Martyrs (2008)

Extreme body horror with a good story.

Gore and blood are the hallmark of horror films. In this case, they are definitely present. In fact, this film fits nicely into the category of films that has been emerging in past decades called “body horror.” In truth, it’s one of the best. A movie that visits pain or disfigurement on its characters and makes you think, “I hope that never happens to me,” qualifies as body horror. You can feel, in a sense, what is happening to the protagonist as if it were happening to you.

Yes, we definitely can categorize this as body horror. Through a good part of the beginning in fact, I began to think it was just that but I was so mistaken. There are “people vs. the establishment” themes going on here. There is an empathetic look at suffering, especially of women. There is a supernatural aspect that for me was never really “fleshed out” but certainly got me thinking. I have a word to the wise if you haven’t yet seen this film and plan to: Go in knowing there is a story but let all your expectations fall away. This film attacks victimization and vengeance in an all new way I can guarantee exists nowhere else in horror.

Something should be said about this original film: it’s following remake is nothing like it and should only be seen after the original. Read only non spoiler reviews and the IMDb summary before seeing it. Body horror fans and standard horror fans must see this film, it is glorious.

Author: Damien Riley

I post film reviews both written & audio. I'm a writer & podcaster, BA/MA English from Cal State Fullerton. Based in: Victorville, CA, USA My film review site is rileyonfilm.com

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