With Halloween at our doorstep I thought I’d revisit an oldie but a goodie…(*there be spoilers afoot)
Cast | Directed by Pascal Laugier, starring Morjana Alaour and Mylene Jampanoi
My grandfather once told me that if you’re going to make a movie about transcendentally accessing the truth from the afterlife, you’re going to have to flay a few girls. And in the case of the horror/mystery Martyrs, my grandfather is proven prophetic.
Martyrs comes from French filmmaker Pascal Laugier and isn’t for the squeamish. It’s brutally violent and unabashedly so. But above all, it’s a relevant story about existence that needs to go to terrible places to prove its point. It circles around two girls, Lucie and Anna. At the onset of the film, we see Lucie fleeing from some unspeakable horror. In her escape, she sees another captive and does nothing to help her. She is haunted by this for the rest of the film. And by haunted, I mean physically and mentally terrorized by this golem of an entity who is quite possibly the creepiest thing created.
Lucie is placed in an orphanage where she is befriended by Anna. The rest of the story feels as if it is told by a hammer. A family is sitting around a dinner table is systematically brutalized by Lucie. The family, it turns out, is connected to Lucie’s past. As Anna shows up to help Lucie hide the bodies, things go from worse to shit show. Lucie’s violent battle with the phantasm, her suicide and Anna’s discovery of a hidden chamber under the house are just the beginnings of a well-crafted script. Just when you think things couldn’t possibly get worse, they do … then it happens again and again.
Am I saying that torture and gore are art forms? No, but in Martyrs they are mechanisms to brazenly prove a point. If you can sit through the depravity and the abuse, you may just get something out of Martyrs. Or, you can just watch Twilight and coddle your sensitive ideologies while at the same time stupefying future ones.