When I polled some of my twitter friends as to what movie or scene made you crap your pants the most; nearly everyone said Martyrs. I was confused, how had I never heard of this movie!? I immediately moved it up on my netflix queue, brought it to the Cape to enjoy on my sister's wedding weekend, opted out of a lovely night of drinking with Irish men, and watched it. Sometimes when watching movies on my computer I will admit I pull up another tab and take a few jaunts on facebook while watching. But with Martyrs...I have never been so focused in all my life. Even when my slightly drunken sister came up to talk to me during the last 5 minutes of the movie- I slapped her and told her to leave immediately.
When the movie was over I had the strange urge to cry hysterically and dance for joy. I felt like I had a purpose in life and at the same time needed to gouge my eyes out. It's a paradox of extreme measures and I had to sit in silence and digest what I had just seen for at least an hour. Some people on the IMDB message board began their posts with "just another senseless torture porn" and what I have to say to them is, "are you fucking nuts?" Never in my life have I watched such a meaningful and justified horror film. This film transcends Hostel and Saw a million times and back. Everything that those films and various others films tried to do but failed- Martyrs successfully delivered!
The movie opens with Lucie having just escaped from the place where she was tortured. Her hair is shaved off, she's in her underwear and she's running with such heavy footsteps and terror in her eyes you would swear this was real. Lucie is found and brought to really relaxed kind of mental asslyum for children. Here she meets her friend Anna and often sees a very scary wild woman come into her room and inflict her with all sorts of pain.
Next up a lovely family is enjoying breakfast. Everything seems fine and dandy and we hear the doorbell. The father opens the door to find Lucie pointing a shotgun straight at his heart. Without warning she fires, the mother comes running she shoots her, she shoots the entire family- blood is sprayed across nearly every inch of the house. But it's OK- it's justified. We find that Lucie finally found those who tortured her all those years ago- the mother and father of the family. She calls Anna and tells her she found them, Anna rushes over and is aghast at what she's found. There's this amazing moment of disbelief where you aren't sure if Lucie was right. This seems like such a normal family, who literally showed no signs of understanding why they were being massacred. This feeling doesn't go away until Anna finds a secret passageway to the basement- and what she finds is completely and utterly terrifying.
The family is part of a highly organized and extremely scary cult that seeks to find the answer to the ultimate question of whether or not there is an afterlife. They've found evidence of girls who have been on the brink of death- scientifically they should be dead- but yet they remain alive with a certain look of enlightenment in their eyes. They have reached martyrdom- they have transcended. This is what the cult aims to discover. They kidnap women, torture them for however long, and just barely keep them alive- all to find out if they will transcend and confirm the presence of an afterlife. Pretty shady stuff. So basically this family had a girl locked up in the basement- probably unbeknownst to the son and daughter. Can you believe it? It's probably the most terrible thing I can imagine.
I can't keep talking about the plot but I will just say that this movie keeps you enthralled until the very last second. So much happens in a matter of minutes it's truly unbelievable what this movie accomplishes. The violence is nauseating yes- but it is so so so necessary. The horror of the situation is accented and facilitated by the presence of this extreme gore. It has to be at that level or the entire point of the movie would be lost. At times it was hard to watch and endure- but I couldn't not watch it.
The ending is the most amazing thing I've ever seen. The emotion that comes out of Anna is incredible. I truly couldn't believe that what I was watching was a movie and not actually happening. Every moment in this movie was unbelievably realistic. I'm still having trouble digesting all of it. I could write a 50 page paper on this movie and still not cover everything I would need to talk about.
I'll just say that this is not a movie to miss if you are a horror fan. If you can't watch gore- don't- although why are you even reading this blog but WHATEVER. I'm sure everyone has seen this movie except me- but if you haven't you must watch it ASAP.
Buy Martyrs at Horror Movie Empire!