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Martyrs (2008)

Pound for pound, Martyrs is probably the most disturbing film I've ever seen, and also one of the best horror films of the past fifteen years.

The film starts as a blood-splattered child is found fleeing an industrial complex in 1971. Fifteen years later, she and a friend seek revenge. Some very bad shit happens. The girls plan works perfectly, resulting in the grizzly murders of a family they suspect of kidnapping the one them, Anna, fifteen years prior.

Things quickly take a turn for the worst however. As it turns out the family are members of a sinister secret organization of people who enjoy inflicting enormous amounts of pain and suffering on people in secret dungeons, which doesn't bowed well for the girls.

When the organizations heavies arrive, one of the girls, Anna, ends up being imprisoned in a bunker/torture chamber. Then her long ordeal begins, during which time she becomes victim to all manor of degrading, demoralizing and torturous abuse. This period of imprisonment is where the film gets its notorious reputation from, the torture scenes are truly hard to watch, and a times left me wishing that they would just put her out of her misery.

There are curtain religious undertones in the film. The idea of purification through psychical pain is a part many religions, Christianity especially. The film, in its own extreme and graphic way, brings the questions of our mortality, god and the existence of the afterlife to light, making it a more thought provoking film then one might expect.

Martyrs is a technically brilliant, emotionally resonant, disturbing, mind-bender of a film, that will stay in your head for along time after viewing.

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