Martyrs

MARTYRS (Kevin & Michael Goetz, 2016)
Anchor Bay Blu-Ray

An unstable young woman seeks revenge on the family who may (or may not) have been the ones who abducted her as a child -- a journey that leads her and a friend down a dark, dark path there’s no returning from.

I like to think I’m not an anti-remake guy; I try to judge all films on their own merits and not bring too many preconceived notions to the table. But this one’s making my stance *real* difficult. The French original was a powerful, affecting, unforgettable motion picture, subverting expectations and surprising you at every turn. So with the perfect blueprint already laid, how did the domestic version muck it up so badly? In its localized adaptation, the very things that made the import so memorable have been effectively neutered -- its unbearable intensity sapped away. I can appreciate the film trying to go its own direction, but every change is wrong-headed and ill-advised, showing the makers obviously had no idea what made their source work. It’s impossible to not grow actively angry watching this wholly inferior imitation.

So please, if you haven’t seen the original MARTYRS (2008), do so. It’s available on domestic DVD and multiple import Blus. There’s absolutely zero reason to bother with this redo. The story’s already been told, in a much better way. 2/10

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