dir. Pascal Laugier
I only got around to watching this at 11:30pm (GMT) today because I was super busy all day, which turned out to be a Very Bad Thing, because there are some truly haunting images in this that will for sure haunt my dreams tonight. So, there’s that. Oh, well.
This film is brilliant. Absolutely brutal and horrific, but really brilliant. (Side note: the poster and IMDb blurb are very misleading, it’s way more psychological than you’d first imagine from those.) I read on the trivia page that the director was somewhat inspired by Hostel to make this (I love Hostel so brownie points for that, Mr Laugier) and that his focus would be on pain and suffering. This film is indeed all about pain and suffering, it’s relentless, and it pulls you in with strikingly grotesque images. The psychological intensity of this film is terrifying, and what happens to these women is nothing short of barbaric. I think it offers an interesting take on misunderstandings of signs, on a cultural level. They go on about martyrs, what are martyrs and what they do, and their purpose, but they don’t really know what they want from those people, they don’t know that they can’t force someone to be a martyr, that it has to be voluntary and completely selfless at the very end. Anna only got there because of her powerful connection to Lucie, her immense love for her was the ultimate driving force for her perseverance.
Or maybe not. Maybe I’m just reading too much into this because it’s 1am. It’s still a fantastic film, but that review up there is correct: not for the faint of heart. It’s brutal and it will tear you apart.