Martyrs Review

Lucie (Mylène Jampanoï) is an escapee from a torture chamber. Many years later she tracks down her tormentors with the help of her best friend Anna (Morjana Alaoui) and pays them back in blood. In one of the few lapses into idiotic horror conventions, they linger far too long at the dangerous scene of crime. Soon evil people in black arrive and we learn that Lucie’s torturers were members of a cult that wants to investigate the transcendant power of pain — at other people’s, preferably young women’s expense.

You may want to stop this film every 15 minutes to go out and get some fresh air. If you do resume at all, you will realize that director Pascal Laugier has turned you into one of those people who yell silly things at the screen. He doesn’t want to entertain you, he wants you to feel every blow. He skins your sensibilities to a raw wound and accomplishes what Haneke tried and failed to do, twice. It’s an edifying tour of the abattoir for jaded viewers. Every now and then it’s nice to know where your meat comes from and think a bit about pain, suffering, death and beyond.

Writer + Director: Pascal Laugier
Rating: 4.5 / 5


Inside (À l’intérieur)

À l'intérieur Review

This home invasion film features a very pregnant Sarah (Alysson Paradis) and a scissors-wielding La Femme (a very scary Béatrice Dalle) who wants to cut out the baby for herself. Sarah doesn’t care for this alternative birthing method and locks herself in the bathroom. La Femme spends the waiting period by redecorating the home with blood and body parts of the hapless visitors. And then, things kick in high gear.

If you are a gorehound, this is the movie for you. Even if you aren’t, you may want to stick around for the first half. It will show you Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s gift for creating unbearably tense moments.

Directors: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury
Rating: 3.5 / 5