Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Martyrs (2008)

With the help of her friend Anna, Lucie seeks out the group that held her captive as a child in order to earn her revenge, but what they will find in the family's terrible house of horrors will be worse than anything they could have ever imagined. Somewhere beyond the darkest depths of Hell lies MARTYRS, a film of such unspeakable horror that it becomes unbearable to watch. It is not that the film is shocking, graphic, or repulsive, but that it is all of these things taken in the extreme. MARTYRS rapes the senses and apologizes for nothing. It begs the questions: Why? Is this art? Who could have conceived this? What is there to gain in the making of this film? You continue watching as things go from bad to worse to worse to worse, until finally you realize that this film was not meant to entertain. In fact, it probably wasn't meant for human consumption. It only exists because it had to. What makes MARTYRS that much more unacceptable is how well the film is made. MARTYRS is well cast, well shot, and very well acted. The visceral screen violence is ultra-realistic, and nauseating at that. Pascal Laugier reduces his characters to a level far below humanity. The man is a genius, but he is also wildly insane. Once you have seen MARTYRS, you cannot unsee it, so prepare yourself. Things will get ugly.

Rating: 9/10.

Movies like MARTYRS:
A SERBIAN FILM, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE, INSIDE, ANTICHRIST, FRONTIERE(S), CALVAIRE, CASTLE FREAK, RED ROOM.

8 comments:

  1. Spot-on capsule review for this. I'm still trying to find the right words to put down for this film, and I watched it about two years ago. This of course means I may have to watch it again just to fully recall everything. It's weird: I liked how it was made, and there is no doubt the film is effective. In a way it's on the same level of "The Human Centipede", but that film seems like degrading, filthy trash to me. But Martyrs? It's something else totally.

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  2. "MARTYRS rapes the senses and apologizes for nothing." Spot on! I've only seen it once and was so drained by it. I really liked it though - the extremes it went to without copping out. I think the ending really elevates it too - such a provocative concept, and one I didn't really expect. Proves that extreme and violent cinema can also be thoughtful and have something relevent and interesting to say about us and the society we live in.

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  3. "Once you have seen MARTYRS, you cannot unsee it, so prepare yourself. Things will get ugly." Well said.

    I have mixed feelings about the film overall, but you're certainly right about the ugliness.

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  4. Martys is one of my favorite films within the past few years. I love this movie!

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  5. I hate watching this film. I get sucked in at the beginning, but then it just keeps going downhill until it cant sink any further... but it does. It defies logic how bad things really get. Thanks for stopping by guys!

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  6. I think if there is anyone out there who liked or enjoyed MARTYRS then it didn't do what the director intended. It is the only film in this wave of 'torture porn' that actually uses torture in a way that is thematically consistent within the narrative. For this reason alone it has merit.

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  7. I constantly ask myself just what Laugier did intend to do here. I don't feel that he intended to shock in the same sense that the Italians had done with MONDO CANE or the cannibal films. He is certainly aware of the power his images present at all times, however.

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  8. Yes, I just did a review on my site and I think everyone agrees. I just watched this- had to see it twice just to make sure I wasn't crazy. Rapes the senses indeed and I am still kind of perturbed by it all. Hate to even like this film.

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