Review martyrs-movie

Published on July 23rd, 2013 | by Allan Brown


Martyrs Review


Movie Review: Martyrs (2008)martyrs-film-poster-movie-review-world

Rating: (18)

Language: French

Director: Pascal Laugier

Cast: Morjana Alaoui, Mylène Jampanoï, Catherine Bégin

Plot: Lucie a young woman plagued by her past seeks revenge on the people who kidnapped and tortured her as a child. This leads her on a terrifying, physical and physiological journey into the depths of depravity.


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Martyrs (sigh)……..Where to even begin with this film?

To say this French picture demonstrated one of the most difficult watches for me in recent times would be an understatement. It makes the so-called torture-porn movies of Saw and Hostel whose whole premise of murder set-pieces look like as a walk in the park. If Saw and the Hostel films are Hollywood then Martyrs is surely the real thing.

mylene jampanoi bleeding from face in the horror film Martyrs. movie review worldMartyrs tells the story of Lucie who after suffering fifteen years of abduction and torture embarks (along with her friend Anna) on a bloody revenge against her captors. Their quest quickly descends into chaos as both Anna and Lucie fight for their lives along with their sanity as we witness the absolute depths of depravity and inhumanity unravel as we begin to learn the true intentions of their oppressors.
The movie is shot with a certain flare of artistry and assurance and the acting from our two female leads Morjana Alaoui and Mylène Jampanoï is more than noteworthy. They both deliver powerful, harrowing, unflinchingly real and emotional performances in their respective roles as Anna and Lucie.

As previously mentioned Martyrs is an extremely difficult watch with some of the most sadistic and graphic images I’ve witnessed in film. It flirts with some deeper issues, interesting themes and metaphors but unfortunately these ideas are never fully explored or realised and at times seem only present to exempt the film makers from being perceived as voyeurs of torture porn and snuff films.

Martyrs Review Allan Brown


Summary: Although Martyrs is undoubtedly shot with skill and talent its lack of subtleties and refusal to fully explore the bigger ideas and themes hinted at throughout somewhat cheapen the experience. If you do decide to take the journey, Good Luck and be sure to have a psychiatrist’s number on speed dial.


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Despite my 9-5 being consumed by the daily duties of an Electrician, Movie Review World serves as a platform for me to share my thoughts, explorations and reflections on one of my biggest passions, film.

2 Responses to Martyrs Review

  1. Harry Goldfarb says:

    This is by far one of the best films I have ever seen. An absolute gem and I like your review but must disagree regarding the films failure to explore bigger themes. The fact it fails to offer the developments you want ARE the real weight to the story. Suffering without reward. That’s what the protagonist recieves and that is what the viewer (voyeur?) gets also.

    • Allan Brown says:

      Hi Harry, I feel the graphic nature of the movie was the main focus of filmmaker and that everything else took second place. I did like the direction the film was heading towards and the themes hinted at early on had me intrigued, but these ideas were never fully explored and were, for me at least, pushed to one side in exchange for more of the same. Despite this, I did enjoy the film , there are some stand out set pieces, the acting is solid as is the cinematography. Ultimately, it’s a cut above the rest in this sub-genre. My reference to Voyeur’s (An obsessive observer of sordid or sensational subjects) is aimed at the director not the audience. Thanks for reading Harry, appreciate it.

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