the violence in martyrs is not entertaining. AT ALL. i have never seen a movie where someone being shot by a shotgun is so disturbing, and that is because somehow, the film captures that this guy is so instantaneously destroyed and dead. also, this is some of the least disturbing violence in the film. there is something extremely disturbing about a film that involves torture, where the torturer isn't even having any fun. it is calculated and precise, like solving an extremely complex mathematical equation, but there are even a few people on earth that would take great delight in that. the torturers work like it's any other day job that gives them no particular joy. that's disturbing. if you've heard of or seen audition, irreversible, the woman, or high tension (a great shocker until its "twist") then you may like martyrs. if you are looking for something that will entertain you with its violence, go somewhere else. this is about vicariously experiencing something awful and unpleasant that might make you ask some questions about life, good and evil, and that is something few people want to get TOO close to.
HERE ARE THE SPOILERS.
there has been a lot said about the whole point of the film as being stupid and nonsensical. many people have said that if these people are trying to find out about the afterlife, then their means of doing so will send them to hell. simply put, you're wrong. there is a point to what they are doing, and it cannot be achieved by just waiting for death. proof of an afterlife is proof that life is unending, that our lives do matter. it is proof that we are significant, that our souls are in fact real, and that there is a god. so why don't they just go to church, worship god, pray, and wait for the inevitable happy ending? they can't. there are many people that would like to believe in god but just can't. they need proof. so isn't torturing young girls to death going to insure a toasty spot in hell? nope. not if they come to truly believe and repent for their sins. the bible is a funny thing. one part that most christians forget is that all sins are equal in the eyes of god, because any sin is the equivalent of saying that you know better than he does. another part is that judgment is a sin, and this is a sin that most christians commit several times a day. judgement is mine, sayeth the lord. when you judge someone, you are declaring yourself god, and taking his power. this is as offensive to him as deciding that you should end someone's life before their time. thank god for all you judgemental christians out there, god forgives all sins in exchange for worshiping him as the highest authority and asking for forgiveness. so no, these people doing terrible, terrible things could turn things around if they had enough time and found true belief, no matter how they got there. if you have a problem believing that, don't argue on message boards, go argue with a minister or priest.
if there are spelling errors in this review, please forgive me. i am typing one handed thanks to a boxer's fracture in my right hand. too much time in the basement with anna.