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.
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
In Pascal Laugier's previous film House of Voices (2004), the main character is called Anna Jurin. In Martyrs, Anna is one of the female leads' character names, whilst Lucie Jurin is the other. See more »
As the mother is kicked into the pit, a body flinches to brace itself for the impact of the mother falling on him. See more »
Martyrs are exceptional people. They survive pain, they survive total deprivation. They bear all the sins of the earth. They give themselves up. They transcend themselves... they are transfigured.
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I just got back from the midnight screening at TIFF, with a typical Midnight Madness audience that I would characterize as easy to please but difficult to impress. This film impressed us, as it was clearly a cut above (so to speak) the average genre film. The first act takes recent French horror films like High Tension, Inside and Frontiere(s) and shoves them into a hyper-violent blender. So far, so good. The second, far more emotionally grisly act elevates the cinematic experience to almost art-film heights, with sadly realistic parallels to our current insane world situation. Oh, there was a vomiting patron here, too.
The director was there along with the two lead actresses (who are looking much better now, I'm glad to say.) He told us that the film has secured distribution in 40 French-speaking countries, but that he hopes it will be viewed elsewhere on DVD only, to ensure that we see it uncut. Someone asked a question that referenced Michael Haneke's Funny Games, (I didn't quite hear the whole question, as the person was well back in the theater) but it really set M. Laugier off -- he denounced FG as "shit" and proclaimed his film "the anti-Funny Games." He was fine with the hour and a half brutalization of an innocent family, but felt strongly that it didn't have a sufficient point to make, or justification for the violence - "it just ends." I'm not sure I feel that way about FG, but it was interesting to hear his opinion. It's hard to discuss how Martyrs backs up it's pretension to be superior without spoiling it, however. To echo another comment, you'll have to see for yourself. Enjoy (not!)
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