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British bratpack zombie flick has top-class gore.

TORMENTED *** 15

AS British zombie slasher flicks go, this is a good attempt at trying to beat the Americans at their own game.

But as hard as we try we still can't outdo Hollywood.

We can successfully parody it, with a knowing wink, a la Shawn of the Dead, but trying to copy it is dawn of the dead stupid.

Not even a good looking cast, slick editing, or rivers of fake blood can hide the naff backdrop of an inner city high school and wannabe 90210ers who hold pool parties and drive soft tops to school. It's like trying to make Milngavie look like Malibu.

This is Grange Hill meets revenge of the killer zombie meets Skins. And I guess the best way to enjoy Tormented is to just go with the flow, leave you're brain at the door and ignore the dot to dot plot.

Stormbreaker's Alex Pettyfer plays Bradley, the square jawed and thoroughly nasty leader of the school in-crowd whose unrelenting bullying of overweight Darren Mullett (Calvin Dean) drives him to suicide.

Tuppence Middletone impresses as head girl Justine Fielding who falls for the in-crowd's charming Alexis (Dimitri Leonidas) before coming to her senses as she realises he and they are a bunch of fickle losers who tormented Darren to his grave.

But Darren gets his revenge by returning as a wheezing asthmatic zombie. He may be an altogether new breed of zombie killer but the rest of the film is littered with stereotypes.

Skins' April Pearson, though, is excellent as the venom tongued 'queen bitch' Tasha, Tom Hopper plays Bradley's hulking lapdog and sidekick. And there's a bunch of Emo Goths obsessed with death, as well as a mop-haired, bespectacled geek (Olly Alexander) who doesn't deserve his fate.

We know who will die and because the killer is revealed early in the movie there's zero suspense or genuine chills. But the film does deliver a high gore quotient which should keep fans of the genre happy and there's a certain uneasiness to the pleasure you'll get from watching this bunch of characters receiving their just desserts.

CAPTION(S):

HEAD GIRL: Middleton SCHOOL BULLIES: But the in-crowd get their comeuppance
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 22, 2009
Words:364
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