The Halloween spirit is in full effect in LA. This time of year brings, haunted attractions and film fests a plenty featuring indie horror movies from directors around the world. I was lucky enough to attend Screamfest 2015 this year where there were many collections of horror shorts and full length films being shown. I was lucky enough to get a ticket to see directors Kevin Goetz and Michael Goetz remake of the classic 2008 french horror film Martyrs. Well so I thought I thought I was lucky….
As the film starts you automatically are waiting to feel the immense rush of Lucie’s adrenaline as she runs out of the building bloody, shaved head and screaming. To feel the intensity of her fear and anguish as she runs for help. Though what you from the start is a empty room with a covered square, which then proceeds to show a younger Lucie running for her life. The Goetz brothers in my opinion took on a huge challenge with remaking a film that is not just beautifully disturbing but also has a huge fan base within the horror community. Choosing to remake this movie and dumb it down for American audiences was lack luster in my eyes. The brothers toned down the violence to almost a kindergarten level, altered the relationship and life span of Lucie and Anna’s characters and focused on a loving friendship of the two without even hinting towards the fact that Anna was actually in love with and only wanted to protect her. You do see and get an understanding of how close Anna and Lucie become but you never feel or get the real emotional connection between the two. As being an avid lover of the original it was hard for me to connect with the Goetz brothers remake. I wasn’t able to connect with the mental torment that Lucie goes through with her illusions of a old hag that physically mutilates her and how Anna only sees the reality. Also not only switching the relationship and life span of Anna and Lucie, the brothers didn’t give a true focus on the spirituality of why a Martyr is created. How only a few can handle the abuse of continuous pain to escape to a place of acceptance. That you have to be a truly special person of mental and physical strength. In all honesty you have to be able let go. This is what Martyrs is really about and holds so much importance for the viewer connecting with the film and story. Not just the torture involved.
Overall I felt the movie was lack luster and lost a lot of the qualities of the original film. It will reach the young audience that it was meant for but as for an enthusiastic horror fan it will fall into the cracks.
MARTYRS is directed by Kevin Goetz and Michael Goetz. It stars Bailey Noble, Troian Bellisario, Kate Burto and Blake Robbins.