[review] Martyrs

In most of Hollywood’s horror movies, murdered characters are always sinful people, guilty of being rich, egocentric and vainglorious. They are guilty of one of the seven deadly sins: It’s  not a murder, but a fair execution in front of a yelling crowd.

This kind of story structure is far away of our french narrative tradition. We are (most of the time) depicting innocent victim facing powerful and cruel people. You will find this character archetype in Sade, in Zola or even in historical figures like Jeanne D’Arc or Marie Antoinette.

Martyrs is the heir of this french tradition, taking it to his climax. The film pops out with Lucy, a seven years old girl escaping an old factory where she was imprisoned and tormented. Fifteen years later, helped by her friend Anna, she retrieves her abductors. The film is well made, original, and full of surprises. You never know what will be the next move.

The movie is graphic and perfectly fits with his title. Lucy and Anna are like the martyrs on the middle age paintings: pures and innocents people, incurring a slow and gruesome agony.

The movie has few weaknesses. I found the second part quite slow and empty, even if the final sequences really worth the watch. The lack of small details is also a real shame. You can rewatch the movie, there is no hidden information. Did the children known for their parents? What was repairing the mother in the garden?

Despite of these (very) small problems, Martyrs stays a singular cinematic horror experience. I recommend it to every fan of horror movie.

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  `-----'    Alex Krunch / monsieur.krunch@gmail.com
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