You can't help but sit back and wonder why the three main actors in Writer/Director Mark Jones' 'Scorned' agreed to do the project. Did it read better on paper? Are they friends with the director? Were they being blackmailed? Whatever the reason, 'Scorned' isn’t a movie that Billy Zane, Annalynne McCord, or Viva Bianca will be highlighting on their film resumes any time soon, as it is a hilariously bad and poorly produced low budget effort that wants to be sexy and scary, but never has the guts to go all-out with either concept.
If there is one thing that I'll give the movie credit for, it's that it doesn't waste a moment getting to the premise, as Sadie (McCord) finds out her boyfriend Kevin (Zane) has been having an affair with her friend Jennifer (Bianca) and immediately begins making Kevin pay for his sins, and lures Jennifer to their weekend getaway location so she can torture her as well.
Sadie obviously has a few loose screws, which makes you wonder why Kevin would be dating this woman in the first place (sex seems to be the only obvious reason). Viewers do get a few black and white flashbacks to an event in her past that led to a stint in a mental institution, but 'Scorned' isn't worried about developing its characters as much as it is setting up various ways that Sadie can torture both Kevin and Jennifer, starting with – I kid you not – Sadie threatening to microwave Jennifer's cute little dog (someone call the A.S.P.C.A!).
While McCord gets to chew the scenery and Bianca gets to show off her curves (at least until Sadie starts torturing parts of them), Zane's participation in this movie seems to be the real head-scratcher. Not only is he given very little to say during the short 86-minute run time, but his character spends the majority of the movie tied up and drugged. Then again, if you'd like to see Billy pay for all the bad movies he's signed up for since Titanic, you may get some sadistic enjoyment out of the various things that happens to his character here.
One of the biggest problems with 'Scorned' is that it's an R-Rated movie that's primarily rated as such for language and not for either nudity or gore – which one might expect given the box cover, and – let's be honest – is almost certainly the main reason why anyone might consider renting (or even buying) this otherwise low-end production. Now, while I've never been a fan of excessive gore or even nudity just for the sake of nudity, what's the point of making an R-rated movie about a mentally unstable and oversexed psycho if you're going to tame it down? While we do get a hint of nudity here and there and a touch of gore (primarily when Sadie takes a pair of pliers to one character's teeth), neither instance goes beyond what would be passable/acceptable in a PG-13 title. So basically, it's the dialogue here (which gets pretty raunchy) that leads to the rating, rather than anything visual in the movie.
The only real reason to watched 'Scorned' is for the 'so bad it's good' acting, directing, and production value that encompass the movie. If a show like Mystery Science Theater 3000 were still on the air, sooner or later they'd probably get around to covering 'Scorned' at some point. So this movie that deals with the torture of two young lovers is really only recommended to those looking to torture themselves.
The Blu-Ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Scorned' slashes its way onto Blu-ray in an eco-friendly keepcase, which houses the single 25 GB Blu-ray without any inserts. The disc is not front-loaded with any trailers, just an F.B.I warning and Anchor Bay logo. The main menu consists of a montage of scenes from the movie, with menu selections running along the bottom of the screen.
Shot digitally on Arri Alexa cameras, 'Scorned' arrives on Blu-ray in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio and with all the production value of one of those late-night movies you might catch on Cinemax (which is to say, not much at all). While the filmmaking leaves much to be desired, the actual transfer here isn't bad at all, with a fairly sharp and colorful picture throughout the movie.
Details are fairly sharp, skin tones are properly balanced and not over-saturated, and black levels are good, although some of the lesser-lit nighttime scenes look a little softer than others. I did notice a couple of banding issues during the movie, but nothing to the point of distraction. For the most part, this is a rather good transfer of a rather unremarkable movie.
While the video transfer is quite good, the English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is rather unimpressive. While it doesn't have any issues in terms of dropouts, glitches, or other technical issues, the spoken dialogue during the movie comes almost exclusively from the center channel, with only a few instances of directionality out to the left or right speakers. This results in both a lack of immersiveness and dialogue that sounds both lower and 'muddier' than the rest of the soundtrack. The rear speakers show some activity, but they're only really noticeable during a thunderstorm that occurs in the first few scenes. Much of this track's failure to impress, of course, has to do with the low-budget aspect of the movie itself – but there's little here that wows.
In addition to the 5.1 TrueHD track, subtitles are available in English SDH and Spanish.
There are no bonus features on this release.
Laughably bad at times, 'Scorned' could have been much more entertaining had the director not been so timid about both the sexual and sadistic aspects of the storyline. The result is a movie that neither titillates nor terrifies, and one that is not even worth a rental. Skip it.