This French film, focusing on two young Japanese girls opens with one of the girls, Lucie, showing up at a suburban household and blowing away everyone inside with extreme prejudice, laying to waste two young children in the process. It is revealed that the parents had held and tortured Lucie at a younger age. Lucie’s friend(and possibly lover?) Anna arrives to support her despite being appalled by the scene she finds. Not long after, Lucie meets her demise in such a way that casts doubt on her victims’ guilt. This is only the beginning.
This film will fuck with your head and make you uncomfortable. It is arguable as to whether the children had to be murdered in the first place, and the death scenes don’t spare you the nasty details. Justified or not, the visuals are amazing and only add to the gut wrenching quality of the film. The revenge aspect could be an amazing movie on its own, but the plot of this film continues to grow and deepen.
The film felt like three separate stories working together. The second part focuses on Anna finding and trying to come to grips with the elaborate dungeon. Also the introduction of the current captive brings you to levels of pity that rival the disgust you most likely already felt. This section serves a great purpose in setting up the helplessness of the finale, because all the care that is put into trying to renew this girl’s life is shattered when the sinister organization behind the organized torture arrives and shoots her on sight.
The final act follows Anna being put through the same systematic torture that the other girls received. You get to watch as her will is broken. After she finally accepts her fate, you learn the reasoning behind the whole procedure. This information is quite interesting and draws you in. A fact that the movie uses to fuck your mind one last time.
Martyrs finds a way to be beautiful and terrible at the same time. It is very well crafted and shot. There is something of a strong and likable character in Anna. Finally, the overall concept introduced at the end is fascinating. The only problem is that they destroy everything you love to get there. This film may prove a bit much for some, but if you’re feeling brave, give it a try.