Secondly I’m going to make sure you’re aware that things don’t often get to me. I watched Cannibal Holocaust, laughed at my friend for throwing up, and finished it by rather analytically stating that the director did himself a disservice by killing the animals but that I could see what point he was trying to make.
But Martyrs got to me. In a really big way. At first it goes along as expected. The creepy violence gets started a little earlier than expected (like, before the title appears) but that’s all good. I was creeped out with woman attacking the young girl, but nothing serious. It got serious once we arrived at the house. From *ding dong* *door opens* BOOM, I started getting more and more affected by this film.
What starts as a horror film becomes a study of insanity. The moment when you realise that Lucie is doing that shit to herself, it’s a revelation equivalent to Unbreakable. My brain had no idea what to do with the information. So, to maintain the order of things, my brain decided that she must have been completely nuts and that the family she just slaughtered were innocent.
Course, that’s when Anna finds the trap door with the tortured woman inside. The entire sequence with the tortured woman had me devastated. Devastated that Lucie had been right, devastated that I had doubted her, devastated for this innocent woman who had a metal plate stapled into her head to cover her eyes. To then hear the explanation that the same madness that caused Lucie to kill herself had caused the tortured woman to cut at her arm to get imaginary cockroaches off…
To be honest, what happens to Anna didn’t get to me as badly as the earlier scenes (that’s when my analytical side got to have a go, I found the concept of martyrdom intriguing). I’ve been thinking about what that might mean and I believe I have a greater fear of losing my wits than I do of experiencing great pain. Makes sense I guess. I just don’t think I’ve ever had it so clearly illustrated until now.
Quite a fucking film.