Posted: March 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


5 out of 5 screams

Synopsis: “The film begins with a young girl, Lucie, as she escapes from a disused abattoir where she has been imprisoned and physically abused for a lengthy period of time. No signs of sexual abuse are identified, and the perpetrators and their motivations remain a mystery. Lucie is placed in an orphanage, where she is befriended by a young girl named Anna. Anna soon discovers that Lucie believes that she is constantly being terrorized by a ghoulish creature; a horrible, disfigured, emaciated woman (Isabelle Chasse) covered in scars.”

This review will be completely biased, as this is my favorite horror film. Its my favorite for several reasons. Mostly, at its core, its an art film. Even at the height of its brutality, its really beautiful to look at. The colors are saturated, the set ( a house, a basement) are almost characters in themselves. The acting is top notch, and there isnt any of those “WTF” moments, where our characters do something stupid for no reason. The implications that the final moments of the film imply, are the very heart of nihilism. Its beautiful, brutal, and pure.

By “Art Film” I mean, think “Alien” or “Suspiria” .

Is there really nothing? Nothing while we are  alive? Nothing after we die? Is there an afterlife?

How far would you go? How far would you go to answer the most important of life’s questions?

I do not like films that go for shock. Something like “A Serbian Film” usually turns me off. Its just brutality without art, in my opinion. Its shock value. Yes, I know “A Serbian Film” is an allegory for the people of Serbia’s oppression. But if thats the case, then it was portrayed tastelessly.

I realize the irony of a guy who is writing for a Horror Film Blog, is arguing over which films have taste.

Im also not a fan of “torture porn” films, like “Hostel”. Just not my cup of tea. I know alot of people really dig those films, but they lack substance to me. They always seem to be winking at you, the viewer, and saying “You know this isnt real right?”.

No, really! I realize the irony..

That being said…

Our casual horror movie watcher might have a tough time making through many of the scenes. Someone accustomed to the usual jump scare, PG13 shockbuster will DEFINITELY have a problem with it. Martyrs is part a the “French revolution” of horror, that includes films like “High Tension” and “Frontiere(s)”, that are known for their brutality, and realism when it comes to gore.

While these other films tend to have gore, for the sake of gore, Martyrs has purpose in the violence. Hell, you never truly know, but our antagonists might not be enjoying the atrocities they commit. They have purpose, and once that purpose is revealed, the film takes on a totally different tone.

The less you know, however, the better.

I cannot possibly recommend this film more. It sticks with you. It took a couple of days, upon first viewing. But then it hit me.

And its still hitting me. Sometimes it lets me heal, and then starts hitting me again. 🙂


Edit: Recently, the American rights were sold to the Weinstein Company for Martyrs. That means the shitty, vapid American version of this film will be coming soon. Im sure it will be pedestrian, and anemic.



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