Meaningless and Mundane: Our Review of ‘Martyrs’ on Blu-Ray (U.S.)

Posted in Blu-Ray/DVD, Movies by - March 03, 2016
Meaningless and Mundane: Our Review of ‘Martyrs’ on Blu-Ray (U.S.)

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When the general movie going public bemoans American remakes of great European films, condemning them for being unnecessary, unimaginative, or ineffectual, something like Martyrs will be a great arguing point.

The U.S remake no one asked for of a beloved, terrorizing horror movie, Martyrs falls flat from the start, and that’s not only when compared to its French counterpart from 2008. The story of two childhood friends who grow up together and seek revenge and justice from those that abused them in the past lacks nerve, control, and vision.

While the French Martyrs horrified audiences from the start, explaining very little while showing lots, this version lowers the bar for the viewer, simplifying the struggle facing the two young women by explaining it over and over again.

Directed by Kevin and Michael Goetz on an adapted screenplay by Mark L. Smith, Martyrs follows closely to the original story, except far more tepidly. Lucie (Troian Bellisario) and Anna (Bailey Noble) exact revenge, but soon find themselves in over their heads, the subject of nefarious plans by a clandestine, pseudo-religious society led by a cackling middle-aged woman. This Martyrs goes into the literal and figurative depths, but now where close to that of the original. It more like peers over the edge, catches a glimpses of horror and depravity, and opts to turn around.

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The problem is Martyrs can’t commit to anything. There is blood and gore, but it’s senseless, mindless. There is no existential bite, nor is there true terror. Meandering meekly in the shadow of the original, Martyrs will instantly turn off fans of the first, and simply dumbfound those hoping for something compelling in translation.

Special Features:

The Blu-ray offers nothing save for a ‘First Look’ at the making, which maybe will offer some sympathy for those involved. Everyone’s gotta work.

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