Thursday, 8 June 2017

Martyrs (2008): That was intense … 

7th June, 2017.

Hmmm … 

How are you with films?

Sitting and watching them, occasionally?

I’m something of a movie fan.

So, every-so-often?

I’ll quite happily sit myself down to watch one.

Sometimes, I like company, sometimes I don’t.

But every time?

I try to watch something I think is worth watching.

And something that I hope, makes for a readable post.

I think I’ve found that something, tonight: after a friend suggested it.

Whether it’s something that’s comfortable to watch is a whole other matter … 


Martyrs opens wit a pre-title teaser: showing us Lucie, a hideously tortured little girl, escaping captivity, after being isolated, force-fed and chained to a commode for at least a year.

And doing two things, once she is taken into care at a large hospital.

  • Refusing — as some do — to talk about her experiences.
  • Making friends with a fellow patient: called Anna.
  • It’s only in private?

    That Lucie tells Anna she’s being haunted by a creature only she can see … 


    Many years later?

    The friends have tracked down Lucie’s torturers: to a posh, but quiet part of France.

    Anna is shocked: as Lucie calmly proceeds to shoot the entire family.

    Only for Lucie to kill herself: the creature, a horrible scarred young woman, is a manifestation of the guilt Lucie feels for leaving another child behind.

    Anna is left to mourn her friend: only to discover the house has another victim.   In the cellar.   And that that victim’s torturers?

    Are still around … 

    And pleased to have a new victim … 


    Now … 

    Comfortable … ?

    Hmmm … 

    I have a feeling that — out there, somewhere — is my ideal, perfect, film.

    One that will be both intellectually satisfying, aesthetically pleasing, and that will be in my collection for many years.

    Actually?   I suspect that film is 2001: A Space Odyssey.   Or V for Vendetta.

    At ANY rate?   I don’t know that Martyrs is that film.

    It is, however, a film that is extremely well made.

    What you get on screen?

  • Sympathetic characters: from the doctors who counsel Anna and Lucie in the opening parts of the film, to the cult group responsible for their abuse.
  • Motivated central characters.   Anna and Lucie are deeply scarred by their troubled pasts: scarred, and motivated.
  • A great premise: Lucia and Anna are tortured not because they’ve been caught by the usual run of dribbling serial killer, but by a cult, curious to known about life after death.
  • Torture.
  • About that torture … 

    Martyrs* is a very good film: very watchable, indeed.

    But does have a level of casual violence towards women I found perfectly justified by the plot: indeed something that’s reflected from the real world … 

    But very uncomfortable to watch.

    I feel no hesitation in recommending Martyrs, to 2008 version, to you: it’s a horror film that will leave a mark.

    But it’s not going to be for everyone.


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