Martyrs Review

Movie: Martyrs
By: Maniac E
Date: April 11, 2011

Shocking in its brutality, utterly disturbing and a complete mind opener

In the 21st century, French horror movies have gained a reputation for being some of the most shockingly violent films in cinematic history. Just to name a few over the years: High Tension, Frontier(s), Inside (À l'intérieur) and Martyrs being one of the biggest and most talked about movie. At some point the French changed styles and this is what we got from them. Luckily Martyrs is no exception to the new rules, gore, violence, shocks, nudity, revenge and more!

The story

The movie starts off with a young girl named Lucie being found half naked, filthy, bloodied up, and scared as hell. She is being taken to the hospital for emotional rehabilitation. Through the years she gets back a bit of her social skills with the help of her friend Anna. Anna wants to help out Lucie with her past ghosts and wants to take revenge on the people who have put Lucie through such pain and agony. Fifteen years pass by and Lucie wants her revenge on the family who did this. Anna finds this family as so she believes. Lucie goes in and wrecks a shotgun rainstorm on the family, sparing no one. Could Lucie's thirst for revenge have blinded her judgment? By the time Anna can act to stop her, it's too late.


Only the first minutes

All of the above just happens in the first few minutes. This means you are in for a treat or otherwise turn off the movie. Later on Lucie gets all crazy and starts to get more and more nightmares driving her to the end and slits her throat. In the house Anna finds a hidden doorway to an older lady that is half dead. The lady is totally mangled and has a contraption on her head that blinds her. This scene is absolutely breathtaking to see on screen and makes you really see the hard work that went into this production. It is unlikely that a lot of people have ever seen something like this. It works within the boundaries of the film, and then the amplification goes off the scale.

Now it starts

The older woman finds a knife and starts tearing away at her wrist until she gets shot through the forehead. This is when Anna meets those who are responsible for the torture of Lucie. Anna gets taken and will be the new martyr to uncover the real afterlife and be one with the light. This is what the organization that captured her wants to find out. Anna gets butchered throughout the remaining of the film including a skin removal job. All of this is to find out how far you can go for enlightenment and is very graphic in what it shows.


What is it?

Martyrs is combining story telling in different acts, the beginning is mainly focused on the psychological thriller, horror, slayer styles and is pretty straight forward as one should expect. Later on the movie transforms into one big torture porn endurance trial. This is done so to further disorient audiences and keep them on their toes with suspense and guessing where the whole story is going. In both length and concept, the brutality continually tests us. Throughout the sequence of the film, gore is used to traumatize, repulse, gratify visually, make us writhe, and make us feel for the victim.



You might think this is the perfect movie but I need to say: No. The movie has its fair share of mistakes and not all scenes really have a purpose. Without seeing the movie it’s hard to explain every part of it without putting on my own stamp on it. You need to experience and judge by yourself what you want to think of the movie in the end. Martyrs can easily be one of the most disorienting movies that I’ve ever seen. It tries to put a method to the madness of modern-style torture porn, and it just makes your skin crawl and maybe even make you feel something in the end of the movie. Some will call it sick others a mind opener on how a movie can have a meaning behind it. I am one that falls in the last part. The realism of the movie is what makes it a hard movie to swallow. Martyrs is an uncomfortable, disturbing, humorless and mean-spirited movie.

Recommended for fans of extreme cinema and horror who are open-minded and who want to see something different.







Pascal Laugier






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