Martyrs (2015)


MartyrsStarring Bailey Noble, Troian Bellisario, Kate Burton, Blake Robbins

Directed by Kevin Goetz and Michael Goetz

**Spoiler Alert**

The idea behind Martyrs is that the elite hunting club… er, I mean, an elite underground group of religious zealots pay for the privilege of torturing young women to the point of death. They burn, whip, flay, cut, and stab these helpless prisoners until there’s nothing left. This is in the hope that some of them might be true martyrs, suffering until the agony turns to a form of ecstasy – and a glimpse into the great beyond. If the torturers are lucky, one of the victims might even tell them, before expiring, what lies ahead after demise.

The secrets of life and death – that’s what these nuts are after when they kidnap Lucie, just 12 years old. As it turns out, Lucie is an even tougher nut to crack, and she escapes from their brutal torture chamber. The child is put into an orphanage, where she meets someone who will be her friend till the end: sweet, guileless Anna.

Cut to the girls’ adulthood, where the real action and horror take place. Lucie (Bellisario) has never quite recovered, mentally, from the scars of her imprisonment. She’s made it her mission to hunt down her oppressors, and by god – she does just that. Blasting them to smithereens with a shotgun in their remote countryside home, she calls Anna (Bailey Noble) to come help her bury the evidence. Of course, Lucie’s demons are far from gone, and the people she killed are only one portion of a many-headed serpent.

The original 2008 French-Canadian film is far more relentless in its cruel inhumanity, going deep into the philosophical and religious underpinnings of the story, and the relationship between Lucie and Anna is much better explored and complex. The American remake focuses on the usual puritanical horror tropes – the only angle really played up is that of Lucie’s revenge and the terrible mess it puts Anna in – it’s all story and no character. A hollow and meaningless waste of time.

The actors are good, and some of the scenes of torture are appropriately icky, but the new Martyrs is nothing more than an old Hostel.

  • Film
User Rating 3.42 (12 votes)


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