Martyrs Reboot Lacks Creativity

Martyrs (2016) Film Details

Release Date: 22 January 2016 (USA)

Release Format: Limited Theatrical Followed by VOD

MPAA Rating: pg-13

Horror Sub-Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller


A woman and her childhood friend seek out revenge on those who victimized and abused them.

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Martyrs, released in September 2008. The French based production is arguably one of most controversial films in Horror cinema. The film is directed and written by Pascal Laugier. His vision is an example of the Horror sub-genre know as; French Extremism. “Martyrs” transcends the threshold of conventional horror films with exquisite scenes of violence.  Presented within the film are atmospheric and psychological horror concepts. Most in the horror community would categorize “Martyrs” within the horror sub-genre; torture-porn. In fact, Pascal Laugier’s vision is a creative form of brutality that outshines mindless violence.

Fast-forward to 2015.  Kevin GoetzMichael Goetz now serve as directors to “Martyrs” reboot. The script although based on the characters by Pascal Laugier is now reworked by Mark L. Smith. Production to this re-imagination began and continued with little fanfare. The film is a production of; Blumhouse Productions in conjunction with The Safran Company, and Temple Hill Entertainment. News on the film’s development was scarce. “Martyrs” premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival in May 2015. On December 2015, the trailer for “Martyrs” was finally released.


The performances by Ever Prishkulnik and Elyse Cole were the highlight to the film. They portrayed the role of Young Lucie and Young Anna respectively. Emphasis leaned on the bond between Lucie and Anna while growing up in the orphanage. Their rendition was heartfelt and reinforced the retelling of the backstory. One is a caring and emotionally supportive. The other is a fragile emotionally unstable girl. Each actress offered convincing chemistry that resonated with the audience.


Directors Kevin Goetz and Michael Goetz fail to recapture the artistry of the 2008 original. Don’t misconstrue the opening sentence. The comparison between the two films doesn’t live on visceral overtones. Its the connection between the characters and its audience that the reboot lacks. “Martyrs” (2008) embarked on a psychological roller-coaster. The Story driven concept left audiences with widened eyes and mouths agape. The downfall to the “Martyrs” reboot is the clear lack of emotional content. Although a retelling of the story, it falls short as a thought provoking medium. A psychological Thriller this film is not.

This should come to no surprise. Remakes that parallel or surpass original source material are a rare occurrence.

The script rewrite fails to explore Lucie’s psyche. A sinister entity torments the character.  This interaction is a crucial part to the story. Yet, the writer felt it wasn’t worthy to focus on. The edited presentation confuses audiences. Is this a ghost, is it a mental projection, is it herself?

The cast with exception for the young actresses were one dimensional. Each actor offered a B movie flair to their respected roles. In fact, he actresses portraying Lucie and Anna are not credited on IMDB. Embarrassment perhaps?

In closing:

This is the Blumhouse Productions era of horror cinema. The production company offers poor examples of film making. A lack of story telling, less than stellar performances and in this case a mediocre reboot. This may set well with casual Horror fans. Yet, for enthusiasts of the genre, its unacceptable. Watching this reiteration of the visionary 2008 medium can is summed as follows. The film is not a complete fail. If you as a viewer enjoy lackluster performances set against a passive backdrop this film is for you. Avoid this film if you enjoy mind provoking elements reinforced with superior talent.



Rating Score:

  • 0-10 Avoid
  • 11-20- Mediocre
  • 21-30 -Good
  • 31-40 – Average
  • 41-50- Decent
  • 51-60 – Stunning
  • 71-80 – Must See
  • 81-90 – Amazing
  • 91-100 – Impressive


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