Martyrs (2008)

This is a movie that was entirely in French, but it was then dubbed into English. Generally, there isn't a whole lot of talking in the movie, so there aren't a plethora of opportunities for them to screw up the dialog or anything. That's not to say that they didn't, it just didn't intrude that frequently. There were a few times where the translation seemed to fail, so they just went for a best effort translation that made it sound a bit off.

This movie tries to cram quite a few things together with the storyline, and it doesn't all fit together well, but it does it well enough. It's like there are three or four different stories going on, and they manage to get them bundled together with, as I said, minimal exposition. Instead, we just get tossed into the situation and we have to figure it out as we go along. From that perspective, I very much liked the movie. It wasn't always too hard to guess, but a few surprises were nice to get.

As for horror - this reminds me a bit of the much worse movie, Daddy's Little Girl. It's less scary than it is just gross with the wanton bloodbaths. Much of the effects of this movie are very good. Even the open cuts and old scars are done pretty well, but the larger gashes suffer from the same problem a lot of movies have to deal with where the appliance tends to wrinkle more than real skin does, and that kind of blows the effect.

The two girls who are central to this movie actin fairly impressively well for the large roles they are given. While their voice actors have an issue with emotion, Morjana Alaoui and Mylène Jampanoï have no problem conveying it on screen. From being scared of consequences to being scared of a possible ghost to being scared of... oh... okay, it may have been mostly fear that they were showing, but they showed it, and that's good enough for me. What more did their characters need, after all?

This isn't my blood.
As for the supporting staff, I have fewer nice things to say. The old woman, the big dude, the chick who was presumably his wife, and the whole old people coven of believers were all kind of crappy. It may just have been the voice actors not being in sync well enough with the on screen actors, but the whole thing detracted from the movie pretty substantially.

Also, even though they put up the definition of martyr (in French) I'm not sure they actually know what a martyr is.

Acting was mixed
Story was hard to swallow
Dialog was crap
Effects were good
Direction was very good

Bottom Line: Certainly not the best horror movie I've seen, but it had bright spots.

2.75/5

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