Martyrs, Horror movies, nihilism and loopholes oh my

I have a kind of love/hate relationship with the Horror genre of films, particularly because of; while I wish to be entertained by excellent cinematography, acting etc. I think my most revered motive for Horror, is to be thoroughly evoked by the message and a emotional response from within self, through the characters and/or story-line. Though I am a fan to a certain extent to some sleaze and gore, if its intention is not to be taken seriously, and its theatrics are so over the top, there is absolutely no intention to involve the viewer in a realistic pretext. I want to clarify this maybe minute detail, primarily with the recent convention of Horror films, absolutely with no other intention to shock, and appall the viewer. At least in the regard of a social sense. That being said, I suppose I had the idea that Martyrs would fit in the later.

Martyrs was able to evoke a emotional response from me, from the characters involved, as well as engross me in the story-line and develop a deep interest in the subject matter. It’s a very nihilistic film, it absolutely abandons social regard for life, all the while deeply involves it self in meaning of existence. A almost contradicting statement. And though the ending does not answer meaning (more contributes to lack of meaning), it does create an emotional response, which to me brings more meaning to the human experience. Whether intentional or not, this could be something esoteric, and subjective from each individual.

The overall premise of the movie involves an organization of people, a council, who is seeking to find whether there are any real martyrs (witnesses) who can point to any kind of semblance of divinity to what awaits humanity at the end of life. Or if all who are subjected to great amounts of human torture and sacrifice are nothing more than victims. They look to the tortured and those at the threshold if they can give any kind of insight into the other side. Herein to me lies a loophole of the plot, that I think is too identifiable to dismiss. For starters they mention that Lucie suffered from battling with an imaginary apparition who would cause her to go into fits of self inflicting punishment, but it’s obvious that she developed this mental degradation through being held captive and tortured in the first place. When Mademoiselle is speaking to Anna she mentions that all cases are “victims” and only 4 could be classified as Martyrs. If Mademoiselle comes to the conclusion she does at the end of the movie from Anna’s insights than how could she not have came to the same conclusion with the last 4 test subjects? These are the two biggest questions I have about this film. I only watched this once, so I do believe a 2nd viewing is in course, just to try and clear up any loose ends in the movie.


But this film did accomplish more for me, than what I had originally expected. With all of the press the film got I was expecting a gore feast with absolutely no redeeming story or purpose to the film. Other than to subject the viewer to agonizing scenes of torture and gore. What I took away from this film was transcendental almost philosophical and less to do with gore and horror. It had the same effect as watching a good drama. Was there gore and unforgiving scenes of violence? yes, did it have meaning in purpose, in some cases yes, in most no. Overall I quite enjoyed this movie. Maybe piece this together in a more coherent review later, but just felt impelled to write this.

rambling about a movie (not a review, or anything coherent)

I just watched an independent film called “the Motel” it is about a Asian american family that own and operate a hourly rate motel in what looks like a poor white town. For me the movie is more about the adage of boy (Ernest) becoming man, or the relationship of father and son, and in this case the absent father. I have learned a lot about this topic from reading the fairy tale Iron John, and the psychology behind it from Robert Bly, also the not so great books from christian authors Donald Miller (to own a dragon) and John Eldridge (wild at heart) there seems to be a lot of connection between a boy needing another man to affirm his masculinity.

The movie revolves around a young Asian kid Ernest, who is like many adolescents clueless to life. (kind of sounds like me, and I am an adult ?!) He meets an older guy named Sam who is staying at the motel, you usually see him coming in with hookers and always has a bottle of some kind of alcohol, great role model right? but in this story it is just what the boy needs. He is caught in living life with his guard up and is not anywhere near allowing risk or chance have a role in his life.

It’s rather depressing in the end, but it does show a perplexing view into the male psyche that is just completely unanswerable in this existence. My favorite part of the movie is when they are stopped on the roadside (Ernest and Sam  and they start yelling to the heavens “I want to be happy!!”, “I want to be fucking happy!!” and Sam shares the Buddhist philosophy that life is a process of finding enlightenment. Every trial and every obstacle is the pursuit of becoming closer to that enlightenment. I don’t give a damn about cinematography, and known actors, if a movie can remind me of this core foundation of this existence. All the while inspiring me, it has achieved more for me than I can say for a lot of higher budget movies.

That’s all I got for today. Merry fucking Christmas. I am spending it alone, but I am OK with that. For once in my life, I am happy, and have no reverberating voices that taunt me otherwise.