Jarv gets pissy at Martyrs.

Please do not adjust your internets. This is a minor interruption in your normal pleasant changian reading….

As a rule, I fucking loathe Torture Porn. It’s a creatively bankrupt and pathetic rendering of horror, and as such it makes me actually want to torture the bastards that make it.

However, Pascal Laugier’s boring and repellent 2008 magnum shitpus Martyrs is usually held up as one of the finer examples of the genre. It isn’t. It’s crap.

I’ve seen it before, but there’s some weird revisionism going on about this film (as in that it isn’t crap), as such, and that it’s on Lovefilm, I’m rewatching it at this moment. I’m roughly half way through- and this is the plot so far:

Pre-teen girl with shaven head has been slapped around for a while. Two adult women have pitched up at a house, one of them has slaughtered the family, and is being cut up periodically by a hideously scarred naked chick. The other one is, well, pointless. The mother has survived and both hit-women are now having to confront hideously scarred naked chick (I wonder who she could be).

For the rest of this experiment, I’m going to watch it and comment with massive amounts of scorn on the crap unfolding in front of me…

(I hope someone else is around)

Before I turn this crap live- it can have an Orangutan of Doom- for painfully obvious reasons.

See you below the line.

Jarv,

OK- Here’s the actual review:

Martyrs opens with a genuinely strong image: a young girl with a shaven head running down a deserted industrial estate. Next thing we know, it cuts to Lucie and Anna, Mylene Jampanoia an Morjana Alaoui (both putting in good performances), as Lucie performs a home invasion and execution on a suburban family. Lucie is unfortunately then attacked by a mutilated chick (naked, natch) that cuts her severely. Anna returns to clear up, and Lucie is eventually killed by naked mutilated girl- who doesn’t actually exist (quelle surprise). Anna then discovers the dungeon in the house (I bet you can’t see where this is going) before being abducted.

She’s then tortured, slapped around, shaved etc, while a fat chick talks to her about Transfiguration and transcendence. Eventually, the shattered husk that remains is in the ideal state- and I won’t blow the ending (as tempting as it is).

Basically, this is a shitty fucking film. For the most part, it’s astonishingly boring. It’s also utterly trite. No amount of cod-psychology Freudian bollocks can disguise the fact that pretty much everything that happens in this film takes place inside the minds of our protaganists- and as such this isn’t exactly a cereberal insight into the consequences of abuse. It’s (actually) a superficial, moronic, and deeply predictable exercise in tedium and nausea, albeit a very well acted one.

I can’t bear the faux-intellectualism at the heart of this film. Laugier wanted to make a torture film, and that’s fine with me. Unfortunately he lacked the balls to make an out-and-out torture porn, so instead wasted his time and my time with this loathsome piece of cod-philosophy that has the fucking temerity to suggest that being on the receiving end of hideous abuse will lead you to enlightenment.

Well, fucko- it doesn’t. It leads to insanity.

The irony is, and it’s astonishing, is that this isn’t that bad in the way of violence and torture. It isn’t even that exploitative. What it actually is, is really boring. I know that sounds insane given the reputation this film carries, and there is a fair amont of splatter in it, but there’s pretty much nothing here that is even in the same league as Hostel, let alone  the likes of Guinea Pig and August Underground.

Martyrs is, at the end of the day, a pointless and nihilistic failure. It fails as an art film, and unforgivably also manages to fail as torture porn. If ever a film can be described as utterly worthless, then it’s this one- it’s a loathsome in intent but flaccid in excution exercise in boredom and redundancy.

Without spoiling, I’m lost as to why this is meant to be powerful. It isn’t at all- it carries the power of a flat battery. The problem is that once the second half of the film starts what we’re effectively watching unfold is entirely predictable the moment that we see the woman with the head brace. There is no doubt where this film is going to end, and watching it come to fruition actually made me transcend rather than fucking Anna. Seriously, for a time, I was away with pink lollipops and a magical world made of candyfloss.

Watching this kind of gutter trash masquerading as art makes me miss the low rent fun of a crappy zombie film with lots of boob. It’s pretentious garbage, and as it tries so hard to conceal what it really is (and fails dismally), in a strange way it’s kind of sad. So much effort went in to so little effect.

It’s actually so bad that I’d rather watch Hostel again.

And you don’t get shittier than that.

Until next time,

Jarv.

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

135 responses to “Jarv gets pissy at Martyrs.”

  1. Jarv says :

    Garbage. Here we go….

    • Jarv says :

      OOOOOOH!!!!

      CUT ME!!!!

      There’s a fucking shock. She’s not real.

      This shit is so fucking transparent. I don’t actually get the pont of it- at all. She was tortured, yes- and now she’s a sociopath with self-harm issues that percieves herself as a scarred, tongueless, naked chick.

      It this is the gash that counts as intellectualism, then, well, fuck.

  2. Jarv says :

    Well, she’s dead now. Suicide.

    Nothing to say for a while.

  3. Jarv says :

    Why fucking bother?

    Honestly. This is every bit as crap, and a bit more unpleasant than Hostel.

