Martyrs – France, 2008 – reviews

Martyrs is a 2008 French horror film written and directed by Pascal Laugier.

An American remake of the film was released in 2015.

The film has been associated with the New French Extremity movement.


“For those brave enough to enter Pascal Laugier’s bad, bad world, there’s a balls-achingly brutal horror film waiting to be experienced; one that’s deeply disturbing, profoundly moving and somehow, eerily beautiful.” Lee Griffiths, Eye For Film

“Writer/Director Laugier has created a scarifying  feature, an endurance test that takes the audience into realms they  would not ordinarily enter. Martyrs is a challenging and confronting film, stretching what is possible in  extreme film-making, and may leave some viewers cold but definitely  moved.” J.R. Gregory, Digital Retribution

“Although Martyrs will undoubtedly be compared to Inside in terms of its intensity, the film is a bastard unto itself that manages to surpass its comparisons on all levels. Director Laugier has presented an experience that is both cinematically stunning, yet emotionally devastating, and with all the subtleties of a barbed wire enema.” Jon Condit, Dread Central

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“What begins as a quest for revenge against a group of bourgeois sickos morphs into wrenching exercise in cult sadism, with one young woman’s pain opening the door to the transcendent. It’s either a bruising allegory for real-world torture or an irredeemable trip to the far end of exploitation. What it’s not is forgettable.” Scott Tobias, Rolling Stone

Cast and characters:

  • Morjana Alaoui … Anna Assaoui
  • Erika Scott … young Anna
  • Mylène Jampanoï … Lucie Jurin
  • Jessie Pham … young Lucie
  • Catherine Bégin … Mademoiselle
  • Isabelle Chasse … the Creature
  • Robert Toupin … le père
  • Patricia Tulasne … la mère
  • Juliette Gosselin … Marie
  • Xavier Dolan-Tadros … Antoine

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