Martyrs Review - Umbrella Entertainment

Martyrs Review - Umbrella Entertainment

Skins overrated anyway...




Lucie, a young girl who manages to escape an equivalent to hell, has been brutally abused, locked up and traumatized to the point of near death from a young age. Her escape leads to her encounter and eventual befriending on Anna, another girl from the same orphanage. After 15 years of waiting, Lucie murders the family she believes to be responsible for her tormented upbringing. Little did she know, she uncovered a more unnerving truth than she could have possibly imagined.


Martyrs undoubtedly rose to such high status due to it's brutality and nihilism and it fairly earns it's reputation. The film is an endurance run for the brave and daring to sit through and see how long they can last. It truly is a grueling watch, but a watch that, even through all the blinding gore and horrifying storytelling, shines a light on the broader ways of inducing true horror.


Martyrs colours are bleak and plain as day. The low saturated and high contrasted picture really embosses the anxiety enducing life our main character experiences. It's almost acting as a serviceable way of telling Lucie's story through grading. The bleak picture, striking comparison between Lucie's life and the look of the film. Colour has been limited in the picture just as love and excitement has been limited in Lucie's life. The shadows and darker colours dominate the scene similar to the dark themes that have dominated Lucie's past.


Martyrs starts with a trauma inducing story and ends with a horrific fate. In doing so it pioneers itself to the high end of the ever growing disturbing films list and manages to do so with it's popularity and immersive properties.




Directed by: Pascal Laugier

Starring: Morjana Alaoui, Mylene Jampanoi, Ctherine Begin, Xavier Dolan, Jessie Pham, Patricia Tulasne, Robert Toupin

2008 / 99 min / 16:9 5.1 & 2.0 DTS-HD MA

No. of discs: 1

Region: ALL

Format: 1080P

Colour: COLOUR

Languages: French

Subtitles: English

Release Date: 07 Sep 2022


Additional Info:


  • NEW! Audio commentary by film historian Dr. Lindsay Hallam
  • BFI at Home - Horror à la Française online panel with Anna Bogutskaya, Alexandra West and Dr. Lindsay Hallam
  • Organic Chronicles: The Making of Martyrs
  • Interview with director Pascal Laugier
  • Make-up interview with Benoit Lestang
  • New French Extremity trailer reel
  • Stills Gallery
  • International Poster Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Teaser trailer
  • Easter Egg




This release from Umbrella Entertainment comes stacked with features that propell the films life cycle into a new stratosphere. The Audio commentary by film historian Dr. Lindsay Hallam offers a high level of insight into the films popularity and how it managed to captivate fans into such a chilling narrative. Organic Chronicles: The Making of Martyrs unveils the gruelling film making process and the many qualities and decisions implemented by all departments working on the the film. Interview with director Pascal Laugier delves into the choices made during filming and the impact that certain decisions had on the film as a whole. Make-up interview with Benoit Lestang showcases the stunning cosmetic craft that went into the most challenging, gritty and grusome shots of the film. A selection of multiple international posters for Martyrs showcases the different artistic choices that were made to alter the posters for specific regions. Multiple trailers, a still gallery and even a secret Easter Egg make the release a novelty on its own and strengthens the release's longevity.




Many movies come to mind when you hear the term "torture-porn". Saw, Hostel, The Human Centipede. But, in France, they turned the extreme acts of inhumanity into more than just gore. Martyrs defined the genre known as New French Extremism amongst the likes of Irreversible and Inside.


Pascal Laugier has said Martyrs is not about pain but about suffering. Martyrs doesn't shy away from the brutality it confronts you with. Yet it gives dark meaning to the gore, that means what you feel will stick with you just as much as what you see.


Lucie, a frail, frightened, adolescent girl flees an abandoned slaughterhouse. Her opaque skin suggests she has been missing for many months. She is found filthy, starved, and unresponsive. Something horrific has happened to her. But what? Flash-forward 15 years later when the quiet tranquillity of a home nestled in a sparsely populated French forest is interrupted by a knock at the door – it’s Lucie, embarking on a gory quest for revenge. Pascal Laugier’s 2008 sophomore feature garnered a notorious reputation after audience members attending the premiere at the Festival de Cannes were left wide-eyed and mouth agape. Its reception so shocking, it was immediately threatened with censorship in its home country, with calls for the director to be imprisoned. MARTYRS is a brutally confronting and provocative example of the French New Extremity a work of dark brilliance and vile beauty. A genre-defining classic so profoundly traumatising, it transcends all constraints of your average horror film and dives into the murky depths of human degradation and suffering.



You can order the Blu-Ray via the link below;


Reviewed and edited by William Tozer

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