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An Octoberfest of Horror Films 
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
PeachyPete wrote:
The Witches


This sounds much more interesting than the 1960s Hammer film The Witches that I watched by mistake because I thought it was the version you were going to watch. A Nicholas Roeg film I haven't seen? This just got moved to the top of my Netflix queue.

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Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:07 am
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
PeachyPete wrote:
(which Dahl himself called “utterly appalling”, and it is)


Roald Dahl's hideous books, which we all remember so fondly but are almost all 'utterly appalling', are like Chuck Palahniuk for Kids.

My favorite Dahl quote has to be this one, a totally delicious passage from James and The Giant Peach:

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There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity, maybe it's a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews. I mean, there's always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn't just pick on them for no reason.


Wait. No, that's a comment Dahl made during an interview.

Anyhow, I never liked The Witches, even as a kid. I'll be the first guy here to high-five Pete for noting that, as diseased as Dahl's fiction was, it at least took the trouble of maintaining the perspective of a child. A child that had been repeatedly beaten and raped by the ones that were supposed to love him.

Wish I had something to say about the movie but, alas, I haven't seen it since 1991. Maybe if Blonde Almond likes it I'll consider that enough democracy to check it out.

Neh. Fuck that. I'll see other Roeg films first.

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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Blonde Almond wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
The Witches


This sounds much more interesting than the 1960s Hammer film The Witches that I watched by mistake because I thought it was the version you were going to watch. A Nicholas Roeg film I haven't seen? This just got moved to the top of my Netflix queue.


Hilarious! I appreciate the effort too. Oh man, that's funny.

Also, the movie is nothing like Don't Look Now. It's a kid's movie, through and through. It's a good kid's movie translates to an average adult movie. I like that the movie genuinely tries to cater to its audience, even if the movie itself isn't much better than average. In other words, there's no need to rush to see this one.

Mark III wrote:
Roald Dahl's hideous books, which we all remember so fondly but are almost all 'utterly appalling', are like Chuck Palahniuk for Kids.


Interesting. I haven't picked up a Dahl book since I was about 11 or 12, so you might be on to something. I remember loving the crap out of James and the Giant Peach as a third grader, however. That quote? Wow, what an idiotic, jerky statement to make. It's kind of tough to take someone seriously when they think like that.


Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:09 am
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
PeachyPete wrote:

Don’t Look Now
is a movie that uses everything a movie possibly can to create meaning. It’s a movie I wish happened more often, but I’ll take it when I can get it. Roeg creates an atmosphere, mood, and uses specific film techniques throughout his story to compliment it. Everything about the movie is done to convey its theme to the audience. It’s a film that demands multiple viewings, but will also likely reward them. In short, it’s a very different kind of film than audiences are used to. Still, it’s a wonderful one and is instantly among my favorite horror movies.


Oh, I'm so glad you liked this. Nic Roeg is a director I had, embarrassingly, heard nothing about until seeing Don't Look Now. Since then I've realised that he's one of the greats. Seriously, check out Bad Timing or The Man who Fell to Earth. That's 3 consecutive great films. Marky Mark had nice things to say about Walkabout some time ago too.

PeachyPete wrote:
The Witches isn’t as overly ambitious as the previous Roeg movie I analyzed, Don’t Look Now, but it is a strong example of a director crafting a film with a specific purpose. For what the movie is trying to be, it’s a success. The film wants to entertain and scare children while showing them that it’s possible to deal with life’s hardships at a young age. The latter is certainly part of the subtext and is something most children will feel rather than be able to articulate. It’s a film that’s decidedly for a younger audience, but it’s likely to affect that audience in the exact way it intends to. That’s a high compliment to give any movie, and it’s something The Witches fully earns.


I saw this in 1993 on a double bill with Free Willy. Can't say that I recall too much about either movie and am positively shocked to hear Nicholas Roeg was behind it. Actually, I do recall that Michael Jackson's Free Willy song was huge at the time and the the little boy who sat behind me in the theatre would belt out the song whenever it played in the film. Fun times.

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Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:44 pm
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Respected artists say dumb shit all the time--Scorsese defending Polanski, Richard Wagner's famous antisemitism, etc. You kind of have to take it with a grain of salt. They might be brilliant about some things, but that doesn't make them brilliant about everything.

