Critic Consensus: A real polarising movie, this Gallic torture-porn is graphic, brutal, nasty and gruesome and not to everyone's taste.
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as The Father
as La Suppliciée
as le bourreau
as la femme de main
as la femme du bourreau
as Lucie at 10 years old
as Anna Age 10
as Voice of Anna's Mother
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Critic Reviews for Martyrs
Martyrs is something of a horror milestone-a dire one to some, but a movie to be reckoned with all the same.
Martyrs has an intelligence and a dogged determination to do and to say what its predecessors could or would not.
it turns out to be concerned precisely with the nature and reception of extremity, posing uncomfortable questions about what it is that one really seeks in choosing to 'witness' scenes of horrific human abjection.
The air of pretentiousness and the whiff of lesbian chic suggest that the bunch of nihilists who produced this garbage will claim something for it. All it really demonstrates is that there is something seriously rotten in the state of France.
It will most definitely divide audiences, having already done so all over the world. But Laugier has contributed a brave, brutal and original horror film for all to witness.
Audience Reviews for Martyrs
This extremely disturbing and almost unwatchable exercise in extreme sadism is always gripping, given how it follows unpredictable directions at every moment until it reaches a surprising final act that demands too much from the audience for being so nihilistic and profoundly sickening.
'Martyrs' begins promisingly, telling the story of Lucie, a woman who escaped violent confinement as a child and has spent her life fighting the demons of her past whilst seeking those responsible for it. The film's exposition is undoubtedly entertaining with Lucie's first adult appearance (with a shotgun) being the highlight of the whole feature. As Lucie's plot, disappointingly, finishes by the films midpoint focus is then shifted to her long-term friend and partner in crime 'Anna'. From this point onwards 'Martyrs' sadly becomes pseudo-philosophical drivel in an attempt to give itself meaning and mask its little substantial intrigue. Alongside this the film often feels boring in moments and struggles with its shallow antagonists and missing direction. Overall it feels as if 'Martyrs' lost it way when it turned to Anna, and, although I truly enjoyed a few scenes I can't help but feel as if they would of worked better in a something less dishonest.
A young woman tormented by the psychological damage inflicted upon her by sadistic kidnappers seeks revenge with the aid of a childhood friend. Martyrs begins with quite an interesting premise; Mylene Jampanoi's damaged abuse victim is by far the most interesting character in the film and the first half of the story which centres around her state of mind and her friend's uncertainty as to her sanity is very intriguing. But being a "horror" movie, cue the half-baked twist and it degenerates into yet another repulsive torture-thon, the piss weak Outer Limits excuse for which is feeble even by the standards of the genre. Quite why anybody - women in particular - would find entertainment in watching a young girl being mutilated and brutalized I have no idea, but this so-called horror is just yet more tasteless, unpleasant torture porn with pretensions.