Martyrs full movie review - Rare Fan Of The Original That Actually Liked It.
Unlike most others, I welcome horror movie remakes. I know that most end up being trash. But there are the few that end up being decent horror movies in their own merit.
Yes, I'm a fan of the original 2008 French film Martyrs. I mean I really loved the intense raw terror of the original. But like most have said, it wasn't just about the terror. It had deep meaning. Which is why it has become one of the biggest horror cult classics of the past 20 years. So when I heard that they were making an American remake, I was honestly excited. The producers promised to keep the intensity of the original. This announcement was way back in 2010. So you can imagine I've been waiting nearly 6 years for this. Now the film is finally here. I will admit that the trailer for the film released online made it look very mediocre. And I knew that most other fans of the original would trash the film relentlessly regardless of its true value. It is hard to not compare this to the original. The critics reviews seem implausible too. I guess I'm the rare fan of the original that actually liked it.
*Basic Plot* A girl escapes from captivity from being tortured on a daily basis. The police return to find the torture site abandoned. The girl is sent to an orphanage where she befriends another orphan girl and sees visions of a monster. Years later as an adult she tracks down her captors and takes revenge, which sets off a chain of even more terrifying events for her and her best friend.
That really is just a typical summary of the plot to lure you in. It's for the most part a carbon copy of the originals story. Some scenes are shot for shot. There are a few tweaks that are "Americanized", but are still a bit intense compared to other horror remakes that seem dumbed down. I will admit that upon my first viewing I was disappointed in the handling of the ending. But the film still stuck with me long after. I read all these negative reviews prior and expected the holy grail of terrible remakes. I'm glad to find out most of those reviews are completely misguided. Yes, it pales in comparison to the original. But it is not nearly as bad as other fans have said it is. They seem to blindly hate it. I read one negative review that pointed out that the movie had country music, as if that played a big part in the soundtrack, when in reality it was literally just 10 seconds of the music near the beginning. Others say the acting is typical terrible American remake bad acting. Again, wrong. Sure it wasn't Oscar worthy acting. But it was all believable. Yes, the ending and captivity scenes are changed a lot. They are still intense, but less effective. BUT, still pretty good. I think the movie was still a pretty good horror film. There were scenes of brooding terror in the beginning. The musical score is very epic and emotional for a horror movie. The acting is pretty good. The production value is really good for a low budget remake. There are some visual shots during the daytime scenes that are eye candy. The message the original sent out is still present, just not delivered nearly as well. But it's still there! The ending will disappoint fans of the very memorable finale of the original, but in its own context it works decently. So all these insanely negative reviews should not be taken that seriously until you've seen the movie for yourself and will form your own positive or negative opinion. Believe it or not, even the original hasn't been seen by everyone. So most early reviews for this remake are from disgruntled fans of the original who went out to do nothing but trash this film. Of course if you saw the original and liked it, you will have a hard time not comparing the two. At first I was comparing them, but once I looked at this movie as a standalone horror film pretending the original didn't exist, I found it to be a pretty good horror experience. For the moment, I'd trust the opinion on this film of someone who hasn't seen the original more than the angry fans. Because their minds are fresh. They won't be overly nitpicky. Some will, but most might appreciate this for it's true value. Sure its not nearly the best horror movie ever made, but it's one of the best remakes. I'd bet anything that if this was released nationwide in theaters first, that it would get a warmer response from reviewers. I say if you haven't seen the original, you'll have a better time seeing this on your horror movie night. If you did see the original I strongly recommend you try your hardest not to compare the two and view this as if its truly a standalone film. I predict as time passes by this will find a small cult following. The reviews will slightly get better. Either way, turn up the volume, turn off the lights, and enjoy.
**Fun Fact** The writer of this remake is the same man who wrote the adapted screenplay for the award winning film The Revenant. Believe it or not.