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Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:50 am
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
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It’s rare – very, very rare – that a movie needs to add length to its running time. We hear criticisms all the time about movies padding material to lengthen their running time, or being so long and self-important that they become boring, or, if we’re talking about the final installment of The Lord of the Rings, that it ended about 3 times too many and 45 minutes after it should have. The point is cinema has never had a problem with excess. Enter 1960’s well-regarded horror classic, Village of the Damned. It’s a film chock full of ideas, one with an intriguingly creepy story to tell, and one that, at only 77 minutes, feels decidedly incomplete.

Director Wolf Rilla opens his film with a brilliantly staged sequence in the British village of Midwich where the town’s entire population mysteriously blacks out. With lengthy, fluid camera movements spanning the village, Rilla shows us a town of sheep (the movie’s first image). Images of unconscious townspeople – a farmer on his tractor as it goes round and round, a telephone operator passed out on her switchboard, a housewife comatose underneath her ironing board – are littered throughout a two and a half minute sequence before the camera draws back to overlook the whole of Midwich before settling on the town’s clock tower as the credits roll. From open to close, this dazzling display makes the point that humanity needs to use its collective brain a little more before time runs out. Society simply stops working when people aren’t aware or “conscious”.

Unfortunately, the movie never quite lives up to its uncommonly compact, informative opening. The film spends the next 10 minutes showing us that, yes, indeed, the townspeople have passed out. You can’t enter the town without being immediately stricken with The Unconscious Fever. In a silly little stunt, the movie takes the time to have an airplane fly over the town, only to crash because the pilot flew too low and lost consciousness. I suppose the point of the scene is to show how the military (they’re investigating the strange happenings) mindset is just another example of brain-dead, sheepish behavior. Whatever the point is, the scene isn’t handled anywhere near as well as the opening – it’s silly and a bit boring – and the movie begins is slow descent towards mediocrity.

The result of this town-wide black out is a town-wide pregnancy. All of Midwich’s women with the ability to reproduce suddenly become pregnant. The men of Midwich take this news with varying degrees of acceptance and outrage (they fear infidelity). All the children are born on the same day, and they all look similar with blond hair and blue eyes. It’s creepy, and it gets even creepier as the children grow at an accelerated rate and begin to form telepathic bonds with one another, read the minds of regular folks, and eventually plan on taking over the town. These scenes with the children, which broadly touch on a number of issues, are the weakest part of the movie. The little monsters are effectively creepy, however, instead of exploring parental fears of inadequately preparing your children, or the idea that a science and answers aren’t the best way to reach a person (or whatever you want to call the children), the movie spends time having the children glare at various people with their glowing yellow eyes. Both of these ideas are touched on in the film, but it feels rushed. Rilla is able to set up an avenue to explore, but then totally abandons the path. The kids use mind control to make people do awful things and kill themselves when crossed. The implication is that the kids are every bit the followers as the adults, destined to repeat the same sins, despite having a biological head start. It’s as noble an idea as any of the others that the movie possibly could have explored, but, again, one that’s barely there. It’s tough to even call it subtext it’s so faint.

At just 77 minutes, Village of the Damned is a movie that would benefit with some extra scenes used to hash out its ideas. Too much time is spent moving the story along that spans many years. The ideas of the script are either briefly touched on or left behind completely. The film feels like it wants to say so much more than it ends up saying. Time is taken to set these ideas up, but there’s never any follow through, and that makes the end result mediocre, at best. The recipe for a great film is there – the opening sets a perfect tone for the movie, the children as villains are appropriately unnerving, and there are quite a few interesting ideas brought up. Unfortunately, the movie rushes though virtually everything, and ends on a disappointing, anticlimactic note.


Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:11 am
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
That last poster is really fucking big. I'm too lazy to change it, so I'm pointing it out and apologizing instead. Sorry about that.

Ken wrote:
Respected artists say dumb shit all the time--Scorsese defending Polanski, Richard Wagner's famous antisemitism, etc. You kind of have to take it with a grain of salt. They might be brilliant about some things, but that doesn't make them brilliant about everything.


Very true, but it doesn't make it any less dumb. Respected people, more than regular people, or unrespected people, need to be called on the ridiculous things they say or do.


Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:13 am
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
That is very true. I only mean to say that respected artists are regular people too, in every respect other than their art. They very often believe and say things that don't make sense, sometimes horrible things.

What Roald Dahl said does not shock me, especially given the times and social circumstances in which he said it. It doesn't affect my opinion of his work and I don't feel that it should. Therein lies the necessity of separating the work of art from the other aspects of the artist's life, and the folly of putting these people on pedestals.

I realize that most people hold this to be true on an intellectual level, but juxtaposing criticism of his work with a nasty quote he said in an interview is essentially doing just those things: conflating the life with the work and setting the artist up just to knock him back down.

