Title: Tempus Tormentum

Also known as:
N/A

Year: 2018

Genre: Horror

Language: English

Runtime: 81 min

Director: James Rewucki

Writer: James Rewucki

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6469826/


Plot:
A nameless drifter passes through town and stops for the night in an attempt to get some rest. The moment he shuts his eyes he is sent on a hellish journey as three masked psychopaths brake into his hotel room, sending the drifter fleeing. He will not find sanctuary as the masked men chase him through the town. With no one willing to help, the man finds himself running for his life down a path that continues to grow darker and darker.

Our thoughts:
One of the earliest screeners I was lucky enough to cover when Film Bizarro started was a movie called “Aegri Somnia” — a metaphysical journey of a character being tormented by his inner demons. The movie was interesting at the time because of it’s creative use of colors, character designs and impressive sound design. After watching the movie, I expected to see a lot more from the director, James Rewucki, because it was a unique feature film debut. Unfortunately, and surprisingly, he fell quiet on the film front. That was until recently when he released his sophomore film, “Tempus Tormentum”.

Similar to “Aegri Somnia”, “Tempus Tormentum” focuses on a singular character — dubbed ‘Mr. Mouse’ — and his hellish journey through a world of demons and nightmares. While James Rewucki carries over some of the themes from his first film, as well as his aesthetics, he delves into a more abstract narrative. “Aegri Somnia” revealed some of its secrets as the film unfolded but “Tempus Tormentum” keeps it more obtuse; leaving the viewer with no clear answers and no sense of reality.

And it is a challenge trying to decode what it is exactly that James Rewucki is trying to say with the film. On a surface level, you can view “Tempus Tormentum” as an ode to movies like “The Wicker Man” — a character caught in a trap of a town full of crazies. However, there’s an undeniable theme of descending into hell brought on by the protagonist’s actions in life that lead him to flee in the first place and come across this nightmarish town. In a lot of ways, “Tempus Tormentum” feels like a retelling of “Inferno” (“Dante’s Inferno”) except there are no literal levels of hell that Mr. Mouse traverses. Rather, he’s chased further and further into “hell” — where he’s tormented again and again, until he is consumed by this hell he has essentially created and is then reborn into it. He becomes a part of it. A demon himself, almost.

Again, with the abstract nature of “Tempus Tormentum” I can’t say with any sort of certainty that this is in fact what James Rewucki was going for. The structure and imagery is there to support my hypothesis, but there are a number of interpretations available.

However, whatever the thematic aspect of the narrative might be, the film does have one flaw within its structure that does hurt the movie and could put viewers off. For better or worse, “Tempus Tormentum” is almost an 81-minute long foot chase. In the beginning, it’s fresh and intriguing with a creepy atmosphere. As the film progresses, it starts to turn into a slog as each scene has a formulaic structure: Mr. Mouse runs from the three masked men, he believes he finds sanctuary or has alluded his pursuers, this false sense of security allows him to be caught or almost caught, then the foot chase begins again. The mystery of the story and continuously twisting environment does help to push the movie forward. That tedious format though puts a strain on the viewing experience where the movie starts to become repetitive.

The fact that there is no clear answer could also cause “Tempuse Tormentum” to be frustrating for some viewers, because there isn’t necessarily a reward in getting past monotonous pacing with what would be considered a rewarding climax. The ending is satisfying for what kind of film James Rewucki created but it’s not necessarily as exciting as some might want. From my personal viewing experience, I am enamored with James Rewucki’s style; I find it unique and I appreciate his favoring of composing abstract horror stories and his willingness to experiment with the visuals and sound. Although I too found myself a bit worn with the repetitive structure but it was that signature sound and visual design of Rewucki’s that went a long way in keeping me engaged.



Positive things:
- James Rewucki's style remains excellent and helps elevate the material.
- Fantastic productions quality, especially with the cinematography, sound and lighting.
- The movie remains abstract. It never gives a literal answer to what is occurring.
- The brief appearance of a creature was exciting and unexpected.
Negative things:
- The movie's format and structure becomes repetative and starts to drag the movie down.

Rating:
Gore: 0/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 2.5/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 0/5

We got this movie from: 
TempusTormentum.com

It can be bought from:
Amazon.com

Reviewed by:
Preston

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

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