Martyrs (2008)

No Saw. No Hostel. One of the biggest surprises thrown up by the Time Out horror poll is that none of the torture horrors of the past decade crept into the list ... except Martyrs. Pascal Laugier’s unrelenting, nastily effective film does, perhaps, show the Americans how to properly do torture (try watching metal screws being pulled out of a young woman’s skull). It opens with a terrifying scene: a girl of about 11, her hair hacked short, running out of an abandoned abattoir, soaked in dried blood. Cut to fifteen years later, and the girl is out for revenge against her torturers – who, it turns out, are members of a martyrdom cult. If that has you reaching for a bucket, wait for the American remake; it’s being produced by makers of Twilight and is likely to be a tad less nihilistic. CC
Dir Pascal Laugier (Mylene Jampanoi, Morjana Alaoiu)

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