Monday, 4 June 2012

Film Review: MARTYRS (2008)

Martyrs - poster Writer/Director: Pascal Laugier
Running time: 99 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

Genre: Drama/Horror/Thriller
UK Release date: 27th march 2009

Watched on Sky+ Monday 4th June 2012.


Another one of those films that came up in an online conversation; highly rated by some and certainly controversial. For me, well, it was a little all over the place plot-wise, but even so I found it strangely compelling. A French film (with subtitles), it gives us a slightly different take on a revenge thriller, but more on my thoughts after this very brief summary.

Martyrs - 7 When young Lucie escapes her captors, she is cared for at a hospital where she is befriended by Anna, a girl of similar age. Lucie has deep psychological scars from the abuse she had suffered (not sexual I might add) and now carries with her a very dark passenger. Fifteen years later she has tracked down those responsible and is about to exact her revenge… When she calls Anna later her whole world has collapsed around her but there is a lot more for Anna to discover… I will leave it there or the Spoiler Police (French Horror Division) will have me chained up to a wall (again).

Martyrs - 8 A film that starts out as a revenge thriller soon turns into something very much darker. It’s well made though with some nice touches, particularly (I found) with the use of music. All the performances were very good, particularly Morjana Alaoui as Anna and Mylène Jampanoï as Lucie. I should also give a mention to Catherine Bégin as Mademoiselle.

Martyrs - 5 Now some have dismissed this film as ‘torture porn’, but I felt it was much better than that. Yes, there are scenes of torture, both physical and psychological and don’t think for one minute I condone this behaviour, but an explanation is given for it and this is all brought together nicely by the rather interesting ending. I feel it’s a film that will stay with me for some time. The plot does seem to be two stories patched together using the character of Lucie as the link, and yes, there are problems with that. However, I did find the film quite compelling although there is an awful lot of gore and some extreme violence on screen. For those that can take it then I can definitely recommend this one… Otherwise, give it a wide berth.

My score: 6.7/10

IMDb Score: 7.0/10 (based on 25,123 votes at the time of going to press).

MetaScore: NO DATA: (Based on 0 critic reviews provided by at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 52/100 (based on 27 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 70/100 ‘Liked it’ (based on 9,443 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:

Mademoiselle: Martyrs are exceptional people. They survive pain, they survive total deprivation. They bear all the sins of the earth. They give themselves up. They transcend themselves... they are transfigured.

Anna: I miss you.

[last lines]
Mademoiselle: Keep doubting.

Martyrs - 3 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site (FR):


Creeper's Reviews said...

I've heard some words about this one before... I might give it a try. Nice review!

Horror Movie Medication said...

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.