MARTYRS LANE (2021) Reviews, trailer and two clips

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Martyrs Lane is a 2021 British supernatural horror film about a little girl who develops a relationship with a nocturnal visitor.

Written and directed by Ruth Platt (The Lesson). Produced by Christine Alderson and Katie Hodgkin.

The British Film Institute (BFI)/Ipso Facto ProductionsSharp House co-production stars Denise Gough, Steven Cree, Kiera Thompson, Anastasia Hille, Hannah Rae and Julie Barclay.


A young girl named Leah lives in a large vicarage with her parents and older sister. During the day the house is bustling with people; at night it is dark, empty and space for Leah’s nightmares to creep into. Leah can’t quite work out why something feels missing in her relationship with her mother, however hard she tries.

When a small, nightly visitor appears, Leah feels duty-bound to receive them with kindness – and a little game between them begins in which Leah is set a nightly task. With each task, Leah’s knowledge grows – knowledge that unpicks the broken relationship she has with her mother and threatens to destabilise the world as she knows it…


“Despite the overall simplicity of the film’s central mystery, Martyrs Lane is an elegant, melancholy fable of childhood, anchored by a captivating young lead. Armed with a few good scares and lush production design, Ruth Platt’s film is a gentle ghost mystery filtered through the eyes of a child.” Bloody Disgusting

Martyr’s Lane would be a lesser thing without the twin talents of Thompson and Sayer, the latter particularly achieving a delicate balance of prosaic and mystical, quite a feat for someone so young […] Martyr’s Lane may be a very mannered ghost story, but it’s one with a lot of atmosphere, topped off with Erased Tapes collaborator Anne Müller’s haunting score.” Dark Eyes of London

“Fairy tale-horror hybrids are wont to engage, and Martyrs Lane is no different. It’s a deeply melancholic yet gorgeously rendered tale of a little girl incapable of perceiving the pain of the adult world. If nothing else, it’s a triumphant step forward for writer-director Ruth Platt.” Dread Central

“Perhaps a little bit undecided on tone and look throughout, Platt nevertheless makes the right choice in being committed to keeping most of the film as events observed by children […] This isn’t a film to watch if you’re after some standard jumps and a bit of bloodshed, but it could have added a little bit more of either without losing its way […] however, and it’s hard to really fault an end result that feels as if it accomplished everything she wanted.” For It Is Man’s Number

“I was looking forward to watching Martyrs Lane but didn’t expect it to be anything special. Just a good horror movie with a ghost story at the heart of it. However, it was much better than I’d ever expected. Especially the two young girls in key roles were brilliant. You do not want to miss out on this horror treat!” Heaven of Horror

Martyrs Lane is an exceptionally good film that will cling to you for a while after watching a ghost story with multiple layers and performances that surprise you. Ruth Platt has made a special film that will connect for different reasons to audiences.” Upcoming on Screen

“Elements of mystery, particularly the use of objects and clues, are used carefully as scares and revelations are doled out just as carefully, but they’re no less unsettling for that; some developments here are deeply unpleasant and unsettling. Ultimately, Martyrs Lane takes an oblique, almost delicate approach to grief, family and childhood in a thoughtful, confident way.” Warped Perspective


Martyrs Lane premiered at the Fantasia film festival in August 2021.

Streaming service Shudder has acquired the rights to Martyrs Lane for North America, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand from Danish sales company LevelK.

Martyrs Lane is a terrifically scary and emotionally captivating ghost story; a haunting tale of a mother and daughter – reminiscent of the elegance and melancholy of The Devil’s Backbone – and we’re thrilled to bring it to subscribers later this year as part of Shudder’s premium, curated slate of the best in horror film,” Shudder’s Emily Gotto said in a statement.

Cast and characters:

Denise Gough … Sarah
Steven Cree … Thomas
Kiera Thompson … Leah
Anastasia Hille … Lillian
Hannah Rae … Bex
Julie Barclay … Janet
Catherine Terris … Edith
Donna Banya … Kyla
Charlie Rix … Brian
Lianne Harvey … Amy
Sienna Sayer … Rachel


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