A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.
An aging porn star agrees to participate in an "art film" in order to make a clean break from the business, only to discover that he has been drafted into making a pedophilia and necrophilia themed snuff film.
Lucas and Clementine live peacefully in their isolated country house, but one night they wake up to strange noise... they're not alone... and a group of hooded assailants begin to terrorize them throughout the night.
A New York University professor returns from a rescue mission to the Amazon rainforest with the footage shot by a lost team of documentarians who were making a film about the area's local cannibal tribes.
As sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer Kakihara searches for his missing boss he comes across Ichi, a repressed and psychotic killer who may be able to inflict levels of pain that Kakihara has only dreamed of.
Fifteen years after a horrifying experience of abduction and prolonged torture, Lucie embarks on a bloody quest for revenge against her oppressors. Along with her childhood friend, Anna, who also suffered abuse, she quickly descends, without hope, into madness and her own delusions. Anna, left on her own begins to re-experience what Lucie did when she was only twelve years old. Written by
What an experience. I'm a big horror fan and am happy watching and enjoying 'popcorn' slasher movies for what they are but really the genre is crying out for more pictures that truly assault the senses.
The French are particularly adept at painting bleak, unforgiving landscapes as well as thrusting you right into the action but rarely have I experienced anything quite so memorable as Martyrs.
Comparisons will (and have) been drawn with Hostel, Saw, Hellraiser and others but this is really rather misleading. Further comparisons have been drawn with Inside, Frontiers, Funny Games etc. and while slightly more credible in that atmosphere and psychology play a far greater part, none come close to Martyrs.
I'd challenge anyone not to be affected by this movie. It's gory, but you won't laugh. It's shocking, but you won't be able to look away. 24 hours later it's still running through my mind and if I see a better horror movie than this this year, I'll be truly amazed.
As much as I'd love to write more this is most certainly a film you should watch knowing as little as possible. Suffice to say the acting, cinematography, score, atmosphere and unbridled tension combine to create one of the most engaging films in this genre of the last two decades.
Watch it. Recommend it (it won't be easy) and let's hope Martyrs gets the credit it deserves.
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