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Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:53 am
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
PeachyPete wrote:
The recipe for a great film is there – the opening sets a perfect tone for the movie, the children as villains are appropriately unnerving, and there are quite a few interesting ideas brought up. Unfortunately, the movie rushes though virtually everything, and ends on a disappointing, anticlimactic note.


I just watched Village Of The Damned tonight and I pretty much agree with this statement. More than anything it made me want to revisit The White Ribbon.

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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
ed_metal_head wrote:
Oh, I'm so glad you liked this. Nic Roeg is a director I had, embarrassingly, heard nothing about until seeing Don't Look Now. Since then I've realised that he's one of the greats. Seriously, check out Bad Timing or The Man who Fell to Earth. That's 3 consecutive great films. Marky Mark had nice things to say about Walkabout some time ago too.


I've been meaning to check out The Man Who Fell to Earth for a few years now. There are a few directors from this year's list that I'm going to make a point of looking more into, which is ultimately the point of this whole exercise.

That's a hilarious Free Willy story. I don't remember the song, but I can relate to the experience.

Blonde Almond wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
The recipe for a great film is there – the opening sets a perfect tone for the movie, the children as villains are appropriately unnerving, and there are quite a few interesting ideas brought up. Unfortunately, the movie rushes though virtually everything, and ends on a disappointing, anticlimactic note.


I just watched Village Of The Damned tonight and I pretty much agree with this statement. More than anything it made me want to revisit The White Ribbon.


Yeah, good point. Haneke's film is infinitely better. Is the Carpenter version any good? I know it was panned when it was released. I've criticisms that call it too explicit, but I think the original could do with a little more explicitness.


Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:23 am
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
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The old adage “so bad, it’s good” was seemingly invented for movies like The Blob. I’ve heard and read many critics and film fans call the movie a camp classic, but even that moniker doesn’t do the film justice. Irvin Yeaworth’s movie ultimately serves as a condemnation of 50s culture, but it’s so great at concealing its message through hilarious awfulness, that said message almost doesn’t even matter. It’s actually kind of brilliant the way the movie is able to disguise its ideas as a bad, poorly acted monster movie parody.

Budgeted at $110,000, the independent production was helmed by Yeaworth, who had directed over 400 educational and religious industrial films. The movie was a gigantic hit in 1958, as it went on the gross $4 million at the box office. That might seem like a surprise for such a small production, but given how the movie portrays the kids (and the fact that it was made at the height of the monster movie craze), it really shouldn’t be. The film is notable for giving Steve McQueen his first starring role (credited here as Steven McQueen, and playing a character named Steve), and launching the career of composer Burt Bacharach. Bacharach wrote the movie’s opening song, “Beware of the Blob”, which, appropriately, begins the film in tongue-in-cheek fashion.

The plot is a simple one that mixes the aforementioned 50s monster movie with another 50s staple, the teenagers in trouble movie. The picture begins with a meteorite crashing into Earth. An old man becomes the blob’s first victim as he (alone, of course) goes to see what happened. The man is taken to the town’s local doctor by two teens, Steve and Jane (Aneta Corsaut), after they almost run him over with their car. From here, all hell breaks loose as the gelatinous mass starts consuming the town’s people. The teens attempt to go through various channels (doctor, police) one would normally expect to be helpful in dire times. If only the adults would listen to the teenagers! Instead, other adolescents are the only people who believe Steve’s story. The whole idea that the powers that be don’t listen to teenage cries for help has been exploited to death since 1958, but at the time it was still a relatively new concept. That isn’t to say that The Blob was the first work to address the idea (Rebel Without A Cause, anyone?), just that the generational divide was of great concern during the decade. By the end of the decade, the idea was absolutely something that would be right at home in a parody. The fact that this notion is in a movie about a gooey mass devouring people (in the adult’s defense, why would anyone ever believe that existed?) is fantastically hilarious. Of course, that’s part of the joke. Along with the lame monster itself (in contrast with typical, legitimately threatening beasts like werewolves, vampires, aliens, giant insects, etc.), the film goes out of its way to make fun of the kind of movie it’s emulating. How difficult is it to avoid a slow moving ball of glop? Just walk around it!

