Martyrs (2008)

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Avg Rating: 4.5 / 5. Voted: 232

No one cared thus far. Do you?

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.

68 thoughts on “Martyrs (2008)

  • August 17, 2020 at 6:58 pm
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    What a masterpiece. The portrayal of this unique torture vision is unprecedented. The complete change of mood in the movie was incredible. It gave us a glimpse of human suffering in a supreme artistic way.

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  • September 23, 2020 at 6:29 pm
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    What’s with the annoying speaker distorting screams constantly. This film has a PBS vibe to it. Overrated.. big time.

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    • January 1, 2021 at 10:56 am
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      I don’t get the hype either. Everything in this movie was over-the-top and unbelievable. It felt so hokey in its attempts to be heavy.

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  • January 13, 2021 at 9:35 am
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    I was expecting more of the same revenge movie, but no it was beautifully shot and very well acted, great story line.

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  • February 11, 2021 at 6:53 am
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    yeah…. totally bizarre movie. loved the first half. great looking cast. the young chick in the beginning total body double of Megan from Exorcist, I was waiting for her head to spin. second half not so much. despite good moments, maybe the buzz wore off, I don’t know, didn’t get it, didn’t care. still worth a watch. damn effedup I love you

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    • February 13, 2021 at 4:35 am
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      Megan? I think you mean Regan (MacNeil) mate…. :o)

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    • March 17, 2021 at 6:43 am
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      Totally agree, first half was much better. Second half kind of lost me

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  • February 13, 2021 at 5:30 pm
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    An incredible piece of work – and I am not a horror fan, per se. But I do love originality when it is done right, and fuck, was it done right here. The direction, cinematography, acting, the ideas – all top notch. It is one of those films that after watching you immediately want to find someone else who has watched it so you can discuss it! It was on my mind for days afterwards……..

    So – do I recommend it? What do you think…?!? :o) :o) :o)

    Go watch………now!!!!!!!!! (and then, if you have nothing better to do, go watch the US version – utter shite……..)

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  • February 16, 2021 at 10:53 am
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    An absolutely brutal, unrelenting cinematic experience. It is beautiful and hard to watch at the same time. The story is harrowing and the performances are fantastic, especially by Ms. Alaoui. The ending feels like a punch to the gut (pun not intended). I can’t say enough good things about this film.

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  • February 18, 2021 at 1:55 am
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    its my best horror film. You have 6 actors and actress from Quebec, Canada in this french film. I have so destabilised with this movie. I like it.

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  • March 17, 2021 at 6:42 am
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    It’s a good story, but I still think it’s super duper overrated. A great movie. But not a masterpiece by any means.

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  • March 30, 2021 at 2:08 pm
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    incredibly intense, the film sits on the fine line between unwatchable (due to the horrific violence) and so gripping that you can’t stop watching it! 5 out 5 stars!

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  • March 31, 2021 at 12:01 pm
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    BOOOOOOOOORING couldn’t even bring myself to get past the second half. What a waste of time, and you people call this movie art? HAH. I normally like these kinds of movies but I found myself bored out of my skull the whole time. What a useless sack of unwiped ass this movie is, my breast milk soured as I watched it

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  • April 4, 2021 at 2:38 am
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    The violence toward Anna made me cry. What an amazing movie.

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  • April 16, 2021 at 12:53 am
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    Weird how so many comments, yet not one comment exploring the meaning of the ending! Why did the woman shoot herself? Ideas anyone?

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    • April 18, 2021 at 3:57 am
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      Probably she has realized that life is futile, and everything has been a big LIE, indoctrination camp, a rigged game, an alien experiment (insert whatever you think it is)…and that when people are fighting with each other is actually different fragments/facets of God being schizophrenic….that illusions and Ego (pain, time, space, fear, success, failures, ugliness, beauty, fragrance, stench, genders, pride, arrogance, righteousness, religions etc) only exist for prisoners of the matrix aka battery farm…so she released herself from the confines of a limiting, Soul-enslaving impermanent body to become unlimited and eternal @ God (not the punitive despotic sky daddy)….life exists for God to experience feelings because in the perfect state, there’s no pain and nothing to compare to.

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      • July 18, 2021 at 12:34 am
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        Lol. People are starving because of the inadequacies and kinks of people that managed to obtain power.

        I think what actually happened was she opened her purse, saw the receipts/bills associated with her multi-million dollar “experiment” and realized that it was enough money to feed bread to a village for a few years. The actual words uttered by the “victim” were: “arrghuuhhhgggg” ie. severe brain damage and sensory overload.

        As to your description of purpose, life is definitely not futile. We make it so because otherwise the consequences of our every actions have meanings that are severe. If life is not futile, then we should have dignity. We should be brave. We should assist each other and admit our wrong doings. If life is not futile, our emotions are real and important, however miniscule we may (now) believe ourselves to be. If life is not futile, then even the pennies we decide to spend on getting a brand name chocolate bar instead of generic has meaning.

        This is simply too much responsibility for the human condition, so we refuse to participate and elect to automate our processes. So that if we make a mistake, it isn’t our fault. And life is futile.

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  • April 20, 2021 at 5:49 pm
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    piece of shit movie lol

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  • May 13, 2021 at 3:03 am
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    this movie sucks… not.

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  • July 6, 2021 at 10:52 am
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    EUM guys, I have this on DVD and it says 99mins and this version says 95min 11sec. Regional differences or some censoring going on? You are probably sick of me asking this but a lot of shit can happen in a movie in 3mins or so. Cheers bro, and bro-esses.

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    • July 6, 2021 at 3:31 pm
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      Yeah, seems like a regional thing.

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    • August 10, 2021 at 2:51 am
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      Yo Zed Man,my version is 100 min long so I was curious and just watched it and put this version on at the same time and there was nothing censored and both finished the same time mush.

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      • August 17, 2021 at 10:09 am
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        Thx man, good to know. I guess different regions run at slower or faster speeds. This is one of my favorite films so its nice to know Im watching the whole story.

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  • July 20, 2021 at 9:02 pm
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    Fucking great movie, this along with inside and high tension are really fucked up French films.

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  • August 6, 2021 at 2:35 am
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    THE f’dup movie !!

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  • August 6, 2021 at 7:07 pm
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    this is like outlast but then the movie

    Reply

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