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Scorned (2013)

Anchor Bay Entertainnent
Blu-ray Disc Released: 2/4/2013

All Ratings out of




Extras: No Extras

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 1/31/2013

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and Hollywood clearly loves to flatter as there is no shortage of movies which rip-off ideas from other movies. Typically, if a movie is a big hit, one can expect movies with similar plots or themes to arrive not long after. But, this isn't always the case. 1987's Fatal Attraction was a monster hit, grossing 11-times its budget and gaining six Oscar nominations. And yet, we weren't swamped with angry, jilted lover movies. There were a few, and as recently as 2009, we saw a straight-up copying of Fatal Attraction with Obsessed. Scorned now joins the list of movies which show the ripple effect of Adrian Lyne's influential film, with a modern, violent touch thrown in.

Scorned opens with Sadie (AnnaLynne McCord) and Kevin (Billy Zane) going to his lake house for a romantic get away. They've been together for several months and Sadie's convinced that Kevin is going to propose. Their fun weekend comes to a sudden end when Sadie finds explicit text messages on Kevin's phone directed towards her best friend, Jennifer (Viva Bianca). This sends Sadie, who has a history of mental illness, over the edge. She drugs and restrains Kevin and then, posing as Kevin, invites Jennifer to the house. Once she arrives, Sadie begins a torture show which is meant to teach everyone a lesson.

Scorned takes the ideas from Fatal Attraction and reverses them. Sadie is the one who was being cheated on, and she certainly isn't going to take this lying down. Her violent streak comes out and she goes to great lengths to show that she is a woman who will not be crossed. The film then integrates inspirations from the "torture porn" trend, as Scorned doesn't pull any punches when it comes to showing the graphic nature of the physical pain Sadie induces on Kevin and Jennifer.

This would have worked well as a short film. As a feature-length production, Scorned is a ridiculous bore. The film hits the ground running, as Kevin is already bound when the movie starts and we then learn why. But, things quickly grind to a halt as the film simple becomes one scene after another of Sadie doing something awful to her victims, sometimes separately and sometimes together. It's as if Writer/Director Mark Jones and Co-writer Sadie Katz came up with the main idea (which is very thin) and then made a list of ways to torture someone. They then tacked on a woefully vague backstory as to why Sadie is behaving in the manner that she is. And that's it. No, wait, I forgot about the escaped convict which is loose in the area -- a subplot which eventually crosses paths with the main story, but still feels tacked on. (A quick scan of Jones filmography reveals that he directed Triloquist, one of the worst movies I've ever seen, and it all becomes clear.)

The question then becomes, at whom is Scorned aimed? There is certainly blood, but probably not enough to satisfy the Saw crowd. There is some rough language and talk of sex, but there is no sex. Speaking of talking, there is a lot of that as well, as Sadie makes speech after speech. If one can even begin to buy Sadie and Kevin as a couple, there’s little to like in the movie. Zane looks out-of-place here and while McCord deserves some kudos for not going glamorous here, her “crazy” act is a bit too silly to be convincing. The notion of a woman seeking revenge on her cheating boyfriend could make for a good movie, but Scorned hits rock bottom while attempting to be over the top.

Scorned shows that nothing says inconspicuous like a face covered in tattoos on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 30 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, showing no distracting grain and no defects from the source elements. The colors look good (just look at Sadie’s hair) and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is good (as we can see the lines on the actors faces) and the depth is acceptable. The Disc carries a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 2.0 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. There are a few nicely placed stereo and surround effects which illustrate things happening off-screen. These effects show good separation and some are detailed. The gunshots and hits offer some mild subwoofer effects.

The Scorned Blu-ray Disc contains no extra features.

Review Copyright 2014 by Mike Long