Of course, all of this self-aware awfulness is done for a specific reason; otherwise there wouldn’t be any reason to remember the film as anything more than a novelty of the 50s. By the end of the 1950s America’s widespread expansion of the middle class was basically complete. Because of a rapidly growing middle class, American consumerism is often seen as one of the defining components of the decade. A “keeping up with the Jonses” mentality grew out of the 50s (and is still alive and well today) as Americans wanted more goods and services along with an increase in quality. The titular villain, who’s quite literally devouring everything in its path, is an obvious stand in for this mentality. It’s one of the most obtuse, ham-fisted metaphors to ever be put on film, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t so wonderfully simple-minded that it’s easy to initially overlook. What better kind of movie than an intentionally bad, seemingly one-dimensional parody to use as a canvas to address the shallowness of 50s consumerism?

The Blob is the perfect example of why movies are such a rich art form. On the surface, it’s a dated relic of its time. Ironically (or maybe intentionally) that datedness is what makes have such enduring popularity today. It’s a look at a time most of us only read about in history class that’s also able to mesh social commentary and pure escapist entertainment beautifully. It’s multiple things at once, and a movie that, at its core, has the ability to entertain. You’ll laugh at this movie – a lot: For the parody, for the awful elements of the low budget production, and, most of all, for the sheer ridiculousness of the villain itself. All that said, the movie has noble aims and exists for a reason other than to simply entertain. It’s just good at hiding those intentions in plain sight.


Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:44 pm
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Loving all of this, Petey -- your ability to convey your thoughts is exceptional.

Who suggested A Tale of Two Sisters? That's a solid one and I look forward to your thoughts on it.

Then of course, Martyrs, which will elicit a real response of some kind, I believe.


Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:14 pm
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Don't know how I missed this thread Pete, but I just read your terrific write-up of the Wicker Man. Good reading, sir

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Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:23 pm
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Shade2 wrote:
Loving all of this, Petey -- your ability to convey your thoughts is exceptional.

Who suggested A Tale of Two Sisters? That's a solid one and I look forward to your thoughts on it.

Then of course, Martyrs, which will elicit a real response of some kind, I believe.


Thanks! I enjoy writing these, so it's always nice to hear it's being well-received.

A Tale of Two Sisters was picked by me. I only ended up getting 6-7 recommendations this year, so I had to fill out the rest of my list myself. I'm posting that write-up in about 30 seconds.

As for Martyrs, it's been watched. I will say that it certainly elicited a real response. A strong one, in fact.

JamesKunz wrote:
Don't know how I missed this thread Pete, but I just read your terrific write-up of the Wicker Man. Good reading, sir


Kunz just gave me some wub! Glad you finally discovered it and read the write-up for the movie you recommended. I was wondering why your response was curiously missing from that one.


Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:25 pm
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
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Early on in Kim Ji-woon’s 2009 Korean horror film A Tale of Two Sisters, there’s an unmistakable nod to the opening few minutes of Poltergeist (if you’re wondering about the reference, it’s the iconic image associated with the film). The homage serves as a thematic linking of two movies chiefly concerned with family dynamics. Ji-woon’s movie deviates from Poltergeist’s more upbeat message of a family coming together and shows the reverse. In fact, despite the reference, the movies aren’t very similar at all. While Poltergeist is a fairly straightforward Hollywood horror movie, A Tale of Two Sisters is a cryptic, atmospheric, puzzling entry into the genre hailing from South Korea.

Ji-woon’s film is essentially one gigantic mindfuck (or psychological horror if we’re being PC) being passed off as a haunted house story. A plot description is unnecessary because what we’re shown isn’t necessarily what is. Well, sometimes it is. A lot of the time it isn’t. By the end of the film, much is clear, but some things still don’t make complete sense. That might sound like the beginning of a description of a terrible movie, but this is a film that gets its point across more viscerally than most. Ji-woon is able to shift tones at the drop of a hat, from family melodrama to unadulterated horror and back. The movie often does this shifting not from scene to scene, but from moment to moment within individual scenes. It’s unsettling at worst, and terrifying at best.

All of this jarring tonal shifting isn’t done just to throw the audience off balance, however. There’s a point to the film, and the fact that Ji-woon has the care to ground his unique genre blend in theme is what makes the movie really work. Once when get past all the mindfuckery, we’re left with a story about a daughter trying to cope with her mother and sister’s death, and the possibility that all of this was caused by her father’s infidelity. Su-mi (Im Soo-jung) is living in the house where all of these things took place, a house that’s haunted by the guilt of these actions, which manifests itself as a female apparition. Su-Mi hallucinates that her dead sister is still alive, and that her mother’s former nurse is now her stepmother. The children are constantly at odds with the new stepmother, who just so happens to be the women the father did or did not cheat with. In reality, the house is inhabited by just Su-Mi and her father. The idea is that this broken, shattered family is stuck together in this house, unable to escape their past transgressions. Family is permanent, after all.

