The film Martyrs was by far the most ambitious film shown in class. It had a long task ahead of itself and you could see throughout the film, that the directors and writers of the film wanted to give us something different; they wanted to give us a film we could ponder about but yet at the same time would frighten us. And with that being said, the film Martyrs certainly does achieve what it tries to do which is deliver a powerful movie, both frightening and philosophical. Martyrs indeed was a frightening and it was in more than one aspect. While watching the film, you would feel the emotion of horror or fright, maybe even disgust. After viewing the film however the horror that you witnessed doesn’t just go away, it sticks with you. That’s the beauty of a film like Martyrs it doesn’t rely on jump scares or cheap, overused, cliches instead it uses things that we are genuinely scared of and plays on them.
Take for example death. Death is the one thing that is a certainty in our lives, that along with taxes. Despite how miserable somebody’s life maybe I don’t think they can truly say that they are not scared of dying. It is incredibly frightening, because dying is an unknown certainty. We don’t know what happens to life after death or if anything even happens. And that degree of uncertainty paired together with the guarantee of death is truly a frightening thought. What the film does is try to find an answer towards what lies after death. Philosophical right? But beyond just that it also deals with our fright for torture. Humans weren’t built for punishment. The human body can only take so much pain and so to watch a film that dedicates such a huge portion of the film to show in graphic detail the brutal and daily beatings of an innocent girl, is really unsettling for the viewers. Another aspect that we can give attention to regarding to why this film is so frightening and unsettling is the fact that humans did this. The biggest monsters and antagonist of this film isn’t something supernatural, it’s something very human in fact a collection of humans. The group who did the torturing is an organization of humans and well trained and probably even government sanctioned. It’s a scary thought, to think that at any given time something so natural like the government could suddenly do this to innocent people. If anything this reminds us that humans can be monsters even bigger than vampires, ghosts, ghouls or any of those. Humans are conscious creatures and are self-ware of our actions. We know what is right from what is wrong yet we saw no qualms or regret from the people delivering callous beatings to the protagonist of the film.
To say that the film Martyrs is entertaining wouldn’t be apt,( unless you’re into that kind of stuff) but nonetheless the film was incredibly engaging. The graphic torture along with the excessive use of blood and violence made the film hard to watch for viewers yet you are compelled by the scenes and the plot to pay close attention. Above all of that I guess I would have to say that I really appreciated the underlying philosophical undertones of the film. It dealt with several profound topics such as death, freedom, sacrifice and so on. And while this film was a tough watch the first time because of how graphic and violent it was, and I honestly doubt it would be an easier watch a 2nd or 3rd time, it does merit multiple watches. Martyrs is one of those films that should be watched multiple times to fully reflect upon what is happening in the movie and understand all the underlying themes and reflect upon our perspectives and opinions on them.
Overall I would applaud the movie for being so ambitious, they obviously wanted to create a once in a generation film or a film that can be considered a classic. It’s a film that wanted to be different and wanted to be bold. It’s a film that wanted to be memorable to its viewers and not just an afterthought or typical indie film. And while I feel that Martyrs has a long long way to go towards being considered a film that can be called a classic or one of the greatest films of all time; I have to appreciate it’s ambition. And one thing I am certain of regarding my feelings for this film, is that it is a very well made film and I strongly feel that it is trending towards the right direction. As a film buff, and an avid movie watcher you have to appreciate films like this that don’t settle and aren’t afraid to go all the way in making an iconic film. Indeed films like these are Martyrs of cinema and continue to push towards great film making.