Movies and TV
5 Obscure Horror Movies to Watch this Halloween

Matthew Parkinson | 29 Oct 2015 12:00
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Martyrs


Directed and written by Pascal Laugier. Produced by Richard Grandpierre and Simon Trottier. Release date: September 3, 2008.

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Martyrs is the type of film that gets mentioned on lists that feature movies like Salò, Irréversible, A Serbian Film, Antichrist, and so on. Yes, it's one of the most disturbing movies that you'll ever see. It may or may not have someone being flayed alive, for example. I'll put it this way: I tried to get one of my friends to watch Martyrs, and we turned it off 10 minutes in - and that's before it gets to the truly disturbing moments. Is that a good enough warning? This is not a film for most people and is by far the least accessible one on this list.

I don't want to spoil Martyrs for you, and much of what I could say won't matter without context, anyway. The film stars two women, Anna and Lucie (Morjana Alaoui and Mylène Jampanoï). One of them was abused as a child, and they met in an orphanage. Most of Martyrs takes place 15 years after they first met. What takes place is something that you can read about yourself on Wikipedia or simply watch the film.

Martyrs is far more disturbing than it is scary. The most frightening thing about the film is that it will remain in your head for days, weeks, months, and maybe years after you watch it. There are some images that are incredibly difficult to forget, even if you'd rather they disappear from your mind. But it's not just disturbing for the sake of being disturbing; there's a story being told and some interesting points being made. This isn't just torture porn for the sake of it, like, say, Hostel.

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