In an effort to emphasize the trapped, despondent feelings the house evokes (which, in turn, mirror Su-Mi’s own feelings), Ji-woon contrasts a gloriously bright and sunny exterior environment with a house full of shadows and muted colors. It’s one of those small touches in movies that really goes a long way in creating an atmosphere. The film also uses a few recurring motifs involving doubles and feet/legs. These ideas are brought full circle at the end of the film when the reality of what occurred is finally revealed. In fact, many of the images that we see during the reveal have been incorporated into the film earlier. It’s a way to emphasize that the guilt that accompanies these actions is what ultimately brings about the house’s haunting (It should also be noted that the first image of the film, of the father washing his hands, is a clear metaphor for this idea. He’s trying to wash away his indiscretions). The reveal isn’t perfect, as it veers into over explanation and takes up close to the last third of the movie. There’s also a moment just before the reveal where Su-Mi and her imaginary stepmother are fighting where the theme of the film is outwardly stated. It’s a pretty bad moment in an otherwise excellently made picture.

A Tale of Two Sisters ends up being an imperfect, messy movie, but one that uses its visuals and script in service of what it’s trying to say. It’s also a film that has a handful of the scariest scenes in modern horror you’re likely to see. It’s tough to create an original scare these days, but Ji-woon shows his cleverness by building up to the tension releasing moment we’re all accustomed to, and then elevating the tension even higher instead of giving us the typical release. This is a movie that’s genuinely frightening and unsettling, both in the way the material is presented to the viewers and the ideas it is trying to get across. It isn’t perfect by any means, but something this unique and ambitious is easily forgiven.


Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:29 pm
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
I realize that October has ended and November is upon us, and that I have failed in my quest to get 15 movies watched and written about in a month. Hurricane Sandy, a sick girlfriend who contracted Lyme Disease, and some other, additional excuses I can't think of right now all prohibited me from reaching 15. The review for Martyrs is written and will be posted this evening when I get home from work. I don't have much going on this weekend, so hopefully I can knock the rest out then.

EDIT: Oh yeah: Star Wars, Disney, George Lucas and stuff.


Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:28 am
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
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Pascal Laugier’s 2009 film Martyrs is a movie that attempts to condemn and punish its audience for enjoying this kind of movie. It’s an incredibly visceral film that exhaustively tries to evoke a response from its audience. In the same vein as Michael Haneke’s Funny Games, the movie has nothing but contempt for its own audience, despite intentionally making a film to appeal to that audience. As a rule, I almost always hate these kinds of movies. By then end, they feel like you’ve been condescendingly lectured to for liking, or watching, something these filmmakers created. The hypocrisy inherent in that is stupefying. They’re usually self-important and pretentious. In that regard, Martyrs fits right in with the kind of movie it takes its influences from. The movie scores a very few points for having the courage to play its horrors out instead of resorting to a gimmick passed off as cleverness to condemn its audience. The condemnation of Martyrs’ audience is the fact that they’d sit through this movie in the first place.

The film is essentially a movie of 2 halves. It opens with a young girl Lucie (Jessie Pham) escaping captivity where she’s been excessively physically abused. We next see Lucie in an orphanage where she’s befriended another girl, Anna (Erika Scott). Lucie is having what appears to be hallucinations where she it terrorized by disfigured woman. Fast forward 15 years and we’re shown Lucie (now played by Mylene Jampanoi) entering the home of a seemingly normal family and brutally murdering all four inhabitants. It’s revealed that Lucie believes that the parents of this family were the same people who held her captive and abused her as a child. Anna (now played by Morjana Alaoui), unsure if this is actually the family Lucie believes it to be, arrives to help her clean up the bodies. As the film progresses, the disfigured woman from the orphanage reappears in the house. We learn that this was a girl Lucie left behind when she escaped as a child. Lucie eventually slits her own throat and dies.

At this point, the movie transitions into a separate film altogether. Anna investigates the house and discovers a secret underground lair and a girl who’s being held and tortured there, proving that Lucie had picked the correct family. She attempts to help the woman, but the house is infiltrated by a group of armed guards who kill the woman and hold Anna captive. In the film’s only dialogue driven scene, it’s explained to Anna that this society kidnaps and tortures young women in an effort to get a glimpse at the afterlife.

