**1/2. This is certainly one of the rare movies that could make you feel in your bones the Nazi medical atrocities perpetrated during WWII. In light of the reactions here at MUBI, 'Martyrs', with this in mind, is a success. I just hope that this was the director's intention while shooting his film. So, recommended to curious and courageous ones only.
When you have to take a puking break, you know it's hardcore. THE most violent film I've ever seen &probably not only the worst in its genre but the vilest in film history. There's a level of misogyny, female objectification & porn violence & sexist sadism that makes 'torture porn' too light: it's a snuff-film, no more. And a pretentious one at that, it aims 'higher': Kubrickian heights yet directed by a butcher:ZERO
Doing a misogynistic film to criticise misogyny is like fighting for peace by going to war. The violence is so extreme that makes it almost unbearable to watch... I can't believe I'm made until the end. Definitely an experience I won't be repeating.
I could only count the people who've seen this film and watched it all the way to the end. The torture scenes are extremely disturbing, however it is essential to make up the profundity of the ending. This is by far one of my favourite horror films.
I never fully understood what "torture porn" meant till I saw this movie. Now I wish I hadn't. The first half was brilliant and promising; the second weak and totally absurd. I'm sure horror fans will dig the hell out of it though.
Harrowing due to the subversion of genre expectations. Laugier is as concerned with the victims as he is with the violence. "Martyrs" doesn't set out to make you cringe -- it wants you to truly feel loss; the mental, physical and spiritual obliteration of a sympathetic being. The empathy unsettles, not the cruelty. Successfully provocative and powerful on those grounds in a way the likes of Haneke can honestly envy.
Didn't hit me as hard as HAUTE TENSION did when I first saw it years ago, but still an above-average little horror masterpiece. I still found some of the "brutal" parts a little over-the-top and boring though.