In general, I don't have a knee jerk reaction to English-language remakes of foreign films. It's rare that the results work (The Ring), and audiences are generally pretty good about ignoring the ones that deserve ignoring. Then why is it that a proposed U.S. remake of the French film Martyrs bugs me so much?

It's from producer Wyck Godfrey, the exec behind AVP, Daddy Day Care, The Nativity Story, Eragon, and, yes, The Twilight Saga. I'm sure Godfrey loves his job, and I'm sure he has every intention of delivering high quality films. I also understand that a film's success or failure, whether creatively or at the box office, doesn't solely rest on a producer's shoulders, but there is nothing in Godfrey's resume that hints that he's the right man to shepherd Martyrs to American multiplexes.

Martyrs, to me, is the final word on the torture porn horror subgenre. By forcing us to watch almost a half hour of uninterrupted human suffering (and in true torture porn fashion, an attractive girl in her underwear is given the awful beatings), director Pascal Laugier uses realistic brutality to challenge our own personal line between exciting cinematic violence and excruciating overkill. It's deliberate and part of Martyrs' brilliance.
categories Movies, Horror