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French Horror Reigns Supreme

  • May 23, 2009
Prior to viewing Martyrs, I had come across many reviews which obviously I would ignore. After all, I love the Horror genre as lately French Horror films have really stepped up to the plate & delivered the goods. Martyrs isn't an exception to that rule although I believe this one may have surpassed even my expectations.

Forget the slasher genre before watching Martyrs. I can go ahead & tell you this in advance. Irregardless of what glimmer of hope you may detect in the initial chapters, Martyrs will crush your very soul after it settles inside your skin. Don't expect any heroes/heroines but brace yourself instead for a very extreme & morbid film which may be anything but predictable as far as Horror films usually go.  A happy ending to satisfy consumers who only watch Horror films as a means of escape may find themselves way out of their comfort zone and I strongly urge them to steer away from Martyrs.
On second thought, try to avoid reading online reviews as many opinions may contain spoilers. Martyrs is perhaps most effective if experienced without an prior introduction. Even so, only the most hardcore fans should even attempt viewing this psychological masterpiece. If you somehow feel you've lost your edge after watching Saw or Hostel, I would highly suggest you pick up something else instead.

Martyrs is the unforgettable story of a young child who manages to escape from a house of enslavement & torture only to find she can never truly escape her past. The film skips ahead 15 years & we find the child now grown & hell-bent on a violent rampage in hopes of killing her captors. Her lifelong friend arrives at the scene of the bloodbath only a bit too late & then the real horrors begin. 

Throughout the next 45 minutes, we are then subjected to a series of terrifying images which are even more devastating & unpleasant than anything witnessed in the initial opening. Laugier doesn't cater to the faint of heart nor does he wish to join the ranks of other film-makers who specialize in the so-called torture porn films. (As one reviewer has already stated,I think we need a new name for films which normally would fall into that category.) Instead, we are presented a deeply moving study of trauma & it's emotional effects on the human heart. Martyrs easily gets my vote for the most macabre work of art bequeathed in many years. 

Having said that, it may be awhile time before I watch Martyrs again but my experience here will stick with me for a long time.
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December 28, 2010
I felt the same way about this film that you and WP did, this was so much better than I had expected [my Bro hyped it up, but he wasn't wrong].
January 02, 2011
Oh, this one did a few numbers on me. I was excited about watching it but almost sorry that I'd seen it afterwards. This is what one really calls horror for sure. Thanks Alex!
May 25, 2009
nice opening and great review to keep your opinions grounded. watch horror films keep America Strong!!
May 26, 2009
Thanks! I loved your review on this one too!! You know my love of horror films will always be shared with others!
May 24, 2009
Great review.
May 26, 2009
Thank you! You ALSO wrote a pretty bang up review. Much appreciated dude!
May 24, 2009
I think I've read the review to which you refer. While I normally steer clear of torture porn, I have sampled it and found it distasteful. This sounds like something else entirely which I might watch if my head was ever in the right place. When I was a freshman in college my English Comp teacher came into class one day and advised us not to read "The Painted Bird" because it was the most obscene book she had ever read. Having struggled through Ulysses when I was 15 I couldn't pass up the opportunity to find out what she considered obscene, especially since this paperback was sold everywhere. Well it certainly wasn't what I expected it to be and had to agree with her.
May 25, 2009
yep, it's probably my review LOL
May 25, 2009
Either you or Trashie and I couldn't recall at that moment.
May 26, 2009
I loved this film but it's very disturbing. It's definitely worth seeing but not an easy watch by any means. Give it a try some time Queen.
May 26, 2009
Undoubtedly I shall. There are those who say that the events portrayed inTHE PAINTED BIRD are based upon events in the life of Roman Polanski. I would prefer to think that that they are pure fiction, In either case I know that one day soon I will get to MARTYRS.
May 26, 2009
Martyrs is definately worth your time although you might want to find someone who will hang out or have dinner with you after viewing it.
May 26, 2009
Maybe I should watch it very early in the morning. All these warnings make me think I wouldn't want to see it and then have to try and sleep immediately afterwards.
May 26, 2009
I would recommend watching it with all the lights on. Also, make you're wide awake. If you just woke up, Martyrs might be even more unpleasant.
May 26, 2009
Got ya.
More Martyrs reviews
review by . April 11, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    "Martyrs" is a true - and great - horror movie in the sense that it's not the kind that is best enjoyed with popcorn and soda. Today, the higher paying audience for this genre seems to be teenagers; so horror movies made for adults are essentially scarce, but Pascal Laugier has reminded me of what it is like to both see and feel the pain that is being inflicted to the various characters on-screen. You can't care about the wound if you don't understand it, …
review by . May 02, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Dvd cover
French horror films have been outshining Hollywood horror for the past few years. Writer/director Pascal Laugier's "Martyrs" is an ultra-violent, harrowingly brutal and disquieting film about human suffering; both mentally, physically and emotionally. At first glance, one would think that this film has religious undertones but no, it takes a different road as to how it makes its point. I've read that the film was rejected by a number of large French studios, and has been rejected by a …
review by . May 13, 2009
I was pretty nervous before sitting down to view Martyrs—but not for the reasons you might expect. Sure, I'd heard about how intense and soul-crushing the film was and how people felt that you could admire it but really not "enjoy" it, but for me those kind of statements inspire a different sort of dread than what was intended. After spending over a decade writing about horror films (and nearly three decades watching them), I'm more scared when a movie comes so highly touted than I am that it might …
About the reviewer
Brian ()
Ranked #13
I've spent years trying to make others happy & not really focusing on what's most important in my own life. Having said that, my own health & security are paramount so now I'm more … more
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Studio: The Weinstein Company

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