I have mixed feelings about the horror sub-genre that has been dubbed ‘torture-porn’, but this film should be enough to convince most that it is a vile, sickening trend in modern cinema. Bereavement is a cold, nasty piece of work. The only redeeming feature is the interesting cinematography by Marco Cappetta. Apart from that, director Steven Mena piles on the gore with little skill or justification.
The story concerns the abduction of a six year old boy whose body doesn’t register the feeling of pain. Five years later, he is still helping a serial killer torture and murder his helpless victims (usually women). The camera gloatingly focuses on the victims’ pain and terror. Mena also forces us to watch the graphic and sadistic abuse of the young boy at the hands of his captor.
Some films, such as Eli Roth’s Hostel Part II, do something interesting with the torture-porn genre. This film does not. It is far more interested in giving its audience a hard time rather than putting their intelligence to good use.
Bereavement (2010), directed by Steven Mena, is released on DVD in the UK by High Fliers, Certificate 18. Some viewers may wish to read more information on the film’s content at www.bbfc.co.uk before watching.