Years after a traumatic kidnapping, Lucie is prepared to seek revenge. She arrives at a family's house and ruthlessly kills the entire family, and proudly calls her childhood friend to come over. Is the family guilty of what happened to Lucie, or has she just gone insane?
I'm in a strange position reviewing the remake of the popular French horror movie "Martyrs" that came out in 2008. Fact is that I never really cared for the original. It was a decent horror movie, but I couldn't really see whatever other people saw in it that made it great for them. At the same time, I'm against remakes that are made simply because the original is foreign. I'm okay with remakes a lot of the time (when we're talking about movies that are 50-60+ years old and whatnot), but most remakes are done either too soon or for the wrong reasons. It's obvious that this remake of "Martyrs" is far from a good reason - even though I didn't love the original, there was nothing this remake could improve upon.
A scared girl comes running out of a warehouse. About 10 years later she, Lucie, returns to the people that wronged her to get her revenge. A family is quietly eating dinner when someone is at the door. The father opens the door and Lucie is waiting on the other side, ready to kill the entire family. Lucie is stuck in her own private hell and is desperate to put an end to it. When her friend Anna arrives at the house she is shocked to find the family members dead.
Sounds familiar? Of course it does! It's a remake, you buffoon! This is truly the kind of meaningless remake that gives remaking a bad name. Sure, you can remake "Frankenstein" how much you want, I don't mind. Feel free to remake "Godzilla"! But what this remake of "Martyrs" does is simply take the original, change the language to English, and make it more mild. Again, I didn't care for the original, but this remake is even worse. Any impact that the original had is washed away. It seems like there is an idea floating around but they never managed to fully grasp it. Several moments that you recognize from the original just fell flat in this one. Much like how the hidden force from "The Evil Dead" was only seen in a brief shot as a homage in the "Evil Dead" remake, the "Martyrs" remake doesn't fully utilize certain important aspects of the original. There isn't much that you could improve here since best case scenario it would either change the movie completely, or be even more redundant. This is the problem with most remakes of modern movies.
Ignoring the fact that this is a remake for a second, it's not a bad production (just a bad movie). The entire cast and crew are doing the best they can with what they got. It's certainly not poorly acted (not worthy of awards either), the cinematography and sound doesn't stand out as anything bad, the effects are good (minus some moments of CGI). From a purely technical standpoint I actually don't have anything specific to point out. This is perhaps the worst part about it, that it was made by competent people but the movie is simply a bad retelling that misses the mark.
Excuse this review for mostly pissing on the movie for being a remake, but sometimes that's a legitimate criticism. "Martyrs" isn't this iconic character, theme or idea that you can twist and turn to create something unique, which you can do with stuff like the Universal monsters. The point of this remake is unknown to me even after having seen the movie. When you think of "Martyrs" you probably think of the brutality and the existential questions that it brings up towards its conclusion. In this remake you will probably feel like you're not getting enough of either. It's fairly brutal in its own right, but it doesn't quite get up there with the original (where it felt needed to fully favor the ending). With that, this remake also misses the punch of the end. I can say that despite not caring too much about the original to begin with. I gave this remake an honest chance. I don't like the idea of remaking modern movies, but in this case I didn't care much for the original and was curious if this could give me something else. Unfortunately this is just a watered down remake.