Customer Reviews


185 Reviews
5 star:
 (97)
4 star:
 (19)
3 star:
 (21)
2 star:
 (17)
1 star:
 (31)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the 2nd Most Disturbing Film of All Time
I've no doubt that the Japanese movie, Audition (which I've reviewed elsewhere), is the most challenging and disturbing film which I've ever seen. I think that Martyrs comes a very close second. In recent years, the French have been right up there with the Japanese and Koreans, in producing movies which many laud or denigrate as "torture-porn", and which test one's...
Published 5 months ago by William Mason

versus
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to stomach
This is an uncompromising film that, at times, is very uncomfortable to watch. The typical horror splatter gore of the main bulk of the film contrasts sharply with the brutal (but gore restrained) violence of the final act.

Am I glad I watched this film? Yes.

Will I be watching it again? No, not for a very long time anyway.
Published on 7 Dec 2010 by T. Newbery


‹ Previous | 1 219 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the 2nd Most Disturbing Film of All Time, 29 July 2014
By 
William Mason (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Martyrs [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I've no doubt that the Japanese movie, Audition (which I've reviewed elsewhere), is the most challenging and disturbing film which I've ever seen. I think that Martyrs comes a very close second. In recent years, the French have been right up there with the Japanese and Koreans, in producing movies which many laud or denigrate as "torture-porn", and which test one's personal limits for viewing graphic scenes of violence. The French have given us Irreversible, Switchblade Romance and Frontiers (all commendable, beautifully shot, well acted, and thought provoking), but I think that Martyrs surpasses all of them. At the outset, early 1970's, a young French girl named Lucie escapes from a derelict warehouse, having been beaten almost to a pulp. She ends up being treated in a psychiatric ward, where she makes friends with Anna. The two of them become like sisters. 15 years later, Lucie is sure that she has traced the people who tortured her, a middle class couple with kids in a nice big house. Lucie turns up on their doorstep and goes to work on the family with a shotgun, the mayhem is extremely gory and gives you a flavour of what is to come. I won't give away too much else of the film. But, suffice it to say, you learn about a secret organisation, that imprisons and tortures people, to learn the limits of what the human spirit can endure. There is a secret world of hideous experimentation on poor lost souls, and Lucie finds herself trapped back in that world. This film has the usual style and panache of a French film (think Luc Besson in Leon or Nikita), the lead actors are engrossing, the story is full of myriad twists and turns, and it deals with troubling and unpleasant issues, including self-mutilation, needless surgery, and the most extreme of psychological traumas. Be under no illusions, this is a serious work of horror, some will walk out of the room (like I did watching Audition, but not this film), and some may think the film is sick and borderline misogynistic, but it is a breath-taking standard bearer for how modern horror can challenge the mental strength of even the most avid viewers of this particular sub-genre. A brilliant horror film, best watched on an empty stomach and with a stiff brandy to hand.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


81 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An ordeal, 24 Jan 2010
By 
Mr. Jp Scott-howes "Manson'sUglySon" (Tate Residence, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Martyrs [DVD] (DVD)
I thought that I was a fairly seasoned gore hound, I was under the impression that I couldn't be shocked, I was wrong!

From the opening sequence of a bloody and battered young girl squealing and screaming, limping as fast as her brutalised body could manage, to get away from as yet undisclosed terrors, to the closing sequence which I had to have explained for me by my sister's fiance, as my hand was firmly up in front of my face, because frankly I couldn't watch any more, Martyrs is a thoroughly engaging and compelling examination of human suffering.

What it isn't however is enjoyable. This film was far too brutal, gritty and nasty for me. A Saturday night ought never to involve watching a young girl tied to a chair in a dirty warehouse being slapped around her already bloody and bruised face.

By an hour or so in, though I felt violated by this film, I still felt that I could deal with it, then the movie shifts gears and from the last half hour goes down a hithero (to me anyway) unexpected path and that was when I started to really struggle. The last third of Martyrs is one of the most terrible, horrible, awful, vile things that I've ever put myself through, yet it is substantially less gory than the hour which preceeds it, there is no way of me explaining how this is possible with spoiling things for you, so you shall have to take my word for it.

Though this wasn't for me I have given it four stars because in many ways it is a brilliant film. It is incredibly original and sumptuously filmed and edited with a rawness that lends an extra veneer of grit to a movie which is already rotten with cutting edge ideas and envelope pushing concepts.

I would thoroughly recommend this to people who enjoy utter darkness, rawness and brutality in their movies. I shall return to collecting Troma films, safe on the knowledge that there are limits to what I consider to be entertainment
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and deeply disturbing film., 15 May 2014
This review is from: Martyrs [DVD] (DVD)
First of all, Martyrs is the type of film that's guaranteed to shock it's viewer so it's not really recommended for those who have a weak stomach or is faint of heart. Pascal Laugier has created a deeply disturbing and powerful assault on the senses, his direction was quite good with some beautiful cinematography and lighting, and the performances from both Morjana Alaoui and Mylène Jampanoï were both outstanding. The film begins by showing a young girl, bloodied and gaunt, running from some unspecified evil she's just escaped from. Shortly afterward, we flash forward to the girl as a young lady--Lucie (Mylène Jampanoï, in an astonishing, heartbreaking performance), still too traumatized fifteen years later to sleep alone.

