Why You Should (MAYBE) Watch: Martyrs (2008)

Martyrs (2008)

From IMDb: A young woman’s quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.

Martyrs is the type of movie that lives in infamy. The DVD I watched gave an option to watch a video introduction by the film’s director/writer, Pascal Laugier, where he apologizes for the film you are about to watch, and explains he was in a very bad place emotionally when he created it.

It is a little hard to find, but the film is definitely worth a watch IF you are a horror fan, and/or IF you want to watch an example of the New French Extremity subgenre. I’m not a huge fan of the subgenre, but this film really offers a great combination of suspense and interesting themes fit for deep analysis.

It is an insanely violent movie, but it’s violence serves an important purpose to the narrative. The violence is never glorified or sensationalized like in many of its peers. I also think the violence is worth it for the gripping storytelling.

In another interview about this film, Pascal Laugier said he wanted to create something even seasoned horror film fans wouldn’t be able to predict. He nailed it. The genre of the film twisted on me at least four times. It reminds me of some pretty famous creepypastas, and it even has a tiny bit of queer content I wasn’t expecting but really appreciated.

If you can stomach a lot of violence, I would definitely suggest this film for its creative twists. I watched it in the middle of the day and was still thoroughly disturbed by it. Also, don’t look up anything about it in advance and watch it alone. I have been purposely vague about the movie for good reason as it really benefits from going in without any background.

So to take a page from Pascal Laugier’s book, enjoy! And if you don’t enjoy it, I’m sorry!

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