To us, The Treatment plays much like I Saw the Devil; it's a fantastic, well-made movie on all fronts, but damn it if it isn't also bleak and uncomfortable as hell to watch at the same time. We're glad that Artsploitation Films sees the beauty and merit in disturbing films like this, or else we probably wouldn't even know that it exists, and what a shame that would be.
Disclaimer: We don't usually put warnings before our reviews, because you're adults, and as Horror fans, you're built tough enough to endure even the nastiest of on-screen things. If however the topic of sexual abuse, especially as it pertains to children, is something that you just cant (or choose not to) deal with while watching a movie, then you may want to skip this one, as it centers around that topic in a very real way.
This is a fantastic movie in many ways, but it's also a very tough one to watch.
|THAT SON OF A BITCH!|
|MAN, YOU NEVER WATCH A BAG FULL OF VIDEOTAPES GIVEN TO YOU BY A CHILD MOLESTER. NOT EVER.|
|HE NEEDS A HUG. AND SO DID WE AFTER WATCHING THIS MOVIE.|
As the film shows us more and more about what happened to the abducted children, it gets pretty uncomfortable to watch. There's one big reveal which makes the depraved goings on turn from horrible, to downright abominable, but that's really the strength of the film; uncovering the everyday atrocity of child abuse, and throwing it right in our face. It wasn't done to be exploitational or shocking, but that doesn't make it any easier to stomach. In fact, the dead-serious tone of the movie might have made it even worse.
And that ending...
Uncomfortable subject matter aside, The Treatment is a well-made Thriller that had us chewing our nails as its "whodunit" plot unfolded. It was like Se7en meets 8MM, with shades of Prisoners (2013) thrown into the mix, only the resulting film was seen through a much more disturbing lens. Director Hans Herbots knows his pacing, and he certainly knows how to tell an effective, gripping story. If this level of storytelling is what's going on in Belgium, then we need to see more Belgian films.
As we're not up on much of Belgian cinema (or its acting talent), most of the cast were new to us. Geert Van Rampelberg (now that's a name) was excellent as Nick, and after seeing what he is capable of as an actor, we're going to have to go seek out some of his TV work like Salamander and Cordon. Hopefully we'll see him in some more movies down the line. Laura Verlinden was also great as one of the victims of "The Troll."
The entire cast did their jobs really well.
|THAT POOR WOMAN...|
|OR MAYBE WE JUST LET THE COPS PUT THEM ALL DOWN. THAT'LL WORK TOO.|
Artsploitation Films has been bringing some fantastic foreign genre movies to the global market for years now, but they've really kicked it into high gear in 2015 with movies like Cub, Horsehead, Reckless, and now, The Treatment. Going forward, we'll be seeking out anything that they release in the U.S., and so should you.
The Treatment is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.
Laura Verlinden is a Belgian QT whom we hope to see more of in the future.