So she sleeps in the same room with her lifelong friend Anna (Morjana Alaoui, also delivered a terrific, haunting performance), who loves Lucie and is doing her best to empathize with her. But Lucie has a demon. A real one. One that chases her around and cuts her with knives and is generally evil and mean to her. Anna never sees the demon, but she goes along with Lucie when Lucie devises a plan to do what it takes to put it to rest. She must return to the heart of darkness and kill her childhood tormentors.

Lucie then goes out and massacres an entire family with a shot gun. At first, you believe she's bonkers, but we soon realize that the parents killed weren't whom they appear..far, far worse. But, Lucie hallucinates, believing that a mistreated victim she didn't rescue as a child after escaping from the place where she was tortured is always coming for her. Anna who witnesses the aftermath of the slaughter, attempts to clean up the mess, while mortified at such a grisly crime scene.. It's here that the movie gets really interesting due to the way it begins to defy expectations. Martyrs is yet another vicious, dementedly violent masterpiece that the French can call their own, and possibly the most brutal one yet!

The highly original premise cannot be compared with any other modern horror flick, even though some scenes were reminiscent of Hostel, both films were entirely different. It's not your typical torture porn as it is much more than that. Martyrs is truly a brilliant film, with good actors and a good story. The thesis is that if a person can survive extremes of pain and deprivation, new vistas may be opened to them.

It's been long-held that the right side of the brain, the imaginative, creative side receives its flashes of insight or inspiration under extremes of stress a different kind of martyrdom. It may be that there's some truth in the theory. Whatever the case, it's a topic worth exploring, and "Martyrs" does a pretty good job of it. While the brutality was sometimes hard to watch, the underlying theme rendered it all fascinating, unlike so many pointless torture pics it actually makes you think. Martyrs was truly a fantastic film that's guaranteed to shock and disturb horror fans out there as it will make you think about it for days later, it's definitely one of my favorite French horror film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius but, be warned, you cannot un-watch this film, 27 July 2014
By 
E. Rowbotham - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Martyrs (Amazon Instant Video)
On one hand this film is a masterpiece - on the other it will haunt and trouble you for days. I know you are reading this thinking "great, these wussies can't stand extreme horror - but I know I will love it". Well, you may love it, but you will also wish you had never watched it too, mark my words. Brutal, tormenting and deeply troubling. A fantastic story, utterly unique but one hell of a journey. Something about this film seems to literally take you along for the ride - you will be left feeling as trapped in this plot as the main character. Not gore as such - far far more troubling than you could imagine. I watched it without even knowing what it was about and once you are drawn in to this story, you cannot get out of it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martyrs: Greek for Witness., 17 Mar 2014
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Martyrs [DVD] (DVD)
Martyrs is written and directed by Pascal Laugier. It stars Morjana Alaoui and Mylene Jampanoi.

The New French Extremity Movement had its bar raised considerably by Pascal Laugier’s brutal but thought provoking horror. It’s a film as uncompromising as it is confrontational, a picture guaranteed to get a response for better or worse. Once viewed it simply will not be forgotten, the images, the twisty narrative thematics and the bloodshed that flows consistently throughout the story, Laugier and his two brilliant lead actresses assault the senses, magnificently so.

Story is unfurled as a three tiered structure, each one devastating, but it’s with the final third where the picture goes up through the stratosphere, stopping briefly at the café weird just to further tickle our craniums. Some of the violence here is tough to watch, and it’s no surprise to find it was met with the inevitable charges of misogyny. Yet the culmination of it all puts some perspective on the violence witnessed, leading to a strangely profound and moving climax.

The less you know about it going in for the first time the better. A strong stomach is required, as is an open mind, if you have these things then awaiting you is a visceral masterwork, one of the finest horror film’s to have ever come out of France. Yes, it’s that astonishing. 10/10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Challenging, 30 Aug 2014
This review is from: Martyrs [DVD] (DVD)
I've been a horror fan for many years, enjoying everything from 80s video nasties to the stylised beauty of a Dario Argento film. I'm not entirely sure that I'd classify Martyrs as a `horror' as the genre often provides a strange kind of escapism. Martyrs feels too `real' to put alongside most horror flicks. Make no mistake though; this is a genuinely shocking and upsetting film.

The closest comparison I can think of would be Michael Hanke' notorious Funny Games. If anything Martyrs feels bleaker than that (there's no black humour here, it's all very `gruelling'). The film has been described as `torture porn' but again I wouldn't really place Martyrs alongside the likes of Hostel and Saw (which I'm not really a fan of). Martyrs appears more purposeful, more aware of how abhorrent these scenes of violence really are.

It's one of those films where you question why you're even watching it at times. The message is particularly bleak. Yet even though Martyrs isn't exactly `enjoyable' it is a good film, a powerful film that you'll find difficult to forget.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva La Brutality, 22 Mar 2010
This review is from: Martyrs [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Prepare to be disturbed and, quite possibly, offended and sickened.

