Martyrs Review


This movie shocked the hell out of me! I was not at all prepared! I have to say up front that I am NOT a fan of  the subgenre of “torture porn” that appears to be prevalent in many horror movies today. Watching people slowly expire in agony while strapped to a chair makes me ill and angry. But I figured that “Martyrs” would just be a cheesy, ripoff of “I Spit on Your Grave”. Silly fun and quick deaths.

It soon became apparent, however, that this was not what was going to happen. But by that time, I was already hooked and could not stop watching.

Lucie is an unfortunate little girl who barely escapes after being tortured for weeks. She is taken in by an orphanage and becomes fast friends with Anna, another orphan. Fast forward fifteen years later and Lucie finds and kills the couple who tortured her all those years ago, along with their two children. The closure she so desperately seeks by enacting her vengence is denied as her mind was broken all those years ago and she suffers from hallucinations.

We soon learn that the group behind her early suffering are trying to recreate a “martyr”, someone who reaches such a state of agony that they can see the afterlife! It’s a sick, completely immoral and nonsensical justification, but they-or more specifically the woman leading them-Mademoiselle-are insane criminals completely obsessed with uncovering the secrets (if any) of the afterlife! (I’m not sure how reliable a brutalized witness is, but you can’t expect rational thinking in a horror film! Or at least not most of the time anyways)

The acting is superb, the effects convincing and the film is a decent length. The ending was particularly disturbing and stays with you for a loooong time! It’s extremely horrific! You have been warned!

Naturally the unimaginative bozos in Hollywood right now want to make an “American” version and soften it up for audiences here.  But if you like these kind of films, I say stick to the original!


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      1. Sam August 18, 2011 at 10:13 pm

        This is, for my money, the great horror masterpiece of the last 25 years.  I’ve seen it at least seven times now and it becomes darker, deeper and more disturbing every time.

      2. Gizbot7 August 21, 2011 at 6:58 am

        I’m not sure Martyrs should be classified as horror, but can’t think of any other way to label it either.  Nonetheless, this film is spectacular.   

        • HorrorMovies August 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm

          im not sure how it cant be horror Gizbot. This is one of the most disturbing movies I have ever see. Definitely scared me!

      3. adi a January 5, 2012 at 11:46 am

        i couldnt read through the entire eview since it contains so many SPOILERS!

      4. Horror Movie Medication February 12, 2013 at 2:15 am

        Thank you! I was starting to think I was all alone. I don’t get this movie either. I can’t figure out what it is trying to be. It’s kinda like a two act play. If it had ended after the fist act it would have been ok, but it needed a third act to make sense of it all.
        I actually reviewed this movie too. I was hoping to get some feedback from a fellow critic who could give me some pointers. Check it out if you can.


      5. TheCurs1975 June 6, 2014 at 7:51 pm

        The greatest horror film of the 2000’s! Every minute of Martyrs is utterly nasty, often revolting, uncomfortable viewing and, for fucks sake, surely that should be the aim of any horror film. I’ve watched the film once, about 17 months ago, and honestly I can remember more or less every moment, sequence by sequence, frame by frame, it had such a profound effect on me. I’ve not watched it since because I haven’t been able to drum up enough mental strength! Very few films have effected me in the same way, those that have ( Texas Chainsaw (74) / Funny Games (97) / Cannibal Holocaust etc. ) I consider the best the genre has to offer because, while I may not want to watch them all that often, I certainly won’t ever forget them, they didn’t merely entertain, they shocked, disturbed and emotionally moved me and that’s exactly what a horror film should aim to do. So yeah, Martyrs, fucking 10/10, without question. If you consider yourself a serious horror fan and ain’t seen it yet, you should, if you don’t like it, your wrong and if you truly love it kill any one who takes on the job of remaking it for a mainstream US audience.