  4. Jarv says :

    Don’t know about you, but when I’ve killed a whole bunch of people in a house, I always stay around to call my mother.

    There is not one redeeming feature to this shit.

  5. Jarv says :

    I’ve still got 40 minutes of this drivel left. Apparently, our heroine, Anna, is a lesbian.

    I’m not sure what they’re trying to say here. Lesbian= must have been tortured?

  6. Continentalop says :

    Torture Porn and the New French Extremity are two of the worst things to come out of cinema in last decade.

  7. Jarv says :

    Genuinely, the whole problem with this film is that it’s really boring, and when it isn’t boring it’s really unpleasant.

    How is this good? Seriously?

  8. Jarv says :

    Eh-up, gagged and bound chick has turned up in the cellar. I wonder who that is.

  9. Jarv says :

    This is the worst kind of bollocks. Transparent TP masqurading as psuedo-intellectual arthouse.

    • koutchboom says :

      SOOOOOOO we live in a world where TP isn’t going anywhere for a while….so would you rather something like Martyrs that actually tries something and tries to make a point for better or worse. That is at least well made and acted and has fairly effective gore. Or something like Hostel that is only there to show lame torture? You can’t say none, you gotta pick one you like more than the other. I guess I would have to say Saw is in the later.

      I guess Inside would be the later as well, just a super nasty home invasion movie, or that could be something as well, home invasion TP stuff. Stuff like Inside/Funny Games/Last House on the Left/Them.

  10. Continentalop says :

    Jarv, you ever see the Belguim movie The Ordeal, where basically a musician stumbles into a disgusting town of retards and gets raped repeatedly?

    If you haven’t – DON’T!

  11. Jarv says :

    Christ on a fucking moped.

    That was nasty. It’s symbolic of her seeing her true face or some such shit. But Goddamnit-

  12. Frank Marmoset says :

    This whinge-fest makes me want to watch Martyrs very much, but it turns out they don’t even speak English in it, so that’s that idea out the window.

    Thanks to my minimal education, lack of parental guidance and general dimness, subtitles are the only torture I can’t take.

    • Jarv says :

      I speak French.

      Anyway. I’m proving a point.

      This, actually right now, is the best bit of the film- the secret society have turned up.

      • Frank Marmoset says :

        Proving the point that you will deliberately re-watch a film you know annoys you, just so you can get annoyed about it again?

        That’s a weird point to prove, man.

        But hats off to you for the speaking French thing. That’s pretty cool.

      • Jarv says :

        Speak was a bit of a leap- I haven’t in years. I understand it, to a high level, and I used to speak it.

        Proving the point that you will deliberately re-watch a film you know annoys you, just so you can get annoyed about it again?

        Does sound like me.

        More dispelling the bollocks earlier about it.

    • Jarv says :

      Also, Frank- it’s really boring. Honestly, for the most part, fuck all happens.

      • Jarv says :

        This is a case in point. I’m watching a fat chick lecture our heroine about the nature of suffering (i.e. How you Make a Martyr (the Nigella guide)) It’s that crass, tiresome and unsubtle.

        Except, apparently, it’s arthouse genius.

  13. Jarv says :

    Screaming in a cellar now. I wonder if she’ll transcend soon…

  14. Jarv says :

    I’m kind of hoping Frank’s mate Gary pops out and does the lot of them with spiky chains.

    • Frank Marmoset says :

      Gary is no friend of mine. Total dick.

      Well, good luck with this strange experiment in masochistic self-irritation. You should maybe try rubbing some salt into your eye while you watch the film, to maximise your annoyance.

      • Jarv says :

        Not a bad idea.

        For the full effect, I should turn the subtitles on and wear som earphones with Avril Lavigne playing “Complicated”.

  15. Jarv says :

    Feeding her.

    This actually mirrors a scene earlier- almost to the beat. Which is at least well crafted.

    Nice. I get to see her pee now.

    The more I think about this, the more I think that it’s reputation for not being garbage is based entirely on the end. Which I’m going to fucking shred, for being trite, irrelevant, pathetic crap attempting to find meaning in the sadism we’ve just watched.

  16. Jarv says :

    She’s just had a haircut.

    It’s just so fucking boring.

  17. Jarv says :

    PS- I am going to review this properly above the line when it ends. This now is therepeutic.

  18. ThereWolf says :

    The trailer for ‘Matyrs’ was quite effective but I’ve never had any interest in watching the film.

  19. koutchboom says :

    I’d really like you to see Yellowbrickroad. I’ve been meaning to issue a product recall notice on that one. See to me thats a much more creative bankrupt movie, at least Martyrs had a fully thought out idea, Yellowbrickroad just made up shit as it went along.

  20. Lord Bronco says :

    Ha ha- yeah I had to Orangutang this particular flick back when there was an AIBN,

    I basically agree with mr Jarv on this piece of crap-what I did-was I spoiled the whole fucking movie to spare anybody from watching it.

    Ask me, and I’ll spoil it again.

    It’s fucking dumb, but there are a few effective scenes/moments…ahh fuck it-I’ll never watch another movie by this dumbfuck frenchman ever again.

