Sunday, July 19, 2015

THE TREATMENT (2014)

THE TREATMENT (2014)

Label: Artsploitation Films

Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated 
Duration: 125 Minutes
Audio: Flemmish DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Sound with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.35:1)
Director: Hans Herbots
Cast: Geert Van Rampelberg, Ina Geerts, Johan van Assche, Laura Verlinden, Dominique Van Malder, Roel Swanenberg

The Treatment out of Belgium is based in the best-selling novel by author Mo Hayder -- a novel so popular in fact that I have actually heard of it -- which is pretty rare as I am not much of an avid reader anymore, so to even have heard of it speaks to the popularity of the book. I have no reference or comparison to make to the source material but the movie adaptation concerns a Police inspector named Nick Cafmeyer (Geert Van Rampelberg) who is investigating a series of rather dark crime concerning the rape and murder of young children in the area. The case that has similarities to the abduction of his younger brother years earlier, an unsolved crime, which seriously affects the judgements and motivations of the inspector

The tone of the films is gritty and dark, as you might expect from the subject at hand, and though it does pull away from the more obscene elements of the perverse crimes it is pitch black from start to finish. Van Rampelberg is quite good as the tense inspector, his performance is taught and driven, a lone wolf cop who is operating outside the law to find the current victim and to solve the disappearance of his younger brother, he carries around a lot of guilt and rage, and it makes for a compelling performance, though his character is not necessarily the most sympathetic, but you at least understand his motivations and drive. 

The unknown suspect is a man known to the neighborhood children as "the Troll", someone who watches the families from the trees -- which made me think of Michael Mann's Manhunter, before breaking into their homes and abducting the young boys, but not before he forces the parents into a heinous coercion of an unspeakable nature. There's plenty of twists and turns throughout, including the discovery of an underground pedophilia network operating in the area, with ties to both the most recent victim and to his brother who may yet still be alive, even at over two hours in length this one kept me on the edge of my seat for the duration of the movie, this is a top notch thriller.  

The Blu-ray release of The Treatment from Artsploitation Films is duplicated BD-R rather than the usual replicated discs we are accustomed to buying, meaning that if you flip the disc over it's the purple in color, not unlike many manufacture-on-demand titles, which might alarm a few buyers out there, but fear not, the quality of the transfer is quite good. 


If you can get past the BD-R duplication this is a very solid Blu-ray with fantastic image detail and a strong DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Sound audio presentation with optional English subtitles. Do not be scared off by the duplication, this is a high quality HD presentation with some gorgeous cinematography, a film worth your time and money from a very cool distributor dedicated to releasing original avant-garde genre cinema. 

There's a handful of extras including 9-minutes of deleted scenes and a premiere feature with numerous cast and crew interviews. Additionally there is a theatrical trailer for the movie and a trailer reel of the current crop of Artplositation movies. 

Special Features:

- Premiere Featurette (8 Mins) 
- Deleted Scenes (9 Mins) 
- Trailer (2 Mins) 
- Artsploitation Trailers: Der Samurai (2 Mins), Horsehead (2 Mins), The House with 100 eyes (2 Mins), Reckless (2 Mins) 

The movie is a serious punch in the gut, the awful subject matter is always something I find hard to digest, and it is both a brutal and unsettling watch, but if you can get past the stomach-churning violence against the children this is a pretty fantastic crime-thriller, highly recommended. 4/5 

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