A friend of mine once asked me “What makes a good horror movie?” For me, there are a few key elements. First off REAL horror is what you DON’T see, there has to be something you take away from the viewing experience, and there has to be an atmosphere that envelops you as you watch. Keep in mind, I also like a lot of BAD horror films as well. On a typical night you might find me watching Violent Shit ,The first Sleepaway Camp or The Woodchipper Massacre. Hell, I watched Troll 2 the other night, and laughed myself to sleep.
A few years ago, a lot of my friends told me about this film I HAD to see entitled Martyrs, part of a new wave of extreme French horror. Everyone I talked to said it was thought provoking and disturbing. When I think of French horror the first things that came to mind are Eyes without a Face, Zombie Lake, La Bete and Inside, starring Beatrice Dalle. (I’ll most likely address that film at a later date.) Needless to say, I don’t think I took my eyes off of the screen once.
This isn’t a film you can write a synopsis for in a few short paragraphs and expect to get the gist of the film, This is one you have to see for yourself, and come to your own conclusions, just like I did. (When I asked others who recommended the film to me what it was about, they told me I had to see it for myself.)
The film is essentially the age old quest for Transcendental insight into the world that lies beyond this one, and how far one is willing to go to achieve that, even at the expense of others. But that’s just part of the story– it’s a journey into human depravity and suffering, with sequences that would make any longtime view feel uneasy.
What makes this film different, what sets it apart from a lot of others that have been released in recent years is this: we’ve all seen movies that showcase torture, but here is the major difference, there is a purpose for what’s being committed. It isn’t for perverse pleasure, or some sadomasochistic gratification, or to just satisfying a blood. There is an end result to everything that happens, for better or for worse.
If you’re disappointed that I left so many details of the film out of this post, I can only say that I hope I have piqued your interest. I’m almost certain that not only will it have an effect on you as it did with me, but you’ll be thinking of it for a few days afterwards. I know I did.
“In the end, We all end up in the same grave”