film Scorned.
If you ever read about the history of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, he has always said that the scariest monsters are not anonymous. They are the people that surround us every day. They are the people we love.
Scorned uses this logic, and asks “What if we wrong somebody that we completely underestimate?”. It’s a decent watch that’s high on gore and innuendo, but low on body counts and actual sexual situations. The actors are quite entertaining, but the story (and its outcome) is based way to much on luck (actually, it reminded me of the muddied American Psycho resolution).
Kevin (Billy Zane) is not a good guy. He has a beautiful girlfriend (Sadie, played by AnnaLynne McCord) that believes he will propose to her on their upcoming getaway. Unfortunately, he has been sleeping with Sadie’s best friend Jennifer (Viva Bianca) behind her back, and may be planning on ending things with Sadie. After a joyful romp in the lake, Sadie finds some texts on Kevin’s phone that are far from innocuous.
Sadie maces and knocks Kevin out, and she invites Jennifer to the house under the guise that the breakup has happened and Sadie has fled the house a broken woman. When Jennifer arrives, she finds Kevin tied to the bed and Sadie takes her hostage as well. The film devolves into a torture film at this point with a side story about an escaped convict.
This was a fairly bloodless torture film (albeit a few key scenes), but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any gore. Scorned replicates a scene from another film about “betrayal”, and there is a tooth extraction (which always seem to get me). There are also a few other CGI scenes that lose luster when you think about what they could have looked like with practical effects. As the film is high on sexuality (lots of PG-13 skin), I was quite surprised to find the eroticism of the film to be quite low as well.
I’ve loved Zane as an actor since Demon Knight. He’s got this likeable dooshiness to him that just can’t be duplicated (and I honestly mean that as a compliment). Sadie does a little strip tease for him and asks if he would like to be with her, and his response is “Capital idea”. I guarantee that was all Zane. Bianca does a good job in her role, but for the most part she’s asked to be pretty and then be scared. McCord shines in her role, and plays the psychopathic Sadie quite well. I actually felt she played the role better than Christian Bale did in American Psycho.
I liked the setup to this quite a bit (as it didn’t just rely on people ignoring crazy behavior). Sadie tells Kevin she’s pregnant, and because of that, she has to stop taking her lithium. As she’s already unbalanced, finding out something like this could revert her back to all sorts of previous episodes. We also see her “self medicating” through alcohol and cigarettes more and more as she transcends into this madness.
Scorned is worth a watch, but don’t think it’s very erotic. It’s a good old torture film that leaves you wondering who you shouldn’t make mad.
And if you do, don’t underestimate them. You never know…