    That’s not a threat-it’s a statement of fact because I’m quite sure he will never direct ever again.

    Maybe the lame kind of shot on DSLR no-budget stuff I will maybe shoot on-but a fucking budget piece-never.

  21. koutchboom says :

    Didn’t the masked girl end up being real are something? I need to see it again, I wouldn’t say this is anywhere near as boring as Antichrist and at least this lays out its intentions, Antichrist leaves it up to pseudo intellectuals who like to pretend films have deeper meanings in silly things.

    I don’t recall this movie being that boring.

    And I guess you are a much smarter person than me if you think this movie was just some predictable to the level of Kate Hudson rom com levels. This movie took me for twists and turns.

    Also I don’t think it’s pretending to be art, I think it had some idea with the torture but it knew what it was. See to me something like Antichrist pretends it’s some pretentious art film. To me since everything is laid out for you there is no pretension in it.

    But again I like horror what every movies that are able to wrap it up…unlike something like Yellowbrickroad which just blabbers on into nothing at least this had a reason for doing what it was doing.

    • Jarv says :

      I detest Hudson films as well Koutch.

      Nevertheless, this is totally predictable- as soon as we see mutilated chick we know exactly who it is- and as soon as she finds the hole we know where it’s going.

      They do lay out what is about to happen and it does follow through with it, but it isn’t that hard to watch- you don’t wince because she’s just getting fed/ slapped.

      As for the end: if anything makes me hate a film then it’s this- this end is completely unearned. You see her “vision” and she’s passing on the message, but he clearly doesn’t know what the message is so you never fond out. Instead, fatty gives a lead blow job.

      It’s astonishingly cheap, nasty and boring.

      The irony is that the torture isn’t that bad. The film is though.

  22. kloipy says :

    egh……….why does it always have to be me. the one that liked it
    http://www.mymavra.com/apps/blog/show/1748715-kloipy-s-crypt-of-crap-martyrs

    • Jarv says :

      That review is much better than the film warrants.

      Disagree almost 100% though. Particularly regarding the second half and the climax.

      • Jarv says :

        OK- I’ve been thinking about how to phrase this for a while.

        Basically, the ending is completely unearned. I’ll start with why it’s predictable first though.

        As soon as we see the hole and the photographs the second half can only go one way- she’s going in the chains and is going to spend the remainder on the receiving end of some heinous torture. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happens. What’s irritating, though is that we’ve already seen snippets of this done in the first half of the film far more effectively- and the torture isn’t actually that extreme. It’s just her being slapped around, and this becomes relentlessly boring very quickly.

        When she goes into the surgery, we again know that this is the final stage in her transfiguration because we’ve been told. Furthermore, we also know that she will “transcend”- my understanding of transcend suggests that she’s going to see a vision. Sure enough, we’re then treated to a dream-state montage. She then tells Melle- after a bit more torture “what” her vision is. So far so good.

        However, the fucking hack makes a terrible mistake here- she’s been devoting her life to finding out about life after death, employing the most hideous and inhuman methods to get it- and when the moment to reveal comes? She says “better you don’t know” and blows her own fucking brains out.

        This is a con. We’ve already seen the vision- which isn’t the afterlife, but a trauma induced nightmare. If he had the courage of his convictions, then it isn’t a leap to have her stand before her congregation in a CAN YOU DIG IT pose before fading to black. The clear implication is that she’s off for some cenobite nightmare, and has to kill herself because she can’t endure it. Horseshit.

        The film is trying to have it’s cake and eat it. He’s fine showing us abstract images of life after death, but chickens out of giving the villain their moment- it’s an effort to keep it brief, but instead what it’s done is make the preceding 90 minutes an exercise in nihilistic sadism. There’s no point to it, and the philosophy is sub-Bataillian crap. Meaningless- and an attempt to muddy the waters in a misguided belief that this will add depth. It doesn’t.

        Utterly crap film, and because it’s so dishonest is what makes it even worse- this is cut-and-dried TP masquerading as art, except the art is the worst stoned undergraduate philosophy. I’ve found more meaning on a fucking lollipop stick.

        I’m glad he’s off Hellraiser, but it pains me he’s on Phantasm.

      • koutchboom says :

        So you knew all along that the family she killed were bad people and that she was right? Also that the house was the torture ground? LIke ALL of that was so painfully obvious. I don’t buy that.

      • Jarv says :

        Yes. Basically, there’s a newspaper clipping early on that this was the family that tortured her.

        Are you honestly pretending that for a second you thought that scarred chick was real? Or that once she was caught the film was going to swerve off in an unexpected direction? Because it was obvious on both counts.

        Where did you get this idea that I like Kate Hudson?

      • koutchboom says :

        I never said you liked Kat Hudson, I was just saying that you were acting like it was as predictable as a Kate Hudson movie isn’t fair. I need to see the movie again because I don’t remember everything about it, but I remember it being genuinely interesting in terms of plot and what was going to happen.

