Friday, March 13, 2009


I have to write this immediately after viewing mostly due to the fact that this was, without a doubt, the most disturbing movie I have ever seen. Ever. I took a plethora of notes. Two pages, in fact, but I really don't feel it's even necessary to consult them. I had a vague notion going in to this film that it was going to be something slightly to the left of normal. It was supposed to redefine the whole shoddy Torture-Porn genre as we know it. It did so much more than that. I couldn't take my eyes off it in a way one can't flinch for a second when driving by a really serious and gruesome car accident. It was laborious and painful to watch, it wasn't good in the sense that it was decent, and it most certainly will haunt me for a long long time.

MARTRS - 2008 (French) Dir. Pascal Laugier, Torture/Pornography/Horror - 135 Minutes. R for so many reasons.

Lucie (Mylene Jampanois) has escaped her tormentors. She has been rescued. Yet, still haunting her is a terrible visage of an inhuman creature that seeks to shatter her psyche and destroy her at every turn. The doctors and filmmakers are baffled and Lucie herself decides to offer up little of her horrendous past. But little Anna (Morjan Alaoui) is shown what the professionals do know in order to get to know Lucie a little better and help her release some of her demons in any way she can. In fact, Anna becomes a tool for Lucie.
Fifteen years later and Lucie is sure she has found her tormentors living a peaceful, simple life with their teenage kids. Lucie has finally lost control and decides the only way to slay her own demons, including the creature who constantly nips at her heels, is to slaughter the very family who held her captive. And she does, with furious vengeance. With shotgun in hand, she systematically murders the family. Yet, inexplicably, the creature still haunts, and hunts her.
Anna is called and she arrives to help clean up the damage before anyone can find out, but fr Lucie, the pain f not satiating the beast becomes too much and she, too, succumbs to her own horrid past. Anna must carry on alone. 
Soon, Anna discovers a cupboard, in fact a portal, into the very torture chamber in which Lucie was kept prisoner. She finds a frail, beaten soul deep within it's walls and tries to save her. But, no sooner does she pry a knife out of the poor woman's hand, does the 'Company' arrive. Now, even as she does her best to fend off the inevitable, Anna herself becomes the unwitting next victim. But, as she is explained the why's of the necessity of a torture (achieving Martyrdom), Anna finds a way to persevere. But the process is just about as painful and gag-inducing as you'd expect up to and including a flaying. Just so very wrong.

No, I won't spoil the ending. I suppose some of you might want to seek this out, but be warned: gruesome and vivid do not even come close to describing this movie. I need a shower.

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