I had put off watching Martyrs for as long as I could. I knew it would be a movie that would stick with me. I was right, even though I just got done watching it I know that it’ll be something that weights heavily on my mind for some time. This is one of the key movies in the New French Extremity movement. Those movies tend to be incredibly violent, but the violence serves the story unlike some of the movies from America, where the violence is seemingly just for violence’s sake.
That distinct difference is what separates the so-called torture porn and New French Extremity. While some of the early movies from America had story reasons for the extreme violence as they began to make sequels it became about the violence rather than anything with the story. Martyrs is a deeply moving movie. I found myself moved to tears because of what I witnessed on screen.
Pascal Laugier made a beautiful, ugly, violent movie. Martyrs is a beautiful movie that has so much ugliness and violence throughout that you can lose sight of anything else. Both Morjana Alaoui and Mylène Jampanoï have performances that will bring emotions out of you when you see this movie. The other actors are great, but the two leads will make you feel things that you don’t want to feel. As I mentioned previously, I cried twice during this movie and both times I didn’t expect to do so. The second time was almost a full bawling ugly cry. That’s the caliber of performance from both of the leads.
The effects in this movie are something else. It gives the violence that you witness in the movie even more weight. There are long bouts of violence and then you see the aftermath of the violence and lets you wallow in it. That’s when you see those effects. Its also helped along by the music from Seppuku Paradigm. The music that they made go from intense to heartbreaking and covers pretty much everything in between.
Martyrs is a movie that will stick with you after it ends. I know that there was an American remake seven years after this was released. I don’t know how involved anyone from this movie was, but I’ve not heard anything positive about it. I finally watched it because it was added to Shudder but is leaving at the end of the month. It felt like I wouldn’t have a better chance to see it for some time. Martyrs leaves Shudder at the end of April. I give Martyrs 9 straight razors out of 10.