        I mean from what I recall was that yes it was a surprise that the house they were in actually was a torture dome how was I suppose to know that. As for them coming in half way through and throwing her back in there, yeah that was a surprise as well because I had no idea it was some giant evil group doing this. I mean I thought going in and with that opening shoot out that it was a revenge film, like she was going to find out more who aided this family are something and kill them, you didn’t think that there would be this swift turn around and she would become a victim. Again I’d need to see it again to be 100% on plot but yeah when they busted through the door that threw me for a surprise. Remember you’ve seen this once already. I mean the movie calms you after the horrific events in the begining and then finding the chained up girl like maybe they’d stopped it, then BAM these huge dudes bust in out of nowhere and start the process all over again. Not really sure how I was suppose to figure that out beforehand.

      • Jarv says :

        OK- I’ll give you that the cult was unexpected.

        However, on the main plot points:

        1) They foreshadow Lucie going into the house as the place she was tortured. It’s in the newspaper clipping.

        2) Scarred chick isn’t real- and it’s painfully obvious that she isn’t.

        3) As soon as she finds the girl with the head-harness and starts fucking around in the house, you know that someone is going to come back.

        4) The entire second half of the film has been shown in the first half- you know what’s going to happen and how it’s going to happen- even in what order.

        5) Even given 4, it’s still fucking repetitive watching a guy whaling on a chick tied to a chair for 45 minutes.

        6) It’s aggravatingly stupid. The prime example is the bedroom scene with scarred chick. This is one of the most catastrophically moronic scenes I’ve seen.

        In it’s own way, it’s every bit as inept and predictable as the shitty Hudson effort. The existence of the Cult is a cosmetic difference a la McDouchaghay being a Ninja in disguise or something. You still know that she’s going to end up with him.

      • Jarv says :

        It’s boring because it’s so repetitive. The home invasion, actually, in hindsight isn’t that boring- it’s savage in it’s sheer brutality.

        However, they flash back to her eating the slop, or being slapped, or whatever- and then when the second half plays out it’s literally her in a chair being beaten- and you’ve seen it all in the first film. Aside from the self-harm, this actually isn’t too bad in terms of torture (I could have lived without seeing her piss herself, though). It’s certainly easier to watch than the Achilles slit in Hostel. It’s mostly monotonous and tiresome. What is interesting to note, is that the real nastiness of the film takes place off camera.

        It’s repellent in its intention, but not in what it actually shows.

      • koutchboom says :

        Bahahahahahah “the Achilles slit in Hostel” god I’ve seen better effect work in a Troma film. I think the hammer to the head was the most painful thing in that film. The dangling eyeball being the lamest.

        Also a BIG factor you are negating with the movie is that the friend doesn’t fully 100% believe her, adding to that scarred girl being fake makes her friends clams now seem that much more untrue. So when it switiches and happens to her again SHOCKER!

      • Jarv says :

        I agree- actually. The Slit was garbage. However, as crap as the effect was, it was still an effect. Not just a guy slapping a chick in a chair.

        As to whether or not Anna believes Lucie? Irrelevant. She knows the truth the moment she finds the other woman in the cellar.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I’m missing how YOU JUST KNOW that she’s going to end up back being tortured? I understand how the beatings got reptitative and all but when I watched it, I was in disbelief because I was so shocked that she was in that place again. Also the scarred chick being real or not I thought was handled nicely showing just sort of how fucked she was in the head. Your being overly simple with the addition of the cult, sure I get that its just like rich men who want to pay to torture people but its a much more interesting turn of events then OHH in this movie Matty Mo is Rancher not a Buisness Man.

      • Jarv says :

        Also the scarred chick being real or not I thought was handled nicely showing just sort of how fucked she was in the head.

        The fuck it was. You knew she wasn’t real from the moment that Lucie was too stupid to open the bedroom door to escape.

      • koutchboom says :

        Soooo that DOESN’T show how fucked she was in the head? Weather she is real or not isn’t the point of that character, its to show how looney she has become and to create disbelief in the friend, and to that end it was very well done.

      • koutchboom says :

        AND again…really trying not to be Sounding like a tired old woman here, just talkin movies.

      • Jarv says :

        No.

        It’s pretending that she’s real. There’s lines of dialogue about how she has to do it to keep “her” away, or make “her” happy- and it’s transparent that they’re referring to the monster.

        It certainly was not well done.

      • koutchboom says :

        Who was pretending that she is real? The friend? I mean the girl wasn’t pretending she was real because she sees her. The friend was probably pretending she was real to placate/help her friend. I mean whats she suppose to do if her crazy friend is having vision’s of this monster she can’t just STOP her from seeing it.

      • Jarv says :

        The film tries to convince us that she’s real- and not self harming. Remember the freak woman stabs her in the back.

      • koutchboom says :

        I have to watch it again I didn’t think it was overly obvious she was fake right off the bat, and it was more about the friends reaction to what she was doing more so if that thing was real or not.

      • Jarv says :

        It’s blatant. Cretinous and blatant.

      • koutchboom says :

        I’m still not sure whats so bad about it, they were questioning the girls psyche and showing how she’s gone a bit nutty so why would the audience knowing that the monster is fake be so terrible? Like OHHH that monsters not really there why can’t the crazy girl see that?

