365horror

Martyrs

by on Nov.16, 2009, under Daily Review

The French are running away with it at the moment. Shock gore films are at the highest standard and pushing the boundary, not only to gross out the viewer, but also to add a little extra French magic and mystery. I think I first noticed this with martyrs2‘Trouble Every Day’ (which I’ll be re-watching over the next week or so.) Martyrs raises the bar substantially. But it’s not all about Gore. We have here, a film of varying levels. In essence, it’s a film of 3 parts. Torture, Revenge and Haunting and each are collected and structured with some fine detail. I’ve had several people mention to me that there are some moments in this film which are believed to be taken a bit to far. I actually disagree. It’s far more than I could have expected prior to viewing, and it’s all there for the good of the film and is defiantly not there just for the sake of making a disgustingly grizzly movie.

So what have we got? The plot begins with Lucie, a young girl, tied to chair in a dirty cell, being tortured. Why is this happening? Who knows, but she manages to escape and gets looked after for several years in a boarding school where she pairs up with soul mate, Anna.  A decade later, Lucie wants revenge.

It’s well paced, gory as it gets, the torture is about as brutal as could possibly be shown on celluloid (Actually, totally uncut in the UK) and it is harsh, but it’s required to emphasis the plot, to generate character and to involve and interact with the audience. Interaction with horror is always a good thing. The haunting scenes are also spectacular, as Lucie is visited by a girl from the next cell that bites, cuts and beats the hell out of her. (The girl from the TV in Ring has nothing on this one). The last 40 mins are pretty heavy going. Be warned, but its with good reason and personally, I wouldn’t cut a second. It brings the film together and is seriously required for the final climactic scene.

I should also mention, the two main actresses’ are stunningly good; Mylene Jampanoi and Morjane Alaoui and i’ll be looking out for further work of Director Pascal Laugler.

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4 Comments for this entry

  • BlokeWithBeard

    It would be very easy to dismiss Martyrs as, albeit well executed, “Just” an assault on the senses, the haunting section has you questioning the reality and sanity of the situation. The torture sequence, is equally as harrowing, and exculates to a point that is far from easy going.

    However, what sets this aside from other far more desposible pieces is the moment of epithany when everything falls into place and we discover that there is a far greater purpose behind it all.

    I’ll be back to watch this again, but not til after my lunch has settled.

  • Helen

    Hi Geoff, this film was something else! I know the ending is up for interpretation but i’d interested in your thoughts on it 🙂 x

  • Geoff

    Hi Helen. Good to hear from you.

    This is a great film which I enjoyed a lot.

    My thoughts or should I say, my interpretation, without giving too much away to those who are yet to view. Lucie takes pain to the extreme, we see this from the opening scene, but from this point, her scars are mental. At the turning point in the film, she defeats her nightmare, but I suspect she isnt cured as she would be in Hollywood or fairytales.

    So, the next twist, we have the next round of physical stuff which she deals with honourably. My guess here is she is looking for the pure cleans which she needs to find peace.

    Therefore, the message which the film gives, reflects the idea that gorenography, although shocking and brutal, is not as powerful as the things that you don’t see, which prey on your deepest thoughts and haunt your very mind….. Maybe:)

  • Geoff

    Hi Helen,

    Sorry, I didn’t realise you were talking about the Madamoiselle bit at the end. I guess, she gets told all about the pleasures of the afterlife and that only those who are good will be getting in, that her vicious, evil research won’t get her past those pearly gates, which is why she looks a bit cheesed off. Keep Doubting would be the advice to the rest of the society, as if they knew what she knew, they’d all be pulling their own triggers…. Possibly…. Or maybe it’s her own realisation that she’s gonna be heading South, and accepts her fate and might as well get there sooner rather than later; suicide shipping an instant passport to the depths. .

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