CFF: The Treatment review


On Tuesday, April 14, at 7:30, The Cinedelphia Film Festival is happy to present a special double feature of Belgian thrillers courtesy of Philly’s own Artsploitation Films: The Cub and The Treatment! Trailers, Event Info, and Ticket Purchases here.

Our own J.T. Alvarez has his review of The Treatment.

Inspector Nick Cafemeyer is tasked with solving the murder of a young child, the victim of an apparent serial offender. What’s more, another nine year old child has turned up missing. Cafemeyer fears that the missing boy is another victim of the same person and searches frantically for clues leading to his rescue and to his abductor before it’s too late. The case echoes one of Cafemeyer’s darkest tales from his past, the disappearance of his younger brother Bjorn. Gone missing when they were just children, a known pederast by the name of Plettinickx was brought in by the police and questioned, but released quickly thereafter. The case of Bjorn has gone unsolved, furthering the determination of Cafemeyer in the solving of this case.

The Treatment is a modern noir detective movie that has all of the trappings typical of the genre. The distinctly disturbing plot lines and the willingness to cross the boundaries of comfort and familiarity are what sets this movie apart from other ones that you’ve seen. Director Hans Herbots pulls no punches in delivering the stark darkness of this story, reveling in the discomfort of the viewer and challenging them with the implications of his horror. Geert Van Rampelberg delivers a strong performance as Nick Cafemeyer, slowly unraveling as the movie progresses and convincingly embodying the spirit of a detective speeding along at full throttle with the hope of saving a life fading quickly.


In addition to being well written, The Treatment is also beautifully rendered and visually captivating. Each scene is drenched in an ominous patina of dread that adds seamlessly to the storyline. So often movies of this genre substitute visual darkness with the essence of storyline darkness, but in this case, everything told in an easily distinguishable light one goes to heighten the sense of dread.

Make no mistake, The Treatment is not for the feint of heart. It is a movie that is based in pitch black thematic story telling, designed to engage the darkest reaches of human psyche, and is successful in doing so. Familiar enough to appease the fan of detective films, yet bizarre and sadistically disturbing enough to yoke the most jaded of horror hound naysayers, The Treatment surprises in a genre where surprise is the norm. Fluid cinematography and a tightly wound story keep the viewer jumping at shadows and rooting for Cafemeyer to solve the unsolvable case.

Author: J.T. Alvarez

Joshua Alvarez is an avid film appreciator and musician from the Philadelphia area. In addition to being a PFS member and the lead singer for various bands in the Philadelphia hardcore scene, Joshua also possesses the strength of a lion that has the strength of two lions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *