Martyrs (2008)

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AKA:
Year: 2008
Directed by: Pascal Laugier
Starring: Mylène Jampanoï (Lucie), Morjana Alaoui (Anna), Xavier Dolan (the Son of the Belfond family), Catherine Bégin (Mademoiselle)
Country: France
Language: French (English Subtitles)
Runtime: 01:35:11
Genres: Violence against Women, Torture, Horror, Gore-Gruesome-Splatter, Women In Prison, Revenge

Plot – Spoilers:
A young girl Lucie escapes from torture in the ’70s and is placed under psychiatric care in an orphanage. She refuses to speak about the horrors she experienced or the perpetrators, despite the best efforts of the staff there. In time, a young girl Anna befriends her and dons the role of a supportive and caring figure. The two are inseparable and Anna is the only human Lucie appears to wholeheartedly trust.

15 years go by and Lucie walks into a happy family having Sunday breakfast and guns down the lot including the two teenage kids. Anna rushes to the scene and is unconvinced by Lucie’s claims that the couple lying dead are the ones who tortured her as a child.

Though Lucie believes she killed her tormentors, she remains haunted by a fiendish creature that inflicts brutal wounds on her body. As it turns out, the fiend is Lucie’s personification of the guilt she feels for having not helped another prisoner in the torture chamber she escaped from.

Anna has been warned for years by her mother (with whom she barely has a connection) to stay away from Lucie and she soon finds a horrific reason why she might have been better off without Lucie.

Martyrs is a great psychological exploration of the horrors of childhood abuse, torture and trauma. The tenderness of Lucie and Anna’s relationship is also captured well especially regarding the principle – does human empathy and kindness matter more than your own safety and well-being.

We often watch effed up movies with torture and physical violence. But the scenes of violence towards Anna without the assistance of much gore are as brutal as they get. When she is punched, you feel it in your gut.

The cult of rich old folks sadistically willing to sacrifice young women in their quest to understand what lies close ahead for them, also leaves you disgusted, which is a credit to the narrative skills of Director Pascal Laugier.

18 thoughts on “Martyrs (2008)

  • November 20, 2018 at 3:49 am
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    a fucking masterpiece. nothing will top the experience this film brings to the table.

    Reply
  • December 9, 2018 at 11:57 pm
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    Wow thanks for this, Its hard to find an actual French language version of this gem online with subtitles.

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  • December 17, 2018 at 8:49 pm
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    Amazing movie … French masterpiece….will hit you like a train! Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  • February 3, 2019 at 8:01 pm
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    Hello,
    The historical context behind this movie is the medical experiments of nazis in concetration camps.
    There clues: The “Board” arriving in Mercedes, the way they are dressed, the huge photos of the victims in the basement laboratory resemble portraits of concetration camps victims

    Reply
  • June 28, 2019 at 6:58 am
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    oh, I loved it,but Hollywood version is so poor…

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    • June 8, 2020 at 10:38 pm
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      FACT: Actress Morjana Alaoui sustained REAL INJURIES during the torture scenes and still refused to give up! That’s the kind of dedication it takes to make what has to be New French Extreme’s quintessential, genre defining film! Martyrs is to film what Black Sabbath is to music; It makes the mold for a new genre. Everyone involved in the making of Martyrs should be shown an eternal debt of gratitude for it!

      Reply
  • November 11, 2019 at 11:08 pm
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    literally a work of art. I went into this totally blind and was expecting nothing more than a weird religious snuff film. Holy shit, am I glad I was wrong. This is gonna stick with me for a long ass time. thank you effedupmovies for fucking with my head yet again.

    Reply
  • January 8, 2020 at 12:27 pm
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    Thank you, thank you so very much for existing effedupmovies.com I appreciate you all and this site. A million times thank you, fucking thank you.

    Reply
    • July 4, 2020 at 1:50 pm
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      Fucking good movie and Lucie is gorgeous

      Reply
  • March 24, 2020 at 4:32 am
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    Seriously my favorite horror movie and what led me to this site in the first place! I recommend y’all to everyone I know.

    Reply
  • May 7, 2020 at 5:04 pm
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    best movie of all time and you cant change my mind bye

    Reply
  • May 10, 2020 at 3:28 pm
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    best motherfucking scene i like ‘martyrs’ 2008
    second time i watch to ‘dub and sub’
    Thank you
    you’re demon out

    Reply
  • May 31, 2020 at 8:05 am
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    Aye why they do her like that

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  • June 12, 2020 at 4:55 am
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    who was removing her body hair during that time, and why? seems they missed that detail.

    how did her facial wounds heal almost instantaneously from before the final stage to after it? is that another thing they missed?

    otherwise, very interesting.

    Reply
  • June 20, 2020 at 9:24 am
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    Majorly disappointed with this film.
    I’ve seen it appear on many hardcore lists and I felt nothing watching it.
    Half-baked themes at best.
    :(:(

    Reply
  • July 8, 2020 at 4:26 am
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    Thank you for uploading this, one of the greatest combinations of gore, plot twist and an attempt to convey a message in modern cinema. All of my movies are in European DVD region and I now in the U.S (and don’t have a DVD player at all, ha) so it is great to be able to come to your site and see some of the best alternative cinema there is.

    Reply

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