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.
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After kidnapping and brutally assaulting two young women, a gang unknowingly finds refuge at a vacation home belonging to the parents of one of the victims: a mother and father who devise an increasingly gruesome series of revenge tactics.
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 »
Lucie was only a victim. Like all the others. It's so easy to create a victim, young lady, so easy. You lock someone in a dark room. They begin to suffer. You feed that suffering. Methodically, systematically and coldly. And make it last. Your subject goes through a number of states. After a while, their trauma; that small, easily opened crack, makes them see things that don't exist.
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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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