My thoughts on Martyrs

On a message board I frequent, some of us got into a discussion about the movie Martyrs and how each person interpreted it. So I thought it would be a good thing to put here on OfaIM.


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You can almost divide this movie down into three separate individual parts.

In the first part, the girl (Lucie) gets revenge on the people who held her hostage as a child. The films starts off strong and goes balls to the wall until the end of the second part of the movie. Lucie comes in blasting away, with no remorse at what seems to be an ordinary family. Then she freaks out. Her best friend (Ana) comes to help her clean up. Ana has doubts about what has happened but never questions Lucie, who is fucked up big time from what happened to her as a child. Ana rescues her because she loves her and they are all each other have in the world. Naturally she's going to come and figure out how to fix things. She's been doing for Lucie since they've known each other.

Then comes a big turn which begins the second part. Something seems to be attacking them inside the house. Are they being stalked by a creature or is Lucie just crazy and seeing things? Well the issue is put to rest with Lucie suicide as we figure out it was in mind. Now everything the audience has witnessed get puts in doubt. Did Lucie even have the right couple? But then instead of simply leaving the house, Ana sticks around. She finds and explores a hidden tunnel. This is where the film lets us take a breathe for a little bit. Which is good since we've been through forty minutes of pure emotion. In the tunnel, she discovers a secret chamber. With in the chamber, Ana finds a woman chained. The woman has obviously been tortured for a very long time. Lucie's claims were based in truth. Once again the movie flipped around.

Then the secret society shows up and the third part begins. This is a group who's been searching for the answer of what comes after death. They have been torturing women for years in search for a martyr to tell them the answer. Ana is their new subject. She is unmercifully beaten and tortured until she has a near death experience. These scences are extremley graphic and difficult to witness. Ana manages to tell the old lady in charge what she find outs, just before she dies. The whole society gathers at the house to learn the answer. Then comes the big finish. She sees another member in the hallway.

Mademoiselle: Could you imagine what comes after death?
Etienne: Are you okay, mademoiselle?
Mademoiselle: Could you?
Etienne: No, I...
Mademoiselle: Keep doubting, Etienne.

Then old lady goes into the bathroom and commits suicide.
End of movie.

This is a very brief analysis of what happens in the movie, but I had to put it down to explain where I'm going. The interpretation of the ending is what opens up the debate and gives the movie far more meaning beyond the normal horror realm.

For me, and I'm an atheist/agnostic combo, I think part of how you interpret the ending depends on your faith. I've narrowed it down to a couple of options, of which I am still not certain.

Either Ana told the old woman a convincing lie and it freaked her out enough not to reveal it to the others or Ana really saw what was one the other side and it was so horrific that the old lady didn't want to tell the others. Perhaps she even told her of the society's fate. Whatever Ana said the old lady was believable. If it wasn't the lady would just keep trying to find the answers with more martyrs, which the society will more than likely continue to do anyways.

That's all I can come up with at this point in time. Another viewing of this film is definitely needed to come up with more answers.

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