Martyrs (2008)


Dir: Pascal Laugier

One seventh of the way through this snorefest of just-because-I-can-gore, I slipped away from the films whisper light grip on my attention to read up on Martyrs on the internet just for something to do as I had already grown deadly bored of the blood-soaked gimmick. The movie had been branded as ‘torture porn’ and was ‘sickening’ and ‘damaging to your psychological health’ but done in an arty way according to the lost souls who sat through this mess.
There were those who loved the gruesome and ‘outstandingly original’ plot, and those that hate it for being needlessly graphic and having a shit plot. Naturally, I fall into the second category as I found it painfully dull but the divisive review gulf that this movie had created was large enough to fit a small world through. People either loved it, or despised it.

After the blistering first half, we suddenly get a total shift in mood with similar scenes playing out that needed to be truncated or omitted entirely as the pacing up until this point had been surprisingly good for a movie found deep in the Horror section of Amazon Prime. Yet when the halfway change occurred, the gears on the previously blood soaked engine ground to a shattering halt and just ambled along until the wheels stopped.

I found myself asking, ‘why?’ and, ‘for what purpose’ nearly every second minute during the latter half of Martyrs – mainly to myself as to find a reason why I was still watching this garbage, but also to my other half who was actually paying attention but still couldn’t give me a succinct answer regarding the stupid plot.

A visual representation of how my soul was feeling during the movie

As the movie wore on, some of the scenes that the director just had to throw in to remind us that we were watching the same film as the first half made me laugh with its ridiculousness as now they just seemed completely out of place in the slow-burning final stretch about transcendence through pain, life after death, and other utter bullshit.

I had a million questions when the credits finally rolled such as;

  • Where did they get the money and resources for this? (For the cult and the actual movie)
  • Why was nobody reported missing?
  • How come nobody came to inspect the house once the brother and sister from the beginning stopped turning up to school?
  • How come said teenagers never thought to open that cupboard during their entire time living there, supposedly clueless as to what was going on?
  • Why did Anna throw her sandwich away like it was a cooked grenade when the phone rang?

Now, I enjoy movies where over-the-top gore is use as a plot point (such as 2010’s I Saw The Devil), but the makers of Martyrs must’ve come into a warehouse-worths supply of fake blood and wrote some flimsy script based on having to use it all before it goes off.  94 minutes of my life, gone.



The makers of Martyrs must've come into a warehouse-worths supply of fake blood and wrote some flimsy script based on having to use it all before it goes off

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