7.1/10
71,396
438 user 215 critic

Martyrs (2008)

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.

Director:

Pascal Laugier

Writer:

Pascal Laugier
Reviews
Popularity
1,317 ( 411)

Watch Now

From $6.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Inside (2007)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Four months after the death of her husband, a woman on the brink of motherhood is tormented in her home by a strange woman who wants her unborn baby.

Directors: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Stars: Alysson Paradis, Jean-Baptiste Tabourin, Claude Lulé
High Tension (2003)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Best friends Marie and Alexia decide to spend a quiet weekend at Alexia's parents' secluded farmhouse. But on the night of their arrival, the girls' idyllic getaway turns into an endless night of horror.

Director: Alexandre Aja
Stars: Cécile de France, Maïwenn, Philippe Nahon
Frontier(s) (2007)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A gang of young thieves flee Paris during the violent aftermath of a political election, only to hole up at an Inn run by neo-Nazis.

Director: Xavier Gens
Stars: Karina Testa, Aurélien Wiik, Patrick Ligardes
Eden Lake (2008)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Refusing to let anything spoil their romantic weekend break, a young couple confront a gang of loutish youths with terrifyingly brutal consequences.

Director: James Watkins
Stars: Kelly Reilly, Michael Fassbender, Tara Ellis
Srpski film (2010)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Srdjan Spasojevic
Stars: Srdjan 'Zika' Todorovic, Sergej Trifunovic, Jelena Gavrilovic
[Rec] (2007)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.

Directors: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
Stars: Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Jorge-Yamam Serrano
The Descent (2005)
Adventure | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.

Director: Neil Marshall
Stars: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid
Audition (1999)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A mother of two who inherits a house is confronted with murderous intruders on the first night in their new home and fights for her daughters' lives. Sixteen years later when the daughters reunite at the house, things get really strange.

Director: Pascal Laugier
Stars: Crystal Reed, Mylène Farmer, Anastasia Phillips
Grave II (2016)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An innocent teenager, studying to be a vet, develops a craving for human flesh.

Director: Julia Ducournau
Stars: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella
Antichrist (2009)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage, but nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse.

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When Brent turns down his classmate Lola's invitation to the prom, she concocts a wildly violent plan for revenge.

Director: Sean Byrne
Stars: Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, John Brumpton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Morjana Alaoui ... Anna
Mylène Jampanoï ... Lucie
Catherine Bégin ... Mademoiselle
Robert Toupin ... Le père
Patricia Tulasne Patricia Tulasne ... La mère
Juliette Gosselin ... Marie
Xavier Dolan ... Antoine (as Xavier Dolan-Tadros)
Louise Boisvert Louise Boisvert ... Mère d'Anna (voice)
Jean-Marie Moncelet Jean-Marie Moncelet ... Étienne
Jessie Pham Jessie Pham ... Lucie 10 ans
Erika Scott Erika Scott ... Anna 10 ans
Isabelle Chasse Isabelle Chasse ... La créature
Emilie Miskdjian Emilie Miskdjian ... La suppliciée
Tony Robinow Tony Robinow ... Docteur
Anie Pascale ... La femme bourreau
Edit

Storyline

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 kwedgwood@hotmail.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They haven't finished being alive.

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing/severe aberrant behavior involving strong bloody violence, torture, child abuse and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site [France]

Country:

France | Canada

Language:

French

Release Date:

3 September 2008 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Mártires See more »

Filming Locations:

Canada See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In Pascal Laugier's previous film Saint Ange (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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Anna: I miss you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sardonicast: Sardonicast #11: Cr1TiKaL, Martyrs (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

My Neighbourhood
Performed by Goldmund
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
More like Noé and Grandrieux
11 November 2008 | by OnderhondSee all my reviews

French horror has been pushing the boundaries for some time now. First there was Haute Tension, then A l'Intérieur and newest in line is Martyrs, hyped up to take it all a little further. And it did, it definitely did. It's just that it doesn't belong in the same list as the films mentioned before. Martyrs goes way beyond.

Those expecting another fun, bloody, gory, insane horror flick can just up and leave, because Martyrs isn't like that. While it borrows the horror from films like A l'Intérieur and Haute Tension, the tone and effect of the film is much closer to Irréversible or better yet, Grandrieux's La Vie Nouvelle.

All these films belong to the French Extreme wave, a rather broad line of films of different backgrounds and themes, but all bearing an unrelentless level of extremity. And Martyrs stands proudly at the top of that list, even though Laugier himself seems a little hesitant to claim all credits for his film.

Martyrs starts off like you'd expect a bleak, raw and pitch black horror flick to start off. Only minutes into the film, bodies start flying and guts is spilled royally. Strangely though, there's no joy, limbs are flying enjoyment to be found. The presentation is cold, the characters are emotionally wrangled, the tension is harsh. Lucie, the main characters and victim of a year long torture plan, evokes the sympathy of the viewer and plays it out incredibly well.

The first half of the film keeps balancing on borderline horror, keeping its crude and dark exterior, but never crossing any boundaries. A Grudge-like ghost in added to the film, but Laugier stays close to the drama and never allows the film to become a mere horror flick. Things take a turn for the worse around halfway through, where the torture theme of the film is given even more power as Anna, Lucie's guardian, discovers the truth about the torture/kidnap story of the past.

From that moment on, the film becomes really uncomfortable to watch and crosses over to the realm of Noé and Grandrieux. We are witness of cold and painful torture scenes, driven to very unpleasant extremes nearing the end. The film follows the methods of the people who torture, which are based on repetition and endurance, making it all the harder to sit through.

In a rather surprising move, this film was released in theaters in Belgium by one of the most prestigious labels here, the reason for that is laid bare in the second half of the film. Rather that simply serve a story of horror and torture, Laugier digs deeper into the human mind. The idea behind Martyrs is not futile nor easily forgotten. There's a whole point to the film, elevating is above all its reference points (Saw and Hostel - sadly enough).

Martyrs is in a whole different league and is everything a film like Funny Games should have been. A definite assault to the gut, extremely graphic and to the point, without ever flinching or resolving to silly tricks to get a point across. It's a film only a director with love for the genre could make (remember that Mr Haneke, after two pointless attempts) and Laugier doesn't let down.

Visually, the film is well shot, though nothing out of the ordinary. The make-up on the other hand deserves some praise, same as the leading ladies who play their parts with conviction and depth (at one point Anna even shows a creepy resemblance to Falconetti in Jeanne d'Arc) . Essential to the film and certainly not an easy task.

Don't watch Martyrs to get a little horror kick, or to indulge in silly gorefests. This film will not deliver the fun thrills of regular horror movies, on the contrary. It's a bleak, depressive but all the more impressive look in the darker depths of the human condition, it will leave you cringing in your seat and it will make you want to look away. And it does so without ever numbing you down.

One of the most impressive films I've seen this year, a definite favorite and one that'll receive my further support through a DVD purchase, though I have no idea when or if I'll watch it again. Laugier uses every bit of skill he has to make Martyrs as painful as possible, and reaches further than any other has. A very solid 4.5*/5.0*, though no recommendation from my side. Definitely not a film for everyone.


298 of 388 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 438 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed