I was totally unprepared for Martyrs. I’d heard it was brutal, and I even hesitated to see it – Inside, also from France, was a particularly unpleasant moviewatching experience for me, and I actually HATED the film, despite it’s rave reviews. I thought that the gore and brutality of that film overshadowed what little plotline it had.
Martyrs…was something different. Let me be honest – it’s totally not for everyone. In fact, it’s really not for most people. Still, those looking for a more emotional, brutal horror film than they’re likely to see out of Hollywood anytime soon will find a movie more than worth their time. It’s not a fun horror film, it deserves its Unrated tag more than most films I’ve seen, and it is most definitely horror.
Check out my full review after the jump.
Lucie’s had a rough life – she was beaten and abused as a child and has spent the next fifteen years trying to find the people responsible. Along for the ride is her sister Anna, trying to keep Lucie sane, and failing miserably. Lucie’s turned into a crazy murderer, haunted by delusions…or are they? She keeps seeing a deformed woman, who’s taken to slicing her up pretty good, but is she real or not? She seems to keep disappearing before anybody sees her, but the damage she leaves behind is real…and bloody.
I want to tell you more, but one of the things that fascinated me most about Martyrs is how it sets up expectations, then throws them on their head. There are so many twists in this film that you do get whiplash. Every fifteen-twenty minutes, something happens that you think is set up for the rest of the film, but then another twist occurs, and completely knocks you on your butt!
Morjana Alaoui and Mylène Jampanoï both put in phenomenal jobs as the movie’s “heroines,” becoming practically unrecognizable in their roles. Alaoui, specifically, puts so much into this role, it impressed me in the same way Christian Bale’s performance in The Machninist did. No small praise.
The last half hour of the film was almost unbearable to watch but, just as soon as I was starting to mind, I realized that was kind of the point. And those looking for an easy resolution where everyone either dies, or the heroine walks away after saving the day, will find the ending a little befuddling, but, then again, they probably won’t find much to really like in the film to begin with.
If you’re in the mood for a different kind of horror film, one that’ll leave you thinking, and will test you, give Martyrs a try. It comes out on DVD on April 28th from Dimension Extreme. Pre-order it from our Amazon link below!
Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 9 out of 10!