Midnight Madness Blog

- 2008
- 2007

We hear a lot about the word buzz at film festivals and I must say sitting in Ryerson theater in early September at around eleven thirty at night buzz is a palpable feeling. To watch a theater fill up from  couple of people to over a thousand people in less than a half an hour is an amazing thing. The sound of conversations at first discernible than becoming one giant murmur of sound is the very sound of buzz. Which brings me to Martyrs, to say that this film was anticipated amongst the midnight sect is a vast understatement. When one hears that Colin Geddes said that this film  "upset and disturbed him" one stands up and takes notice.

Martyrs continues the new wave of French horror, beginning with such films as Haute Tension and followed with such strong films as Frontiere(s) and A l'Interieur. Pascal Laugier said he is a fan of the horror genre and wanted to make a film that was worthy of the genre, not only does he accomplish his goal I believe he far surpassed it. Martyrs elevates the horror genre - often times misunderstood and maligned - into art.

At the introduction prior to the first Midnight Screening Pascal said to "prepare yourself to enter a world and have a pure cinematic experience" Martyrs is untainted and pure cinema, it is a film that challenges you and provides no easy answers. This morning as I write this there are images from the film that are passing through my mind. Martyrs is a film that will stay with me for a long time.

The following night I talked to my fellow audience members and asked them about their experience.

"I thought it was a perfect Midnight Madness film. I give it a four, maybe four and half out of five. It is a very disturbing film and something I don't think I would see again. It was a very interesting film to see and I really enjoyed the experience with the crowd and the way it was presented and the conversation afterwords." Daniel

"I never thought I would see a film so disturbing. It showed you things I never thought I would ever see on film ever. It was really crazy." Adrian

"The more I think about it the more I like it. The acting was amazing, everything looked really good. The story was well written." Jamie

"We didn't throw up and that was a bonus. It was a little gory but I expected it given the lead up to the film. It was really good." Roberta

"I enjoyed it, the gore didn't really bother me, I have seen much worse. It was good, great job production wise. It was a little disappointing in the last half, a little muddled it began and ended really strongly and I really liked Martyrs." Sebastien

"Martyrs was messed up, really messed up. Very well made film" Scott

"The ending blew me away. I was thinking I was going to have nightmares and it didn't  however I did have flashbacks of the film all night." Lindsay

"It was good but I thought there were a few holes in the plot." Phil

"I thought it was great. It lived up to it's expectations it was really bloody and violent I really enjoyed it" Katrina

"It was good. There was a lot more substance to the story than most horror films. It didn't disturb me because there is a dividing line between reality and fantasy and Martyrs is a fantasy." Sharon

"It was great, it lived up to all the hype. The woman getting her Martyrdom was very Martyish" Frank from Pennsylvania

"Oh my God! It was fun but kind of creepy. I liked the experience, it was really a new experience. Most films are pattern, pattern, pattern but this one throws you a curve ball." It went from what you think could become torture porn and the film became art." Anonymous

"It was played up like a sucker punch and Midnight Madness is really a crowd experience and something like Martyrs does not lend itself to clapping and applauding and when it happened it made the experience really uncomfortable, even more than the what was happening on the screen." Justin

"When I went home I tried to sleep and I kept getting flashes from the film. I didn't have nightmares last night because I didn't sleep. The film itself didn't make me uncomfortable it is that the images stayed with me." Greer.

Seems the overall sentiment was a highly disturbing film that was really well made. Martyrs is a film that very much lends itself to conversation.

I am a couple of days late in posting this but I am still standing and currently floating somewhere in that weird limbo when Day Nine becomes Day Ten.

Robert Mitchell

Where can i see the introduction and the Q&A for Martyrs?
Comment By nadia At 15/09/2021 3:30 PM
We will be uploading it in due time hopefully in the next couple of days.
Comment By Robert Mitchell At 16/09/2021 5:43 PM
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