MARTYRS – 2008
plot: The Brotherhood of the Wolf director Pascal Lauguier follows his 2004 thriller House of Voices with this relentlessly brutal tale of a girl who suffered unimaginable abuse as a young child, and the unspeakable horrors that unfold when she arrives at an isolated cabin in the woods fifteen years later. The story begins as the young, badly battered Lucie (Mylène Jampanoï) — obviously the victim of inhuman abuse — is hospitalized after somehow managing to escape her sadistic captors. Nearly catatonic after her life-altering ordeal, Lucie only manages to become functional again as a result of her friendship with Anna (Morjana Alaoui), a fellow abuse victim who selflessly reaches out to the badly damaged girl. Fifteen years later, Lucie guns down an entire family in cold blood. Is Lucie seeking belated vengeance against the people who tortured her as a young girl, or has her fragile psyche finally snapped, resulting in the bloody demise of an innocent family? Later, when Lucie calls on her old friend Anna, the truth about Lucie’s traumatic early life experience slowly comes into focus. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
For those of you who have been following my Twitter is already obvious that Martyrs is one my latest obsessions. According to my taste, Martyrs is hands down the best horror movie of the past few years, and after watching many of those flicks that have been labeled “torture porn” i will say that this is the only one worthy of such name. I have been watching (and re-watching) an incredibly large number of french movies lately, so i’m gonna put aside the K-Cinema category for one brief moment, take your hand, and carry you down the wonderful rabbit hole called “The French Extreme Wave”. Hopefully during this journey you will be as delighted as i have been.
Or disgusted, for what it matters.
The story is schoking, stunning, brave, brutal and moving, and even though i’m sure many viewers will either love it or really hate it, i’m gonna say that it’s a fucking masterpiece and that it has to be seen. Martyrs is gonna brutally drag you down a downward spiral of everything morally wrong and sick, push all kinds of boundaries, leaving you speechless, angry, and quite uncomfortable, as you are forced to get a taste of what real torture is like.
It’s almost like you’re gonna hate what you’re watching, but won’t be able to help but loving to hate what you’re watching.
The movie is beautifully shot (i really have a soft spot for good photography), really well paced, and it will keep you glued to the screen within the first 5 minutes up until the end. You may most likely forget to breathe until it’s over. The storytelling covers your every needs: there’s gore, there’s ghosts, hot young girls, torture scenes, flashbacks, loving and moving moments, all topped with a good soundtrack and a great camera work.
You have been warned tho, if you’re easily offended and cannot deal with real brutality literally shoved down your throat, Martyrs will result in a monster almost impossible to swallow. And i’m saying this because if you ever experienced any kind of abuse in your life, you will definitely sympathise with the characters and maybe feel a little sick to your stomach. And if you haven’t, well, you will feel just plain downright uncomfortable and probably wish you never started watching this movie, and again, feel a little sick to your stomach.
So go ahead and give this masterpiece a try.
If you’re either looking for entertainment or disgust, you’re gonna get what you asked for.
Whether you like it or not.