We live our lives in small loops, usually they are just 16 hours long and as soon as you close your eyes and fall asleep, you are gone. This is how most of the population is living, basically in the same tribal way we humans have lived for thousands of years. Some things have changed, but the basics are the same. You’re caught in the churn, just trying to make it, never questioning things because you feel that the whole thing will fall apart if anything changes. And if you’re comfortable enough to start questioning the world and yourself, it takes you away from the population that rejects the very notion of questioning and into this dark void where the objective truth lies. Director Pascal Laugier has confessed that he wrote the screenplay for the film in a state of clinical depression, bordering on suicidal thoughts, which is why the film is said to have a nihilistic and depressing subject matter. Martyrs is one of those movies that will stay with you for a very long time. It’s a masterpiece of modern cinematography and represents the very best that the European cinema has to offer when it comes to the horror genre. It’s a bit difficult to watch, so you better prepare yourself for some fucked up themes and scenes. However, any discomfort you will feel should only make you happy because it is a sign that you are not as fucked up as you thought you were. Speaking of discomfort, a lot of people were physically sick after seeing Martyrs, so be aware of that.

Martyrs [2008] Movie Review Recommendation PosterEverything in this movie just worked towards this sick and bleak atmosphere of despair and depression. The ultimate nihilistic experience, so if you’re intrigued by this premise but are in a relatively positive atmosphere, get this movie and store it for one of those fucked up days. I noticed that when I’m going through some shit, I always watch some depressive movies or series, probably to minimize my own troubles compared to those I am witnessing on screen. I will entirely skip the plot summary since it’s ultimately irrelevant, if you’re still not convinced to check out the movie, plot won’t do it and if you’re eager to delve into the depths of the void, it’s better to dive in with your eyes closed.

Compared to Hostel and Saw, Martyts is a much more traumatic experience, although they all feature almost the same elements. However, the devil is in the details and this time the devil called that abattoir his home. Inside, Frontiers and Haute Tension are much better examples, even Wolf Creek coming to us from Australia is a much closer entry than these mainstream horrors. These movies are a part of a New French Extreme, that finds its roots in the nineties with movies like Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children, although French have a long history of exploration in this genre. I will leave the link for this below, if you want to check out more of these movies.

At this point we should probably talk about the term torture porn movie. What started as an innocent splatter experiment soon veered off into a more drastic depictions with movies like Canibal Holocaust, Man Behind the Sun and Nekromantik. These movies featured very strong visuals that looked almost real and this trend continued in the nineties and is still going strong. Martyrs is a modern horror so movies like A Serbian FilmAugust Underground and Aftermath.

Director: Pascal Laugier

Cast: Morjana Alaoui, Mylène Jampanoï, Catherine Bégin, Emilie Miskdjian

New French Extreme: Wikipedia link

Fun Stuff: Director Laugier said that “the film was rejected by all the big French studios, by a lot of actresses, too. He also comments that the main difficulty other than the technical issues such as special effects was to keep the actresses crying all the time, and that was too demanding.


IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1029234/

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