Directed & Written by Pascal Laugier
Cinematography by Stéphane Martin & Nathalie Moliavko-Visotzky
Music by Alex Cortés & Willie Cortés
Cast: Morjana Alaoui, Mylène Jampanoï, Catherine Bégin, Robert Toupin, Patricia Tulasne, Juliette Gosselin, Xavier Dolan-Tadros, Isabelle Chasse

2008/97 mins/Color/Dolby Digital 5.1
1.85:1 anamorphic/French/France/NTSC Region 1

Review from the Dimension Films DVD

Lucie, who has been missing, manages to escape from where she was held captive. Although there is no evidence of sexual abuse, Lucie bears the signs of repeated violence. Traumatized and uncommunicative, Lucie is unable to tell the authorities anything further about her time in captivity or the people who kept her there.

Fifteen years later, we meet the Belfond family. As everyone sits down for breakfast, the doorbell rings - it's Lucie, who shoots and brutally kill everyone. Lucie explains to the creature that has been following her for years that she's "killed them". Scared, Lucie calls her only friend Anna to come and help her. Thus the martyrs begins.

MARTYRS is an extremely graphic, brutal, nasty, gruesome film of incredible tension, harrowing physical violence, twisted imagery, and not to everyone’s taste. It is uncomfortable, disorienting, something upsetting, visceral and mean. It defies all boundaries by brutalizing its victims and viewers to a place beyond pain, as part of an eschatological experiment. This is as sadistic and unpleasant as it can get.

Many have complained about the 180-degree shift in the story of the film but I personally think that the film needed this change for us to understand what the victims have to go through. It is a profound and disorienting examination about sin, pain, and the afterlife. One that present us with an ending for a film with no end.

MARTYRS is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and it is anamorphic. The image looks great with nice color saturation, and rendering the film its nice clinical look and feel. The original French Dolby Digital 5.1 is loud and clear. There's also a English Dolby Digital 5.1 dubbed version which should be avoid at the dubbing is simply terrible. English and Spanish subtitles are available.

As for the special features, there's an introduction y the director, an interesting one hour documentary called Chroniques Organiques: The Making of MARTYRS that take us behind-the-scenes on the making-of the film, along with the teaser and trailer. The disc features some nicely designed animated menus with music. The film is separated in 16 chapters, comes in a keep case which itself comes in a cardbox cover. The DVD also features trailers for INSIDE, THE MOTHER OF TEARS.





This Film Features:

Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2009. ©

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