      • Droid says :

        Oh, darn. Koutch has gone and spoiled Martyrs for me. Guess I don’t need to see it now that I know the twist.

      • Jarv says :

        That’s not the twist.

      • Droid says :

        Sounds to me like he’s revealed the mystery around the story. Don’t feel the compelling need to see it now. Oh, well. Guess I’ll have to watch 15 Minutes instead.

      • Jarv says :

        Except he hasn’t. He’s told you up to the halfway point.

        Excuses, excuses.

      • Droid says :

        So I’ll be bored rigid for the first half of the film? No thanks.

      • koutchboom says :

        I don’t get the boring claims, I mean thats probably more down to Jarv interest. I know he’s a little different than me in that he can watch 3 films a night no matter what they are. Me I need to be a little interested in the film and I can’t really be tired. I mean I saw A-Team on a Monday night on DVD which was a bad idea because I kept falling asleep…..would I ever call The A-Team boring? Not really, but it was putting me to sleep. But if I am in the mood to watch a movie like really ready and it just puts me to sleep or I find it tedious, I’d say if anything Martyrs would be too shocking to be boring. IDK the way Jarv talks about this film I think he accidently watched Antichrist.

        The whole calling it an art movie….I get but I don’t agree with, mainly because of what Jarv says. Its too simple in its intentions and they don’t really leave much up for you to answer on your own. It’s either that the vision she saw was horrific or she didn’t see anything and it was all pointless.

      • koutchboom says :

        Its just funny because Rob Lowe literally all of jarv thoughts on this film are exactly how I feel about Antichrist.

      • Droid says :

        THat’s not really what I was saying.

      • Spud McSpud says :

        I’ll give you this – MARTYRS isn’t a movie that holds up to rewatchability. Granted, it is fairly obvious that she’s going to get tortured – what is toally NOT obvious is WHY. The point of the movie IS the secret society and the reveal of why they’re doing all this – these lunatic mysticism-obssessed millionaires have gotten together to collude in a secret society devoted to abducting people to use as “martyrs”, ie to torture them to the brink of death in the hope that one of the victims will actually attain the heightened state that martyrs supposedly did in the Middle Ages, where they supposedly had visions, ecstatic states, and supposedly communed with / had an audience with the divine.

        The fact that M’elle kills herself could be her guilt getting the better of her – I like to think the girl told her that there’s nothing there after death, and the fact she’s colluded with the torture and killing of hundereds – maybe thousands of victims to find this out has finally made her realise how far from human she’s gone just to unravel the ultimate mystery. She says something to the guy at the door, she asks him if he thinks about what lies after death, he says no, she says well keep doubting, and then kills herself. Sounds like whatever she heard isn’t what she was hoping for.

        THIS is the point of MARTYRS – it’s the discussion of what might lie after death, and if it’s worth inflicting such cruelty and punishment to find out the anwer to the ultimate question of what lies after death (I think pretty much everybody who watches MARTYRS cocludes that no, it isn’t worth all that suffering). You may be right in that she has a trauma-induced nightmare rather than a vision – but what of all the other martyrs who supposedly had visions? Do we discount all of that too??

        Yes, some of the movie is boring, but I really don’t think the point of MARTYRS is the torture, it’s the reason WHY they’re doing it that is the talking point of the film. It also affects how you enjoy the movie – if you’re utterly atheist, you’ll see a bunch of lunatics torturing people to death over a delusion. Ifv you’re of any kind of faith, you might think “Yes, I see what they’re doing, but FUUUUCK, why all the sadism?”. Ultimately MARTYRS depends on your take on the afterlife, whether there is one, can we actualy get a glimspe of it if there is, and if so, what if suffering is what lifts that veil for us?

        You can see why I think it’s the best Cliver Barker story that Clive Barker never wrote – it’s mashing together ideas about the afterlife with ideas about the sanctity of suffering. This is EXACTLY why the guy would have been perfect for HELLRAISER – because these are the same themes HELLRAISER explores – whether suffering can be sanctified, or if it can enable us to ascend to a higher state of consciousness.

        I can understand you hating the movie for the extreme horror of what it tells us about how low humans are willing to sink, how much pain they willl inflict, just for a religious belief – in fact that ties into the title of the movie – but to say it has no value, and is pretty much about nothing? Unfairly harsh, Jarv. And it’s a far superior movie to HOSTEL, unless watching kids kick human heads around for fun is a particularly redeeming feature for a movie. I’m no major fan of turture porn, but to me, MARTYRS feels like one of very, very few that actually have a legit reason for all the extreme sadism being alluded to.

      • koutchboom says :

        Hahahah sorry Spud I like your ideas….but and this is fine I think its cool but the notion that Martyrs is some political movie about how we need to stop fighting over religion amuses me, in the sense of how the makers of Serbian movie say that its a statement on how the Serbian government treats its people. I LIKE IT in the context of Martyrs though for whatever reason. Maybe Jarv’s right and this is an Art piece.

