I like to watch macabre movies, movies that creep me out and gives me small periods of fear in weeks after watching it. “Martyrs” is a movie that will send chills down your bones.
Martyrs is a French-Canadian movie made back in 2008. It is said to be one of the worst (not in a negative term) horror movies made, it was supposed to open for a whole new era of French horror movies. Many actresses were optioned for the female leads in this movie, but turned it down due to the extremely dark script. The movie makers also had a hard time finding someone wanting to support this project and find producers, it was rejected by all the big French Studios. In the end this movie was produced on a low-budget financed by Canal+ (the only television channel in France that finances some unusual projects). Pascal Laugier both directed and wrote the script for this movie.
The film begins with a young girl, Lucie, as she escapes from a disused abattoir where she has been imprisoned and physically abused for a lengthy period of time. No signs of sexual abuse are identified, and the perpetrators and their motivations remain a mystery. This girl is placed in an Orphanage where she befriends a girl named Anna. Anna soon discovers that Lucie is constantly being attacked by manifestations of a ghoulish creature; a horrible, disfigured woman covered in scars.
We jump fifteen years forward in time to find Lucie bursting into a seemingly family’s home where she shoots every one. Then she calls her friend Anna to come and help her with the corpses.
Anna attempts to clean up the house and discovers a secret underground chamber. Imprisoned within is a horribly tortured woman, covered in scars with a strange metal contraption nailed to her head. While Anna attempts to care for her, strangers arrive and shoot the woman dead. The strangers let Anna meet their leader, an old woman called Mademoiselle. She explains that she belongs to a secret society seeking to discover the secrets of the afterlife through the creation of “martyrs.” During their process so far they have only managed to create victims. They inflict systematic acts of torture upon young women in the belief that their suffering will result in a transcendental insight into the world beyond (what’s after death). Anna becomes their latest subject and is imprisoned in a chamber.
I’ll stop the story there so I won’t reveal the ending.
“Martyrs” is a great horror movie. It truly is a horror movie in the old-fashioned way. I love horror movies from the 80s because they are truly made to be scary (not something squeezed together and could be rated PG-13). This movie is horrifying, it’s disgusting, and if you are easily scared you should not watch it alone.
I bet Martyrs will be the best horror-movie I’ve watched throughout 2011, maybe the best I’ve ever watched. Because of this I’m gutted that the Americans wants to make an American remake where the producers on top of all wish to get Kristen Stewart assigned to the project. Why can’t English-speaking-people read subtitles like everyone else? (Sorry I’ve just watched the remake of “Let the right one in” and is a little touchy, no offense indented). On top of all they want the American version to be a little lighter in the end, show a little hope. Please dear people with control over this: please do not sell the rights for this one, don’t let anyone ruin this brilliant cult movie.
This movie is worth a watch for every horror fan out there. It sets Saw and Hostel in the shadow by it brilliance.