Martyrs ★★★★

What begins as a startling portrait of a broken mind shifts midway through into what is essentially a completely different film with a new story involving dark societies and the quest for knowledge.

As maybe the chief specimen of New French Extremism, this film takes gore about as far as it can go but it never sacrifices story in that pursuit. Even though you're basically watching two different films, they are tied together in a way that segues without too much struggle and you can flow right through.

The second, more intricate plot is ultimately chasing one of those ever-so-popular open endings that don't work more often than they do, but I think in this case it does work. I ended up enjoying that entire aspect of it.

I can't tell if the film really wants to be more philosophical than it is, or if it just tied that on to make it feel like more than just a run of the mill horror picture, but I'm not sure it matters much.

Ultimately, you're left with a movie that won't leave your mind right away and an experience your sure to be unable to forget. I'm absolutely terrified of what will become of this little gem once the Twilight people get ahold of it for the American remake. Someone should stop them.

danielm liked this review