‘Martyrs’ – WWTW cries ‘Uncle!’

‘Martyrs’ – WWTW cries ‘Uncle!’


Roller coasters, extreme sports and sky diving – all activities WWTW wouldn’t partake in without a gun pointed at his temple.

But I can watch any horror film, no matter how torture porny, regardless of the blood being copiously shed.

And then I popped “Martyrs” into my DVD player.

I had to keep stopping the film to take a breather, and I only watched it all the way through because a few web critics insisted the film’s payoff proved singularly chilling.

They were right, but it still wasn’t worth the struggle.

The film, which hits DVD April 28, follows two young women (Mylene Jampanoi and Morjana Alaoui) out for revenge against the kidnappers who tortured one of them as a little girl. Their vengeance is quick and ugly, but it’s only the start of the on-screen madness.

Lucie (Jampanoi), the one who suffered at the hands of the kidnappers, is now shadowed by a creature which eggs on her lust for revenge. But is it real … or a figment of her broken psyche?

It doesn’t really matter. The pair’s battles are violent, bloody and uncompromising in their cruelty. It’s easy to appreciate the craftsmanship behind the violence, but even easier to be put off by its brutality.

Director Pascal Laugier, who’s set to direct the “Hellraiser” remake, brings an impressive polish to the proceedings. But there’s still precious little story here beyond the aforementioned twist, a development which explains the motives behind everything we’ve just witnessed.

The actors, for their part, simply exist to recoil from violence – or perpetrate it on others. Anyone who watches “Martyrs” will likely do the former.

(Photo: An emotionally damaged woman (Mylene Jampanoi) flees during a frantic moment in “Martyrs

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

DagnabbittNo Gravatar April 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Screened it with some partial-to-French horror fellow military cineastes.
Definitely stylishly, as befits the film-making source (I liked ‘Haute Tension’ until the reveal), but v. grim finale – apt for horror, and effecting, as the director desires, but…grim.

~ Dagnabbitt

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