Martyrs (2008 France) requested by Andy

Our sweet little fairy tale begins with a beaten and bloodied young girl named Lucie running for her life from an industrial complex.  She is taken into an orphanage and we soon learn that she was held against her will for months and beaten for no apparent reason.  She is skiddish around the other kids, for obvious reasons, but she eventually befriends another young girl named Anna.  Lucie confides in Anna that while she doesn’t remember what happened to her while she was being held, she is now aware that there is a monster that looks like a dead girl following her around and hurting her… she reveals all of the fresh cuts covering her forearms.

We time travel 15 years into the future and meet a simple family living in the suburbs enjoying a nice Sunday morning breakfast.  The father goes to answer a knock at the door and is immediately shot in the chest.  The intruder bursts in and shoots the mother and son as well.  We see that it is Lucie doing the shooting and she trots upstairs to finish off the little girl. She saw the family’s picture in the paper and was convinced that the parents were the people who tortured her as a child.  As she goes to leave the house she is attacked from behind; it is the dead girl monster from when she was a kid!  The monster slashes her up pretty good; and Lucie goes to hide in a bedroom, and she calls her BFF Anna for help.  Anna comes over to the house, and while she is shocked at the grizzly murder scene, she agrees to help her friend dump the bodies.  Later Anna is freaked out after another attack by Lucie’s ‘monster’, as it is revealed that Lucie is the one cutting herself.  Whatever those people who held her captive did to her caused her to see that monster and hurt herself.  She takes her own life leaving after Anna refuses to believe her, and Anna alone in the house.  As she goes to leave she comes upon a secret room that leads to a basement where another girl is being held against her will and tortured.  Things get even stranger as she sets the girl free, but someone needs to take her place to complete a bizarre experiment.

Alex’s Thoughts:  There are not many movies that shock me; but this was an exception.  I am not ashamed to admit that there were times when I had to stop the movie and walk away for an hour or so, as I was sick to my stomach.  It is that intense.  Almost every scene will have you gritting your teeth in anticipation or sheer horror, and this in not a movie for the faint of heart or those weary of gore.  You are terrified by the monster that haunts Lucie, and after her horrific suicide you can’t see how it can get any worse for Anna, but everything you’ve seen so far is so very tame compared to what follows.  It is a rough film to watch, and makes movies like Hostel and Tourista look like Toy Story in comparison.  While the ending was good, I personally wished it was just a bit better to justify the awful visuals I had to watch to get there.   Alex Rates This Movie 7/10

Tim’s Thoughts:The first hour of this movie is incredible. It’s also awful, and terrible to watch, but it’s suspenseful and terrifying. The last hour of this movie is a huge letdown, as it slides into torture porn and an unsatisfying ending. It stops being scary and just becomes torture for torture’s sake. I think the first hour is one of the most intense movies I have ever seen, as it’s unrelenting, and brutal. The last half not so much, just brutal and unnecessary, I am still upset that I sat through the last part of this and had little to no reward for my vigilance. So I will give two ratings, one for the first half, and one for the second. Tim Rates the first half 10/10, the second half 3/10.

“Martyrs are exceptional people. They survive pain, they survive total deprivation. They bear all the sins of the earth. They give themselves up. They transcend themselves… they are transfigured.”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue