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Oxide Pang Chun,
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 too saw this at Frightfest with an audience full of horror fans. Unlike all the other films of the festival, there were no cheers when characters were bloodily dispatched. Equally there was no unintentionally funny dialogue to snigger at (Jack Bauer vs The Exorcist, anyone?).
What Martyrs did have was a suggestion of the emotional horrors (rather than simply the physical) endured by someone who has been tortured. That was the first half of the film. The second half shifted plot-wise and also provided us with a motivation (however twisted) for the abuse
far more creepy than simply entertainment for the sick, as with
Despite it's bleakness I came out feeling uplifted, and evidently this was the director's intention. It could have been purely because this was the only film over the course of the weekend that had any intellectual aspirations, but it did succeed in eliciting strong reactions from the hardened horror audience, both positive and negative.
The nearest I can compare this too is Irreversible, but unlike Gasper Noé's film, I do feel that I can stomach another viewing of Martyrs, and the sooner the better.
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