Martyrs (2015 film)
|Written by||Mark L. Smith|
|Music by||Evan Goldman|
|Edited by||Jake York|
|Distributed by||Anchor Bay Films|
Martyrs is a 2015 American horror film directed by Kevin and Michael Goetz and written by Mark L. Smith. The film stars Troian Bellisario, Bailey Noble and Kate Burton. It is a remake of Pascal Laugier's 2008 film of the same name.
As a child, Lucie escapes a building where she has been held captive and tortured. Lucie spends the rest of her childhood at St. Mary's Orphanage where she is haunted by hallucinations of a strange-looking creature that attempts to attack her at every turn. Over time, she grows extremely close to Anna, a fellow resident at the orphanage and Lucie's only friend.
Ten years later, Lucie goes to the countryside home of the Patterson family with a shotgun and executes all four family members, believing them to be related to her childhood torture. Lucie calls Anna who is concerned that the family may not be responsible for Lucie's torture. Anna is horrified by the scene when she arrives at the house and calls 911 while Lucie sleeps but hangs up. Anna discovers Mrs. Patterson is still alive and tries to help her escape. Lucie suddenly tackles Mrs. Patterson outside and stabs her to death. While cleaning the crime scene, Anna finds a secret panel in a closet which leads to a hidden basement. Anna finds a little girl named Sam and rescues her. The two regroup with Lucie and flee outside when several trucks arrive with Eleanor, Fenton and several other people; all three girls are captured and imprisoned.
Eleanor and Fenton oversee the girls' torture. Eleanor explains that her group is a collective dedicated to discovering what waits in the afterlife. By torturing women and young girls to their breaking point, they believe they can create Martyrs with an ability to glimpse briefly into "the other side". They value Lucie as a rare find; she is capable of enduring great pain without dying. Eleanor and Anna watch from an overhead room as the cabal gathers to observe a captive woman being burned to death. After the woman dies, the priest overseeing her ordeal looks in Eleanor's direction and shakes his head. Lucie is taken for surgery and Eleanor orders the doctor to perform a procedure on Lucie. The doctor cuts and peels a piece of flesh from Lucie's back as part of the final preparations for her martyrdom.
Meanwhile, Anna is taken to a pit outside and buried alive but she digs her way into a drainage ditch and escapes. She fights her way back into the underground facility, killing several cabal members. She frees Sam and tells her to run for help. While she searches for Lucie, she is attacked by Fenton and shot in the shoulder but eventually kills him with the help of another captive woman. Anna gets stabbed in the side by one of the cabals before shooting him.
Anna finds and interrupts an assembly gathered to watch Lucie die on a cross. Lucie gets a look in her eyes that the group feels signifies martyrdom and Anna, wielding Fenton's gun, insists that Lucie be freed. Lucie reveals what she saw in a whisper to Anna. Eleanor demands to know what Lucie said; the priest says he heard Lucie's whispers before quickly putting a gun in his mouth and killing himself. Anna shoots Eleanor and the rest of the cabal members flee. Anna embraces Lucie as they lie dying on the floor. With the police on their way, both women's eyes glaze over with the look of martyrdom.
- Troian Bellisario as Lucie Jurin
- Ever Prishkulnik as Young Lucie
- Bailey Noble as Anna Assaoui
- Elyse Cole as Young Anna
- Caitlin Carmichael as Sam
- Romy Rosemont as Mrs. Patterson
- Toby Huss as Fenton
- Melissa Tracy as The Creature
- Kate Burton as Eleanor
- Blake Robbins as Mr. Patterson
- Taylor John Smith as Son
- Lexi DiBenedetto as Daughter
- Diana Hopper as Sarah
- Ivar Brogger as Priest
The project dates back to at least 2008 with the director of the original, Pascal Laugier, negotiating for the rights for an American remake. Daniel Stamm was set to direct at this time but later dropped out due to budgetary concerns. Specifically he worried about "plateauing", saying that "if you're a filmmaker who makes two movies in the same budget bracket, that becomes your thing. You are the guy for the $3 million movie, and then that's all you do", further elaborating that his agent advised him against making the film for this reason.
Screenwriter Mark L. Smith had stated that he tried to avoid showing as much of the violence on screen as possible which he stated resulted in "less about watching someone be tortured and more about trying to save a friend." he has stated that he chose this route because " it’s more just my taste." Early on Kristen Stewart was considered for a role, though her presence in the film was later denied by Stamm.
Anchor Bay Entertainment acquired all North American rights for Martyrs from Wild Bunch after the film premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The film was later screened at the Screamfest Horror Film Festival in Los Angeles in October 2015.
Martyrs was panned by critics. It currently has a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 27 reviews with an average of 3.3/10, and the film has a 19/100 on Metacritic indicating "overwhelming dislike". Kalyn Corrigan wrote that "aside from creating a much tamer version, the 2015 Martyrs headed by the Goetz brothers feels too similar to the first film, bordering on a shot-for-shot remake that doesn’t really bring anything new or worthwhile to the table in order to justify its existence".
- "Martyrs (2015) – International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
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- Hall, Peter (3 April 2014). "What Happened to the Remake of Martyrs? Director Daniel Stamm Tells Us What Could Have Been". movies.com. Movies. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
- McKittrick, Christopher (January 27, 2016). ""I think he wanted to toss me off the cliff." Mark L. Smith on The Revenant and Martyrs". Creative Screenwriting. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
- Zeitchik, Steven (15 November 2010). "French horror hit 'Martyrs' will undergo an American exorcism". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- More Horror News: 'Martyrs' to Get American Makeover
- Lincoln, Ross A. (29 June 2015). "'Martyrs' Acquired By Anchor Bay". deadline.com. Deadline. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Barton, Steve (21 October 2015). "Martyrs Premiere Images Strike a Pose". DreadCentral.
- "Martyrs - Rotten Tomatoes".
- "Martyrs Reviews".
- Corrigan, Kalyn (22 October 2015). "'Martyrs' Remake Fails to Pack Same Punch as Original". Bloody-Disgusting.