Martyrs (2008) Movie Review


  • Unrated
  • 2008
  • Director – Pascal Laugier
  • Morjana Alaoui – Anna
  • Mylene Jampanoi – Lucie
  • Catherine Begin – Mademoiselle
  • Robert Toupin – Le pere
  • Patricia Tulasne – La mere


Martyrs Are Exceptional People

Martyrs is a French horror movie that I kept reading about the Internet that it’s a must watch.  Didn’t know anything about it and just so happen to come across it when the neighborhood Blockbuster was closing.  All I knew from the description on the back of the DVD case, was that a girl escaped her captors after being abducted and tortured.  Years later, which this girl seeks, revenge against her captors, but gets much more than she bargained for.  Does this movie live up to all the hype I’ve been hearing about, or should I just have left it for someone else to pick up?

I Miss You

Lucie RunningIn the beginning we find a horribly abused girl named Lucie run out of a building.  Moments later we see her in an orphanage trying to coup with everything that has happened to her.  Lucie befriends another girl named Anna during her time at the orphanage.  The police do an interview with Anna to see if Lucie has told her anything about her abductors.  It is revealed later that the perpetrators were never caught.

15 years later we are taken to a home where there is a family of 4 living.  The family consists of two parents, a son, and a younger daughter having breakfast.  The doorbell rings and the father get up to answer it.  Turns out it is Lucie with a shotgun.  She guns down the whole family and calls Anna claiming she took her revenge.

Waiting for Anna, a naked woman who also looked tortured attacks Lucie.  Lucie escapes and run out of the house.  Then she ran into Anna in the woods.  They return to the house and Anna sees the victims that Lucie has killed.  Anna thought Lucie was going to identify the people in the house to see if they were the abductors.  Anna sees the dead children and wonders if Lucie has killed the wrong people.  Has Lucie killed the wrong people?  Why was Lucie abducted in the first place?  Who was the naked woman that attacked Lucie?

And It Smelled Different When She Beat Me

Lucie ShotgunIt is a no holds barred fillm and doesn’t hold back any punches.  If you ever heard about this movie, you might have heard it was very graphic.  Don’t worry it actually had a story.  Even though it gets pretty disturbing at certain points, I still wanted to know what happens next.

The acting is great, the 2 leads Jampanoi and Alaoui do a great job being scream queens.  Jampanoi makes me believes she is a tortured soul and is looking for some kind redemption.  Alauoui plays the loyal friend who becomes involves with Lucie’s past.  Alauoui’s acting does make me cringe especially towards the end.  It’s definitely not ameteur hour.

The director Laugier creates a hopeless atmosphere for the women.  I kept feeling depressed throughout the movie, but kept wondering if my questions will get answered.  I applaud Laugier for just going for it.  You can tell he made his kind of movie and didn’t worry what the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) was.  This movie actually got banned in Malaysia.

I also have to give kudos to the make up and special effects.  It didn’t feel cheap or on a budget.  I didn’t notice any CGI (Computer Generated Imagery), so you have real physical effects like fake blood, and make up.  I think it gives a more realistic feel and is done well.

You Feed That Suffering

WhisperingShould you go see Martrys?  I would say it depends.  If you are an average movie goer and not a horror fan, this is not for you.  If you are an average movie goer and if you curious about getting into the horror genre, this is probably not the first movie you want to start with.

However, if you are a horror fan, you must watch this.  I can guarantee you this film will come in conversation with other horror movie buffs.  I didn’t feel the movie was really scary, but it does raise the bar on how graphic it does get.  This movie is nothing I have ever seen before.  The story is off the wall but interesting and original.  Warning, there is a lot of violence against women in this film, if this slightly bothers you, do not watch this.

Random Info I got from this File:
  • If you kill a family, don’t sleep over the house
  • Sometimes it might be better to leave the past alone
  • Never go into a hidden basement
Other Files to check:  
  • Hostel
  • Saw
File Status:  6 out of 10


Roach on EmailRoach on FacebookRoach on Twitter
Graphic designer by day, and movie blogger whenever I can. Been watching films in the 80s and never lost the love for it. Started Movie Case Files in 2012, and kept writing random reviews ever since. Besides movies, I like watching UFC, collecting retro video games, spending time with the wife, and bacon.

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