List Film

Martyrs (3 stars)


(18) 95min

This French splatter fest announces its deeply unpleasant intentions with a pre-title sequence in which a ten-year-old girl named Lucie is found hideously abused outside of a disused factory several months after being abducted by unknown assailants. Fifteen years later, the now psychologically traumatised young woman (Myléne Jampanoï, next to be see playing Bambou in the forthcoming Serge Gainsbourg biopic) and her childhood friend Anna turn up at a wealthy suburban home and murder a husband and wife (plus their teenage kids) whom Lucie is convinced abused her. And then the real unpleasantness commences.

It’s not giving a lot away to say this Gallic torture porn takes its lead from Hostel, given writer-director Pascal Laugier (who’s currently prepping the Hellraiser remake) dispenses with plot in favour of gratuitous blood, screaming and nudity. Those viewers making it to the denouement, when the reason for all the bloodletting is revealed, deserve martyrdom. Extras include making of featurette, interviews with Laugier and make-up artist.

(Optimum DVD rental/retail)


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