Over the last decade, French horror film makers have been pushing the envelope in terms of extreme violence and gore with offerings such as Switch Blade Romance (High Tension in the USA), Frontiers, Inside and many others. These films have something of a cult following in the horror underground, with their ability to flawlessly blend extreme violence & bucket-loads of blood with top class direction, acting and cinematoraphy.
Hollywood has also taken notice by hiring the likes of Alexandre Aja (Switch Blade romance) to helm big budget gore-fests such as The Hills Have Eyes remake, Mirrors and the up-coming Pirhana 3D.
So you have to ask the question, after watching some of the above films, what can be done to upstage the violence and high-quality film-making of these blood thirsty delights?

The Answer is Martyrs

The film begins with a young girl, Lucie, escaping from an industrial torture chamber, crying and screaming as she runs for her life. We then see the poor girl begin her new life in a mental institution, no-doubt severly traumatised by the events that lead her to the hospital. Despite the horror she has been subjected to, Lucy manages to open up enough to make her only friend within the hospital, Anna. It is here, at the hospital, that we begin to see just what kind of impact has been left with young Lucie and what scars she carries (both mentally and physically). Fast forward about 20 years later, and we see a happy suburban family, sat at breakfast and innocently talking within the family unit. The door bell rings, the father answers the door, a grown-up Lucie stands in the doorway and...........

Well, lets just say that from this point onwards, the Merde hits the fan Bigtime!
To say anymore would ruin the suprises and thrills that you will experience. What I will say is that the film crosses many horror sub-genres, incorporating torture-style themes seen in films such as Hostel and Saw. It has a great suspence flowing through it to compete with French horror film 'Them' (another excellent French horror counter-part) and Martyrs even has undertones of Japanese-style-horror with seemingly twisted ghostly Apparitions.

Make no mistake, Martyrs is an incredibly well-written and masterfully-directed film with superb artistic flourishes and cinematography to rival anything seen in the most expensive Hollywood block buster. It looks gorgeous and barely lets you catch your breath when it gets going. This is not a film that puts aside story or profesional film-making, in order to make way for lots of pointless gore to keep the Fan-Boy's happy.
Then there's the acting. I think the word 'brave' best describes the two main female leads, Mylène Jampanoï & Morjana Alaoui, who corageously took on the roles of Lucie and Anna (possibly not aware of what lay in store for them) as the film demands much of their emotions through anger, hate to sadness and even love.

Martyrs is not for everyone. The film starts at a breath-taking pace, covering lots of story and action within the first 40-50 minutes, before slowing right down and steadily building back up to the gruesome, shocking climax. If you are a fan of "real" horror and not afraid to put yourself through 100 minutes of mayhem and ultra-violence, then there is no real way that you will not like Martyrs. It will simply have everything you have ever looked for in a horror film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but proceed with caution, 1 Nov 2014
This review is from: Martyrs [DVD] (DVD)
Extremely disturbing but refreshing and well shot French horror/drama. Martyrs is clearly not for everyone. Dealing with issues ranging from child abuse to mental health, this is a shocker from the Canadian-French. So shocking in its abuse to women that director Pascal Lautier was apologetic, however this is art and sometimes are is painful to view.

Martyrs isn't just about shock factor though- and just to be sure you would be making a grave mistake bundling this one into the so called torture porn pile, it isn't. The film is gripping with never a dull moment, even though for the majoirty of its running time the film is confined to one house.

However you should be warned of the EXTREME violence on show here. It is upsetting and it will get to you. The final half an hour is an assault on the senses. But Martyrs should be praised, it is difficult to view but is well executed and on the face of it one of the finest if not disturbing foreign films in quite some time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martyrs obtains martyrdom, 29 May 2009
By 
Mr. A. J. Messenger "queen_adreena12" (Walsall, WM, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Martyrs [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this film last night around a friend's house. I knew nothing about it and was really not that interested in watching a film, however, by the end I was glad that I had not protested.

This film is a rollercoaster of emotions and revelations. Beginning with a young girl who has been abused running out of a industrial building screaming is some opening. Move on 15 years later and she and her friend who you meet in the opening credits begin their journey creating a magnificent piece of French cinema.

I will not give any spoilers away but this film puts films like Hostel and Saw to shame. The problem is that this film is not for everyone, it does take some thought to figure out what is going on and believe me your feelings for characters will change throughout.

By the end you feel like you have been Martyred as it is tough to endure if you let yourself slip into the story, which I might add is very believeable. Watch out for the photographs in the film, they are real and what is described are true events.

All in all 5/5, I've just purchased it myself for my collection, and it is a worthy addition.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to stomach, 7 Dec 2010
By 
T. Newbery "Ageing Gamer" (West Sussex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Martyrs [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is an uncompromising film that, at times, is very uncomfortable to watch. The typical horror splatter gore of the main bulk of the film contrasts sharply with the brutal (but gore restrained) violence of the final act.

Am I glad I watched this film? Yes.

Will I be watching it again? No, not for a very long time anyway.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 219 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Martyrs [DVD]
Martyrs [DVD] by Pascal Laugier (DVD - 2009)
£4.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews