or I just watched Martyrs ...... i'm still not sure ......
If you thought recent French horror wave flicks like Inside and Frontier(s) were brutal and unrelenting, you aint seen nothin yet! You know how with most movies you kinda know what's going to happen or at least know what could and could not possibly happen? This is not one of those movies. It goes to places one could never dream of it going and it's just about the most unpredictable and disturbing film I have ever seen. There is not a single laugh. There is not a single light or fun moment. The gore is not glorified or exciting. It's a terrifying, sickening, disgusting, powerful, dangerous, gory, maddening, and perhaps even beautiful (?) descent into the deepest and darkest recesses of the human condition from the first to the last frame. NOT FOR THE WEAK OF HEART!
"Disturbing people when you make horror is like a supreme reward." - Pascal Laugier, director of Martyrs, from a recent Fangoria interview.
Not since Irreversible have I seen a movie that has so disturbed me as Martyrs. That's what Laugier was going for and no one can say that's not precisely what he achieved. And for that, I must applaud the man. I am not easily disturbed or repulsed by movies, but this one sure as shit brought me to that level. But make no mistake. This isn't one of those mindless gore fest movies that are disturbing merely for the sake of being disturbing. It's got a purpose and it's got meaning. That being said, i'm still not entirely sure what to make of the movie as a whole and i'm not even sure whether I liked it (definetly liked the first half better than the second) or could recommend it to anyone, but it's certaintly going to be on my mind for many days to come and I guess that's saying something pretty profound.
I don't really want to say too much because I don't want to spoil anything and in fact I really don't think you should even watch the trailer or read the plot description before you watch the movie. I think it's one of those movies that's best to watch without really knowing or reading anything about it, but i'll give you a brief plot description just so you kinda know what the basis for the story is. I will choose my words carefully ....
The film opens with a young girl, Lucie, running for her life from a building. She's beaten up real bad and she's clearly just been through some kind of horrific torture. She ends up in a youth home where she befriends another young girl by the name of Anna, and she's plagued by visions of a demonic creature. Fast forward to fifteen years later. All hell is about to break loose for both Lucie and Anna.
And that's quite frankly all i'm at liberty to say. That's about all I knew before heading into the movie and i'm glad for it. All I can really say is, without question, see the movie for yourself. It's certaintly not for everyone but I think every genre fan at least needs to see it. One thing is for sure ; whether you love the movie or are completely disgusted and turned off by it, it will get you talking, it will get you thinking, and it will leave a mark on you. It comes out on uncut DVD April 28th. Mark that date on your calendar and give it a rent as soon as possible. Click THIS link to instantly add it to your Netflix queue.
If you've seen the movie, leave a comment with your thoughts as i'd love to discuss it more in depth and not have to worry about spoilers.
Pascal Laugier will next be writing and directing the Hellraiser remake, which leads me to to believe that that's gonna be one hell of a movie. Being that Hellraiser deals with many of the same themes and ideas as Martyrs, I think Laugier is the perfect fit for the redux. Cannot wait to see what he comes up with.
One last thing ..... Rest In Peace to Benoit Lestang, the makeup artist who's amazing work is on display in Martyrs. Lestang committed suicide last July, making this his last film. He also worked on the flicks The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Brotherhood of the Wolf, and The City of Lost Children. Without his awesome work, this movie would not be nearly as effective as it is.