Critic Consensus: A real polarising movie, this Gallic torture-porn is graphic, brutal, nasty and gruesome and not to everyone's taste.
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Tells the story of Anna, once a missing little girl, found wandering a year later on a country road virtually catatonic after suffering some sort of physical abuse. She grows into a comely young woman, but she's got serious issues. She also has a close friend, Lucie, who she ultimately calls after she finds herself in an unusual house in the middle of the forest. There's something very disturbing about the Bauhaus-esque home, something Anna can't quite put her finger on.
|Rating:||R (for disturbing/severe aberrant behavior involving strong bloody violence, toture, child abuse and some nudity)|
|Genre:||Drama, Horror, Art House & International|
|Directed By:||Pascal Laugier|
|Written By:||Pascal Laugier|
|In Theaters:||May 1, 2008 Wide|
|On DVD:||Mar 24, 2009|
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as The Father
as La Suppliciée
as le bourreau
as la femme de main
as la femme du bourreau
as Lucie at 10 years ol...
as Anna Age 10
as Voice of Anna's Moth...
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Critic Reviews for Martyrs
The stylishly mounted first half zips along at a rate of knots while the gruesome make-up work will keep your gag reflex in violent spasm.
Martyrs is a groundbreaking work - it challenges the audience to endure heinous acts yet to emerge spiritually cleansed; to witness man's willingness to abuse, degrade and manipulate, yet leave the theatre more enamoured with humanity than ever.
Brutally well-conceived... for about 40 minutes, and then "Martyrs" flips on its own bloody axis and falls apart, existentially.
Some call it torture porn, others might call it aggressive moralising, more still have say it's boring and pointless. In my view this level of dissent marks it as worthwhile.
it turns out to be concerned precisely with the nature and reception of extremity, posing uncomfortable questions about what it is that one really seeks in choosing to 'witness' scenes of horrific human abjection.
Audience Reviews for Martyrs
An extremely disturbing, almost unwatchable exercise in extreme sadism that is always gripping for how it follows unpredictable directions at every time, until it reaches a surprising final act that demands too much from the viewers for being so nihilistic and profoundly sickening.
'Martyrs' begins promisingly, telling the story of Lucie, a woman who escaped violent confinement as a child and has spent her life fighting the demons of her past whilst seeking those responsible for it. The film's exposition is undoubtedly entertaining with Lucie's first adult appearance (with a shotgun) being the highlight of the whole feature.
As Lucie's plot, disappointingly, finishes by the films midpoint focus is then shifted to her long-term friend and partner in crime 'Anna'. From this point onwards 'Martyrs' sadly becomes pseudo-philosophical drivel in an attempt to give itself meaning and mask its little substantial intrigue. Alongside this the film often feels boring in moments and struggles with its shallow antagonists and missing direction. Overall it feels as if 'Martyrs' lost it way when it turned to Anna, and, although I truly enjoyed a few scenes I can't help but feel as if they would of worked better in a something less dishonest.
A young woman tormented by the psychological damage inflicted upon her by sadistic kidnappers seeks revenge with the aid of a childhood friend. Martyrs begins with quite an interesting premise; Mylene Jampanoi's damaged abuse victim is by far the most interesting character in the film and the first half of the story which centres around her state of mind and her friend's uncertainty as to her sanity is very intriguing. But being a "horror" movie, cue the half-baked twist and it degenerates into yet another repulsive torture-thon, the piss weak Outer Limits excuse for which is feeble even by the standards of the genre. Quite why anybody - women in particular - would find entertainment in watching a young girl being mutilated and brutalized I have no idea, but this so-called horror is just yet more tasteless, unpleasant torture porn with pretensions.
|Lucie:||What do you have to do to stop being afraid?|
|Anna:||I think you have to let yourself go.|
|Lucie:||You think so?|
|Anna:||Let oneself go.|
|Lucie:||If I can't do it, will you be there for me?|
|Lucie:||How could you do that to me? Why?!|
|Mademoiselle:||Can you imagine what happens to us after death? Be doubtful. [shoots herself into the mouth]|
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