– Good actors
– Decent script
– Great cinematography
– Brutal, and I mean brutal, imagery
That’s a good start right?
Martyrs was made in 2008 by Pascal Laugier, who has the movie ‘The Tall Man’ coming out at the end of 2012. One must wonder how disturbed a man like Mr. Laugier really is to come up with a story like this.
We have witnessed lots of horror stories, and this one isn’t by any means straying far from its well threaded path, but not many movies have the strength to keep you feeling uncomfortable throughout the entire running time. Martyrs does just that.
The movie can be divided into two distinct parts, one is the story of Lucie and the other of Anna, both are intertwined throughout though. Martyrs is about 2 friends, from which one (Lucie) has lived through unspeakable horrors when she was held captive as a youngster. We see the two girls meet up at an institution (although we never find out the true history to Anna) and witness how they grew up, in a lenghty montage, and the subsequent search by Lucie for her captors.
Right around the midway point of the movie it slides into the perspective of Anna and makes us delve even deeper into the horrors we have seen in the starting 45 minutes. Martyrs is one of those horrormovies who fares best with a viewer who doesn’t know much about what will be shown, and it will not be through my efforts that you’ll get spoiled of all the fun.
Martyrs is more clever than it’s R-rated fame would have you believe, and the core story is very intriguing to say the least. I personally don’t believe it’s executed to its best though, and there are some instances, especially on a 2nd viewing, where the thought crosses your mind if they shouldn’t have gone for a bit more story instead of gore. However, as it stands: Martyrs is a very clever and brutal movie, and it absolutely does its best to make you feel miserable about life and humans in general.
In the end it’s probably your willingness to accept the story it’s trying to tell and the gore that’s shown throughout. If you love horror, this is a no-brainer. If you are new on the block, it’s best to start out with something a bit lighter, you might not ever watch horror again.