Synopsis: The Treatment is an unsettling Belgian murder mystery that gets under your skin and stays there. A nail-biting suspense yarn based on one of a series of best-selling novels by British crime writer Mo Hayder, the film is not an old-fashioned Agatha Christie-type whodunit, but its gritty themes of sexual violence and pedophilia give it a raw, contemporary intensity that places it in the same company as the “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” book and film series. Police inspector Nick Cafmeyer is investigating a case where a mother and father have been bound and beaten, and their young son is missing. An obsessive loner, Cafmeyer discovers that there are other similar cases – tragedies where the parents were forced by a psychopath to harm their own children, who then vanish. For the inspector, this triggers memories of his own brother’s abduction as a child, and the possibility that he may still be alive somewhere. Grim and wholly engrossing, The Treatment is a thriller with an edge.
Johan van Assche
Dominique van Malder
Sitges Film Festival - Spain - 2014
Best Film - Panarama (The Treatment)
Sitges Film Festival - Spain - 2014
Fantastic Fest - USA - 2014
"Thrilling..the mystery keeps you hooked throughout. It's grim and ugly, but it is also great." - badasscinema.com
"A murderous meal prepared with familiar ingredients...it snakes and coils its way, sneakily, into the psyche. Even while it simmers and steams in the expected fashion, the odors that emerge are unusually pungent. Dissecting the how and the why reveals a pure-burning, genuine fire at the heart of the story. The cast is filled out with solid performances. The story and characters are drawn, adeptly, from a novel by Mo Hayder, adapted for the screen by Carl Joos. What really stands out to me, however, is the tone and atmosphere created by Hans Herbots. The feeling of dread has a cumulative effect that steadily becomes more unnerving. A day after watching it, I'm still a bit afraid, frankly, to diagnose any further, exactly, the how and the why. This is a film whose impact has a ripple effect, growing ever wider with the passage of time." - Peter Martin, Twitchfilm.com
"A harrowing thriller that doesn't skimp on repellent detail" - The Hollywood Reporter
"Exceptionally well done but so sick and disturbing you should think twice about seeing this one. The Treatment (De Behandeling) is an exceptionally well done film. It has a very tense plot, is well directed and will keep you on the edge of your seats. So, technically speaking I have no real problems with this Belgian thriller. However, the subject matter is so distasteful and so disturbing you should think twice before going to see this police film...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. Overall, it’s a very original and fascinating film but one that is frankly bound to be a painful viewing experience for many."
- Martin Hafer, influxmagazine.com