As previously stated, the movie is more visceral than anything else. The plot description doesn’t really convey just how brutal the movie is. Ultimately, the story doesn’t make any sense, as it isn’t explained why these people want to catch a glimpse of the afterlife, how they know they can create these “martyrs”, or what they can possibly do with the information if their experiments end up successful. There’s also the fact that in order for someone to actually be a martyr, a choice has to be involved. Choosing death over life for a reason is exactly what a martyr is. These girls are all being held captive and tortured, so the idea that they’re martyrs is just ridiculous. The movie attempts to work around this by giving a definition of “martyr” at the end which explains it is Greek for “witness”. However, we all know what a martyr is, and despite the word’s origins, what we see in the film isn’t a martyr.

The idea is that transcendence can be achieved through pain. In that way, the movie somewhat taps into what martyrdom is. If you think this sounds something like the story of a certain religious deity, you’re absolutely correct. The second half of the film has a lengthy section where Anna is tortured over and over, and one can’t help but think of Jesus. The allusion is made more concrete with the image of a recently skinned Anna hanging from supports which mirrors, obviously, Christ on the cross. That said, the film doesn’t really do much with this imagery other than to simply show it. It serves no real purpose and ends up being a hollow symbolic gesture.

More than anything, Martyrs is more concerned with showing the gore and horrors of the torture scenes. Even when the movie changes perspectives from Lucie to Anna halfway through (an opportunity to change tones), not much about its world changes – it’s still cruel and vile. The movie exists as a sort of litmus test for cinephiles. How much can you endure!?!? As such, it’s an artistically devoid experience, one that is about the implications about the kind of people watching these movies, all the while reveling in that type of movie. As something to provoke a reaction, it’s succeeds marvelously. The problem is that reaction is one of disgust. Martyrs is a vile, empty cinematic endeavor. It’s nihilism for the sake of nihilism, which is not only a logically flawed world perspective, but an offensive one as well.


Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:23 pm
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
PeachyPete wrote:
That said, the film doesn’t really do much with this imagery other than to simply show it. It serves no real purpose and ends up being a hollow symbolic gesture... Martyrs is a vile, empty cinematic endeavor. It’s nihilism for the sake of nihilism, which is not only a logically flawed world perspective, but an offensive one as well.


Your thoughts here pretty much mirror my own. It's brutal indeed... and nothing really beyond that.

So naturally, the producers of Twilight are remaking it. Wonderful.


Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:37 pm
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Shade2 wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
That said, the film doesn’t really do much with this imagery other than to simply show it. It serves no real purpose and ends up being a hollow symbolic gesture... Martyrs is a vile, empty cinematic endeavor. It’s nihilism for the sake of nihilism, which is not only a logically flawed world perspective, but an offensive one as well.


Your thoughts here pretty much mirror my own. It's brutal indeed... and nothing really beyond that.

So naturally, the producers of Twilight are remaking it. Wonderful.

I agree with some of your complaints, though I enjoyed the movie moreso then you guys did, at least it's conveys it's message far better then Funny Games did. I'm certainly not opposed to a remake, perhaps it could fix some of the problems the film had.


Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:01 am
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Post Re: An Octoberfest of Horror Films
Shade2 wrote:
Loving all of this, Petey -- your ability to convey your thoughts is exceptional.



You can say that again.

PeachyPete wrote:
Image

Of course, all of this self-aware awfulness is done for a specific reason; otherwise there wouldn’t be any reason to remember the film as anything more than a novelty of the 50s. By the end of the 1950s America’s widespread expansion of the middle class was basically complete. Because of a rapidly growing middle class, American consumerism is often seen as one of the defining components of the decade. A “keeping up with the Jonses” mentality grew out of the 50s (and is still alive and well today) as Americans wanted more goods and services along with an increase in quality. The titular villain, who’s quite literally devouring everything in its path, is an obvious stand in for this mentality. It’s one of the most obtuse, ham-fisted metaphors to ever be put on film, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t so wonderfully simple-minded that it’s easy to initially overlook. What better kind of movie than an intentionally bad, seemingly one-dimensional parody to use as a canvas to address the shallowness of 50s consumerism?



This is one of only about four films I’ve seen that’s been reviewed on this excellent thread. Can’t handle horrors, being raised by a ridiculously religous mother, will make you believe in god, and therefore the devil, and fuck going to sleep with that in your head. Dabbling with drugs probably didn’t help either.

When your write something like this Pete, do you do much research or write it from your general knowledge of films and American society in the fifties, or is there more to it? Have you studied something specific that allows you to write and comment with such authority?

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Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:03 pm
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