      • Jarv says :

        Spud, that is a fucking brilliant piece of justification that the film just can’t support.

        1) This:

        The fact that M’elle kills herself could be her guilt getting the better of her – I like to think the girl told her that there’s nothing there after death, and the fact she’s colluded with the torture and killing of hundereds – maybe thousands of victims to find this out has finally made her realise how far from human she’s gone just to unravel the ultimate mystery. She says something to the guy at the door, she asks him if he thinks about what lies after death, he says no, she says well keep doubting, and then kills herself. Sounds like whatever she heard isn’t what she was hoping for.

        Nope. Laugier has blown his load with the vision. This is because he doesn’t know how to write the phrase that the old woman needs to say, and furthermore he needs to keep it ambiguous if his arthouse pretensions are to hold up. If this were to be the case, then the way to do it was to fade to black, then have her whisper in the ear. She goes downstairs to address the crowd and neutrally raises her arms to talk and then the film stops. We’ve not seen anything and I’ve interpreted it as a trauma hallucination, but it could just as easily be a vision. The suicide is a grotesque betrayal of character- she’s no so dehumanised by what she’s done that she’d never have done it.

        2) I fucking love this:

        THIS is the point of MARTYRS – it’s the discussion of what might lie after death, and if it’s worth inflicting such cruelty and punishment to find out the anwer to the ultimate question of what lies after death (I think pretty much everybody who watches MARTYRS cocludes that no, it isn’t worth all that suffering). You may be right in that she has a trauma-induced nightmare rather than a vision – but what of all the other martyrs who supposedly had visions? Do we discount all of that too??

        Unfortunately, I totally disagree with it. There’s nothing here that can support this at all. Nothing. The film doesn’t give us any insight into the cult other than what Melle says- which is delivered completely dispassionately. Furthermore, to extrapolate out to actual religion is, I think, insulting to religions- this is a cypher- it’s trite Ballait nonsense (I’ve probably spelt his name wrong). It obviously isn’t worth the suffering to the poor bastard/ bitch in the chair, but for the cult? Given that they’re not the ones suffering, then arguably it is.

        3) Next up:

        Yes, some of the movie is boring, but I really don’t think the point of MARTYRS is the torture, it’s the reason WHY they’re doing it that is the talking point of the film. It also affects how you enjoy the movie – if you’re utterly atheist, you’ll see a bunch of lunatics torturing people to death over a delusion. Ifv you’re of any kind of faith, you might think “Yes, I see what they’re doing, but FUUUUCK, why all the sadism?”. Ultimately MARTYRS depends on your take on the afterlife, whether there is one, can we actualy get a glimspe of it if there is, and if so, what if suffering is what lifts that veil for us?

        I’m agnostic. However the “philosophy”, and I don’t think it counts as philosophy it’s that weak, (Honestly, it makes The Matrix seem like Degas), is so half baked, and the answer has been splurged but in theory left to your interpretation. If the torture isn’t the point, then why show it? Does it help to make the philosophical point (especially given that it’s that lame)? I would argue strongly, no. Laugier knows this, because the real act of nastiness, the flaying, takes place off camera. However, his magnum shitfest is so underplotted that he’s literally jammed it in in flashback and then in extended scenes to try to fill out the runtime. That’s the only justification for why there’s 45 minutes of boring and identical and fucking unimaginative torture.

        4)

        I can understand you hating the movie for the extreme horror of what it tells us about how low humans are willing to sink, how much pain they willl inflict, just for a religious belief – in fact that ties into the title of the movie – but to say it has no value, and is pretty much about nothing? Unfairly harsh, Jarv. And it’s a far superior movie to HOSTEL,

        It’s entirely worthless. It’s a crap film with pretensions that it can’t support. While Hostel is also a crap film (and it’s dire). However, Hostel is basically a hacks version of Grand Guignol. Martyrs wants to be The Virgin Spring.

        It isn’t about horror for me- I gave Audition (which is nastier than Martyrs) 3 and a half out of 4- but Audition is a film with meaning that supports the torture. Martyrs isn’t. The reason Hostel is superior (by a shade so infinitesimally tiny that the only comparative size is Roth’s brain) is that it is at least an open and honest TP film. Martyrs wants to be an art film and be “challenging”. This is why it fails and fails hard.

        The Clive Barker idea is an interesting one, but I think you are giving this shite too much credit and conversely putting Barker down a little bit.

      • Spud McSpud says :

        Though I’d never sink so low as to accuse you of liking Kate Hudson. That’s just HUGELY uncalled for… :/

  23. Droid says :

    Well, as you know I haven’t seen this. And I don’t plan on changing that.

    • Jarv says :

      Don’t bother. It’s got an utterly unearned reputation as being cereberal- it isn’t. It’s the Emperor standing there in the buff.

      The actual review contains some of my best writing in a while. Maybe I should watch more crap so that I can vent. I was particularly pleased with the lollipops line.

  24. koutchboom says :

    Also guys I wanna apologize for

    Sounding like a tired old woman.

    It’s something I’ve been trying not to do as of late. SOOO if I ever give you some further information on something you have wrong….I apologize.

