Quick Movie Review: Martyrs – 2008 – directed by Pascal Laugier

Posted: November 3, 2013 in horror
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It’s rare for a film to come along that transcends genres and actually works. One such film is ‘Martyrs’. Many have simply dubbed the film with the horrible expression ‘torture porn’ but I don’t agree with that. I think you’ll find a lot of the people who simply explain the film with that expression haven’t actually seen the film and they are simply going on what they’ve heard. It’s a shame; it really is, because many would have missed out of this amazing film.

Lets get a few things out of the way:

Yes there is violence.

Yes there is gore.

And yes there is nudity.

But the thing is, none of it feels out of place. Never did I feel that anything was handled in an exploitive way as many say it is. It’s not. And when it comes to the actual ‘torture’ that does occur in the film, it is handled very carefully and very well. It takes an hour before any of what could be considered ‘torture porn’ occurs but even then it isn’t in the same vein as something like ‘hostel’ or even the likes of other extreme French horror films like ‘inside’.

One of the things that is so clever in the film is the fact that, as mentioned earlier, it transcends genres. We go through straight horror to revenge flick to supernatural horror to human drama and back to horror before going back to human drama. It’s a magnificent achievement.

I’d say that the theme that runs through the whole piece is the human condition and how the mind can be broken and manipulated. But even then that doesn’t explain it all.

Nothing I can say can do this film the justice it deserves. It is a film that is a must see for and fans of cinema or anyone interested in studies of the human condition. For me personally, it’s a film that I can endlessly watch and I always get something new from it… 8/10

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