Exceptionally well made
by Martin Hafer
The Treatment (De Behandeling) is an exceptionally well made effort. It has a very tense plot, is well directed and will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. Technically speaking, I have no real problems with this Belgian thriller, however some may find the subject matter a tad distasteful and disturbing, therefore you may want to carefully consider this before going to see The Treatment, if you have a delicate constitution or have lead a sheltered life.
Nick Cafmeyer (Geert Van Rampelberg) is a wounded and traumatized man, who, many years ago, as a youngster, saw his brother abducted, never to be seen again. Unsurprisingly, when Nick grows up he became a cop, investigating cases that sometimes reminded him of his brother — particularly cases involving pedophiles. Additionally, the jailed man that the police think is guilty based on flimsy-at-best “evidence” — and the suspect would keep terrorizing Nick — showing up near his house even years later. The sick freak would not break the law in each case—-just let Nick know that he was there.
A new case comes along that is very, very sick and disturbing. It also has a lot of common traits to Nick’s brother’s disappearance and Nick is intent on catching the guy once and for all, as he assumes it’s the same man in both cases. However, in a twist, the guy who everyone assumed killed Nick’s brother kills himself in a VERY vivid manner partway through the film and he is obviously not the guy doing the current sick crimes. What are these sick sex offenses involving children? Well, part of me thinks I should just tell you because I can guarantee when many learn the twist they won’t want to see the film! Suffice to say, the case is much, much, much, much sicker than any I’ve ever seen on the television show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit!
Because the crime is very, very disturbing and because so much of the film is ultra-violent and realistic, I am once again warning viewers. If you have been a victim of sexual or physical abuse, you really should consider watching anything else—as much of the film is like watching a pedophile at work—including tormenting his victims. I am not necessarily saying it’s too graphic—but it is very graphic and very intense and might very likely elicit Post-Traumatic Stress reactions in viewers, as it might remind them of their own victimization. I think I know what I am talking about here, as I used to be a psychotherapist who worked with victims of sexual abuse.
Now if you can stomach the film, it IS exceptionally well made. The film is incredibly creative and the twists come as huge surprises. Additionally, Nick’s character is wonderful and Rampelberg’s acting is exceptional, as he plays a walking wounded man who has so much pain and rage he needs to work out while still investigating horrific crimes. Overall, it’s a very original and fascinating film but one that is frankly bound to be a painful viewing experience for many.
The Treatment will be released on DVD and Blu-ray, 07/07/15, on the Artsploitation Films label.