  25. Frank Marmoset says :

    tortured, slapped around, shaved etc, while a fat chick talks about Transfiguration and transcendence.

    Hey, I had this exact same experience! We only went a few more times after that.

    Also, solid review. Makes we want to see it, so I guess I’ll just sit here quietly and wait for the American remake.

    • Jarv says :

      Frank- I do have to warn you now that it barely qualifies as horror. It’s boring.

      Boredom Sadism Porn maybe.

      Sorry about the bitching- I was always going to review it properly, just to counter the reputation it seems to have as not being crap.

      • Frank Marmoset says :

        No need to apologise. It was entertaining bitching.

        I look forward to more entries in the ‘Jarv Gets Pissy At…’ series.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I am to hopefully its something I can bitch at as well like say……Antiyellowbrickupintheair or something. You should’ve done this for Shutter Island.

      • Jarv says :

        That was a fucking crap film as well. I despised the ending of that so much. Hated it.

      • Jarv says :

        Oh yeah. The idea occurred to me yesterday.

        I’m going to pick on some costume drama, a hudson film and all sorts.

      • Droid says :

        Aren’t most of Jarvs reviews “Get Pissy Wit’ It”?

      • Jarv says :

        Hmph.

        How rude.

        I would like you to look at the last few before Martyrs. All have high marks.

      • Droid says :

        You’ve obviously been ill. Good to see you’re back to “normal”.

  26. koutchboom says :

    Also excuse my old women voice, but has anyone here seen Inside? I actually like that movie better.

  27. Jarv says :

    I actually wonder who this film is for? It’s not a good horror, and certainly not good exploitation/ TP and yet it’s such a titanic failure as an art film that I can’t see it being for them.

    I honestly believe it’s for Guardian readers that don’t want to admit to liking horror- they can talk about how they’ve seen a “challenging” film that’s given them a fucking boner because not only is it allegedly about the afterlife but it’s in French!

    I guarantee that if this slop was in English nobody would be trying to defend it.

    • koutchboom says :

      Well I’d give the tried and true Antichrist rebuttal when you call it horror…THATS YOUR FIRST MISTAKE RIGHT THERE!!!

      Seriously I BET if you watch Antichrist you’ll think….you know what….i quite liked Martyrs.

      I mean you’ve read and studied philosophy and have taken some of it to heart. I’ve studied it a little but I always got in trouble because i made it TOO SIMPLE. Where I do think something like Martyrs is a simple philisophy movie and I dig that, where as Antichrist is all about NOT SAYING what its trying to say which is more along the lines of what philosophy people get boners on (I’m not implying you are of this nature just come on you know the type). MAYBE you might see something in Antichrist in its LACK of saying anything that gives it a deeper meaning that people tend to say it has.

      • Jarv says :

        The problem, Koutch, isn’t the philosophy in general in Martyrs- it’s the way it’s done.

        They’re trying to have their cake and eat it, my argument is that you either lay out what you think, or deliberately allow multiple interpretations due to ambiguity. You don’t attempt to lay it out, and then shit yourself and slink back to the shadows. It’s what DocP always calls intellectual cowardice.

        Re- Liking Antichrist: Doubt it. Unless there’s a cut with the genital mutilation gone.

        Also, I don’t like Von Trier films.

      • koutchboom says :

        The genital mutilation shot was stupid. Its there sure, its not like it’s some CLOSE UP SHOT of it, its sort of like her filmed from the waist up or shot so her girly parts are just this black hole and you see her bring the scissors down a lil YIP! and then some blood on her hands and legs. Thats the thing about Antichrist is that the gore is just stupid…THATS a film where you remove the attempted gore and just have a more dramatic movie about people dealing with their relationship or what ever this means:

        @Koutchboom it’s densely psychological, plays with the good/evil dichotomy successfully, is beautifully shot, masterfully acted, auteuristic

        mainly because the gore is just stupid and silly that it negates any intentions the movie may have had.

      • Jarv says :

        Who said that to you Koutch?

      • koutchboom says :

        Just your typical Antichrist fan on twitter.

      • koutchboom says :

        Here’s another gem:

        @Koutchboom challenges the audience to view the film in a different way from other films. Its singular vision forces you to be an outsider

      • Jarv says :

        What the fuck does that mean? Are you meant to watch it with your arsehole or something?

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I’ve got no fucking clue, thats how all Antichrist defendors are, they just go the YOU DIDN’T GET IT ROUTE. At least Lynch fans attempt to try and explain shit even if it comes down to “it’s not suppose to make sense” argument there is at least some fight in there.

        God reading about Von Trier is that he’s just some dude with a bunch of random ideas he never fully sees through, its odd to think he has such a following.

      • Jarv says :

        It’s such rubbish, it really is. Haneke, Von Trier, Laugier and the rest of them are frauds.

