Friday, April 18, 2014

It Came From Netflix:Martyrs(2008)

By Eric Polk-
The past decade or so, France has been a major player in our beloved horror genre powered by the New French Extremity movement, producing such films as the awesome Haute Tension, Frontiers, Sheitan, and the highly controversial Martyrs.

Directed by Pascal Laugier(who gives a brief intro on the dvd), the movie kicks off as a revenge film centered around Lucie, a girl imprisoned and abused for a good deal time. She escapes, is befriended by Anna in an orphanage, and is then terrorized by a disfigured ghostly woman. Fifteen years later, Lucie performs her best Charles Bronson impression and blows away a seemingly normal family. Anna is requested to help bury the bodies then realizes this may have been the wrong family Anna had just mowed down.

The creature returns again, driving Lucie mad, eventually succumbing to fate. Afterward, Anna discovers a secret chamber along with some rather painful secrets which are literally revealed to her day after horrific day.

This is a tale of two movies. The first portion is great. Lucie trying to fight off the demons created by her stained childhood and, sadly, not being able to overcome the obstacle. Anna trying to add a semblance of sanity to her friend's mental condition. The scary monster. The second half, on the other hand, is actually nothing more than a half-hour of torture which provides hardly any payoff. Sure there is a strong reason behind what is taking place, but nothing is added to this to provide the second half any weight.

Still, it's worth a view just for the sake of curiosity.


Marvin the Macabre said...

Aw hells no. The second half is the whole point of the film. Sure, it stops being scary and becomes an endurance test, but without it, everything that came before is just exploitation fluff. I urge you to watch it again and to read my spoiler-filled article on it:

It's a rare horror film that asks the kind of questions Martyrs does.

Jennifer Hicks said...

Totally agree Marvin! LOVE LOVE, this movie. It's one I hold up all others too. Of course, we all have different taste. said...

I really liked the very very end. The pay our was uber for me. I thoughts the whole series of meanings used around the theme of martyrs clicked. Breaking down the subjectivity until there is nothing left in order to seek transendance is a wild idea for a horror flick.