"Martyrs are exceptional people. They survive pain, they survive total deprivation. They bear all the sins of the earth. They give themselves up. They transcend themselves... they are transfigured."Martyrs
is a French-Canadian horror movie starring Morjana Alaoui and Mylène Jampanoï.
The story is about Lucie, a torture victim who escapes from her captors. She's sent to an orphanage where she meets and befriends Anna, a fellow child abuse victim. While the police and the media investigated Lucie's predicament, the perpetrators were never caught, so Anna pledges to help Lucie track them down. Fifteen years later, Lucie seizes the chance to have her revenge.
The film is exceedingly graphic, but also contains plenty of Psychological Horror
Martyrs offers examples of:
- Affably Evil: The Mademoiselle.
- And I Must Scream: The tormentor's lips were sewn shut.
- Adults Are Useless: The police and the media.
- Ancient Conspiracy: The torturers.
- Ate His Gun: The Mademoiselle at the end, after Anna tells her the secrets of the afterlife.
- Audience Surrogate: Anna.
- Ax-Crazy: Lucie.
- Badass Longcoat: The mooks who arrive at the house halfway through the movie wear these.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted with Anna.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Lucie is hounded by a fellow torture victim who never forgave her for running away. She exists only in Lucie's mind and resembles what Lucie would have been had she not escaped.
- Big Bad: The Mademoiselle.
- Blown Across the Room: Happens right after the father opens the door for Lucie.
- Body Horror: The steel facemask and the "diaper" are stapled into the victim.
- Anna after she is flayed.
- Break the Cutie: Possibly one of the most brutal examples ever with Lucie and Anna.
- Chunky Salsa Rule: Lucie vs the wife. The second blow is followed by a closeup shot of the skull caving in, and she keeps hammering away for a while.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: The premise of the film and modus operandi of the villains.
- Decoy Protagonist: Anna's the main protagonist, even if the first half of the movie focuses on Lucie.
- Devil in Plain Sight: The torturers act like normal people, and the cellar is very well hidden.
- Driven to Suicide: Lucie cuts her own throat after taking her revenge, and the Mademoiselle shoots herself at the very end after learning about the afterlife.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The Mademoiselle.
- Evil Old Folks: The Mademoiselle again.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Lucie's tormentor is completely nude and covered in scars.
- Foreign Remake: An American remake is planned. Produced by the producer of Twilight, of all things, and possibly with Kristen Stewart.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: One interpretation on what happens to the Mademoiselle.
- Gorn: Plenty, most notably Anna being skinned alive.
- Karma Houdini: Most of the torturers get away completely scot free. The only remote upside is that the family that tortured Lucie and the Mademoiselle are both dead.
- Kick the Morality Pet: Anna's not sure whether Lucie's really found the real torturers or just slaughtered an innocent family.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: They really had it coming.
- Medical Horror: The Torture Cellar is quite refined and utilitarian.
- Motive Rant: The Mademoiselle calmly gives Anna a presentation on what the conspiracy is about and what they want to accomplish.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Lucie's tormentor is initially shown only in glimpses because she doesn't exist.
- Not Quite Dead: The wife.
- Offscreen Afterlife: Only Anna knows for sure.
- Orphanage of Fear: Lucie and Anna get assigned to one.
- Primal Fear: As the torture progresses, the victims are turned into atrophied, feral shells of their former selves.
- Punch Clock Villain: The torturers live like normal people when off-duty.
- Averted. Punch clock villains treat their professions like normal jobs, whereas people who are in the business of inflicting unnecessary pain make a mockery of real PC Vs.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Lucie goes on one against those she thinks tortured her.
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: Lucie and Anna.
- Survivor Guilt: Lucie feels guilty about abandoning a fellow victim.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: Just how crazy is Lucie?
- Torture Cellar: The setting of the second half of the movie.
- To the Pain: The Big Bad tells Anna exactly what they're going to do and why they do it.
- Tragic Monster: The second torture victim.
- The Unreveal: Near the end, Anna whispers something to Mademoiselle, and the audience doesn't hear it. The rest of the conspiracy doesn't hear it either, because the Mademoiselle blows her brains out shortly afterwards.