      • koutchboom says :

        I mean does that idea even make any sense? ITS SINGULAR VISION FORCES YOU TO BE AN OUTSIDER? I don’t think Antichrist had a problem with SINGULAR vision, more so it had a problem with too many ideas and not enough focus, and too much of that actress flopping around and speaking shitty Engrish. Maybe had they gotten two French actors and put subtitles over it I would’ve liked it….OH wait they already did that with ANATOMY OF HELL. BUT again please ignor my old women voice for its just me:

        @Koutchboom I have, and the comparison speaks more to your commidification of art. That one product makes the other product

      • Jarv says :

        I have, and the comparison speaks more to your commidification of art. That one product makes the other product

        I actually know what this means. It’s both bullshit and not applicable. This kind of thinking is the epitome of the Emperor’s new clothes thinking that films like Antichrist, Funny Games and Martyrs rely on.

      • Droid says :

        Who’s doing the @koutchboom’ing? Sounds like they’s needs a good kicking.

      • Jarv says :

        I was thinking that.

        Frauds and wankers.

      • koutchboom says :

        Thats just some guy on Twitter, thats how a reply to a tweet looks like. It started when I compared Yellowbrickroad to Antichrist and The Happening, in that they were all horror movies about NATURE causing people to go crazy essentially. AND like any good ole fashioned Antichrist fan:

        @Koutchboom okay you thought Antichrist was a horror film. That explains things.

        SOOO when a movie is said to be HORROR by its creator and labeled as such by everything else….it is no longer horror? HUH? So then I challenged that guy to defend Antichrist.

      • Jarv says :

        What the fuck is it if it isn’t a horror film?

      • Jarv says :

        The Happening!

        Nice trolling.

      • koutchboom says :

        Hehe its funny reading about Antichrist on Wiki. I’m reading about it remembering it more and its just funny how it mentions somethings and deeper ideas to go along with the visuals most of which I got and understood I think the biggest issue with Antichrist is that it’s SOO fucking boring and dumb. Like if it had been more vauge maybe it would’ve been better I don’t know, I just know its not a good film mainly because the lead female is just too fucking annoying to deal with, even Willem seems annoyed the whole time.

        AND IF thats the point of the film to be annoying then fuck it.

      • Jarv says :

        I like her. I have done since The Cement Garden.

        Still not enough to persuade me to watch it.

      • koutchboom says :

        Well this will make you unlike her, in Cement Garden is she aleast speaking her native tounge?

      • Jarv says :

        No. English. And it won’t because I’m not watching it.

      • Droid says :

        I’ve never watched a Haneke movie. Never heard of Laugier. Only seen Dancer in the Dark, which I liked actually. Stormare FTW!

        I guess I’m ignorant. Maybe I should wear an eye patch to experience the singular vision or something.

      • Jarv says :

        Laugier made Martyrs.

        Hanake did Cache which is meant to be great, and Funny Games, which frankly isn’t/

      • Droid says :

        Completely unrelated, but The Vanishing on 7th Street reminded me of The Happening. Trying to outrun shadows.

        That movie has entered the hallowed pantheon of “blokes trying to outrun natural elements” movies. So far we have

        Sun, Wind, Freeze, Shadows… What’s next?

      • Jarv says :

        Max Payne had outrunning shadows as well. I think there’s quite a lot of outrunning shadows in films.

        Someone needs to do a film where the main character has to try to outrun boredom, but fails and gets put to sleep.

      • koutchboom says :

        Whats next……farts? Or did Mystery Men sort of do that. OHHH wait DANGEROUSLY deadly HAIL!

      • Droid says :

        Yeah, but the entire film is based around shadows. MP it’s only a small part.

      • Droid says :

        Rain maybe? Chubby Rain!

      • Jarv says :

        I’m sure I’ve seen someone try to outrun Hail in a film.

        Also- There’s been outrunning a hot spell in that Meltdown nonsense.

      • koutchboom says :

        Don’t forget lava. What about extreme WIND! Deadly mudslides? Fat people?

      • Jarv says :

        Tornados! Must have been done.

      • Droid says :

        That’s true. Pointlessly outrunning a heatwave. Added to the list!

        Hail was in Day After Tomorrow wasn’t it?

      • Droid says :

        Tornados = Twister. Lava = Volcano, Dantes Peak, Congo. Fire = Firestorm.

      • Droid says :

        The thing about all those though, is that their physical things that you can feasibly outrun. Whats funny is things like Sun, Wind, Freeze. These things you simply cannot outrun.

      • Jarv says :

        The thing about all those though, is that their physical things that you can feasibly outrun. Whats funny is things like Sun, Wind, Freeze. These things you simply cannot outrun.

        What…

        You mean FILMS LIED TO ME!!!

        NOOOOOOOO! Say it ain’t true.

      • Droid says :

        Fraid so, little fella. Santa Claus isn’t real either. Just FYI.

      • Jarv says :

        Pah. You just ruin everything.

        Is there no magic left?

      • Droid says :

        Wrestlings fake too.

      • Jarv says :

        Oh,

        Everybody knows that.

      • koutchboom says :

        How about out running guilt or some emotion? Didn’t Akira sort of do a manifistation of agnst or evil with that giant tumor?

    • Continentalop says :

      Wrestling isn’t fake. It’s Pro Wrestling that’s fake.

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