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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.


Pascal Laugier


Pascal Laugier
1,281 ( 106)
7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Morjana Alaoui ... Anna
Mylène Jampanoï ... Lucie
Catherine Bégin ... Mademoiselle
Robert Toupin ... Le père
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 ... 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


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


They haven't finished being alive.



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 »

Did You Know?


The Blu-ray copies of Martyrs have been discontinued in Region 1. 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: Is this making you sick? Can you smell that smell? Smells awful, huh? Every time she bent over me, I could smell that, every day. Understand? And it smelled different when she beat me.
See more »


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User Reviews

Love it or hate it, you won't soon forget it.
21 September 2009 | by Mr_CensoredSee all my reviews

If the past few years have taught us anything, it's that you can never underestimate the French when it comes to delivering top-notch horror movies. Like "High Tension" and "Inside" before it, "Martyrs" is the latest film to be subjected to a wealth of internet hype and to gain significant notoriety in the states, especially for a foreign film. But as director Pascal Laugier states in his introduction on the DVD, the film was merely an experiment in cinema and subsequently will evoke a reaction in any viewer, whether it's a positive or a negative one.

That's pretty much the story of "Martyrs," a tricky film that is part revenge, part cerebral thriller. While it lacks the visceral punch of other films it's been compared to, the film is perhaps one of the most ambitious in recent years. In his film, Laugier shows many influences ranging from the works of Stanley Kubrick to even "Hellraiser" (a film which the director was briefly attached to remake recently), but integrates them all into a film that is unmistakably his own. Blatantly going out of his way to avoid typical film clichés and over-done visual-effects, Laugier's film presents itself as bluntly and realistically as possible. The way the film is shot is very matter-of-fact, showing the extreme violence exactly as it is. The lack of stylization is a style all its own, giving the film its own unmistakable and dreadful atmosphere. All of this is driven home with intense performances from its two leads – Morjana Alaoui and Mylene Jampanoi -- who go a long way to invoke sympathy in the audience and establish a very human factor that is important to the film's credibility, especially when it reaches ridiculous heights in the third act.

Where "Martyrs" is heavy on the violence and dread, its problems stem from its severe lack of focus. The film shifts gears very sharply in its final act, and the build-up that precedes it is nearly destroyed. The very visceral first two-thirds of the film seem to have been forsaken for an ending that will leave many scratching their heads, wondering what kind of film they just saw. The ending itself is bold and will incite conversation long after the credits have rolled, but doesn't really fit with the tone of the rest of the movie. To put it simply, "Martyrs" is two movies in one, and unfortunately, its final act doesn't do the film justice. Having said that, however, "Martyrs" is still a bold and very unique experience in film, one that any horror fan (or anyone in general) should see for themselves in order to develop their own opinion. This is truly one film that will be interpreted differently by everyone, and in spite of its obvious flaws, won't soon be forgotten.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

Official site [France]


France | Canada



Release Date:

3 September 2008 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Martyrs See more »

Filming Locations:

Québec, Canada


Box Office


EUR3,390,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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