Over the past week I’ve subjected myself to some of the apparent crem’dela crem that horror in film supposedly has to offer. This is by no means an all inclusive look at the genre, but a list of movies that came most highly suggested for my binge by both my friends and the anonymous internet hate machine in tandem. I’ll admit that I’ve never had the highest respect for this style of flick coming into my week long stint, but coming out of it my view has definitely shifted. Slightly. Most of it is still pretty awful. I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers in the following psuedo reviews, if I do make use of them you’ll be warned.
The most well written, shot and directed horror movie I've ever seen. No others like it have ever caused so much empathy from me towards the protagonists(whilst still not liking them) or managed to keep me guessing right until the unexpected finale without resorting to complete absurdity. Eschewing cliches at every twist, carefully causing you to re-evaluate all you may have decided upon moments earlier. Violence is never used cheaply in attempts to shock when it feels the audience might be bored, nor does it shy from portraying it in spots in a way which other films mightn't dare. Every frame shown is used to carry you along with the characters emotionally, to get into their heads. The acting as far as I can tell was fantastic, though it's always been somewhat hard to tell in foreign language films. THERE, TAKE YOUR OVERLY LONG, VAGUE AND RAMBLING BOX QUOTES AND LEAVE ME ALONE 2008!
Gushing such unadulterated love for Martyrs almost does it an injustice, as it deserves the right for you to go into it expecting nothing more than the average gore filled “scary, evil” monster fest. However if I have to go on this spiel to get others to watch than so be it, this movie alone subverted my understanding and expectations for the genre henceforth.
Oh yeah, it’s scary too. Which is important I guess.
Do I actually expect a noticeable influence in the genre to similarly cast away the standard archetypes and production mindset? No not really, but it would be nice. Then again, it was written in a fit of depression, one of the lead actresses broke of her 3 bones during filming, and the head special effects artist committed suicide immediately after finishing production so there’s no doubt this was a harrowingly unpleasant task to create. This film is not fun, it is not enjoyable, it plays with your mind in ways you don’t expect and it’s everything that true horror should strive for.