Based on Mo Hayder’s novel of the same name The Treatment (Die Behandeling) moves the action from London to Belgium, where a couple are found chained up and dehydrated in their home, their child is missing and obcure messages daubed on the walls in a mixture of red paint and urine. For detective inspector Nick Cafmeyer (Geert Van Rampelberg) the case bears uncomfortable parallels to the abduction of his own younger brother Bjorn when he was just nine years old. To make matters worse the principle suspect in that case Ivan Plettinckx (Johan van Assche) was never convicted and makes a habit of taunting Nick with letters and by making regular appearances in Nick’s back garden.
The investigation leads Nick into the disturbing territory of madness, child murder and sexual abuse, while contending with his own inner demons. Make no bones about it’s a tough watch as Nick and the police forensic examiners go about their business in quite graphic detail and the killer lines up a fresh set of victims. Tightly directed by Hans Herbots and moodily shot in the Nordic Noir style, The Treatment will make your flesh crawl, but it will also draw you deep inside the intricate web of its plot.
The Treatment makes for two hours of uncomfortable but compulsive viewing. It’s the sort of movie that reminds you that no matter how extravagant a creation the make up wizards and special effects experts can dream up the most disturbing monsters are indeed human and you could pass them in the street without remark.
A chilling and compulsive chiller I give The Treatment a 666/666
The Treatment is out now in the UK on DVD and Bluray