Mum & Dad
If I was forced to come up with a one word descriptive word to sum up this British torture horror flop, it would be "Ugly". This film tries it level best to make the viewer uncomfortable, and generally succeeds with that. But there seemed to me to be a real lack of any other redeeming elements within the film. If you're going to make torture flicks for a horror market that is currently over saturated with forgettable films, you had better find a way to push the envelope, either by going for the gusto and really shocking your viewers, or by at least writing a highly engaging script. This film failed to do either.
The concept for this film centers around a "family" that captures, tortures and tries to assimilate new members into their sadistic fold. The family comes complete with a violent and vindictive mother figure, a perverse overweight and mouth breathing father figure, a completely brainwashed and starved for attention sister, a mentally broken and submissive brother along with a few other "siblings" who are sparingly seen throughout the film. These characters have recently come across a new possible addition to the "family" and this film is the story of her struggle to survive. The characters aren't horribly developed, although they are a bit over the top, and maybe even a little uninspired. The real problem with the story is in its lack of structure. The film just seems to be a series of scenarios bent on disturbing the audience rather than being a cohesive or driven tale. Their victim is sympathetic, don't get me wrong, but not enough so to really drive the development of the plot. Once the films climax rolls around, there's more relief felt in knowing this movie is almost over than is felt for the protagonist being free of her torturous bonds.
The gore was just as dull and uninspired as the rest of this flick. This film has gross out moments, but they all have been seen done far better in other, more moving and genre defining films. Jerking off into a what I think was either a kidney, or maybe a liver....doesn't compare to the 'decapitated head giving head' scene in High Tension. The physical torture the heroine is meant to endure doesn't compare to anything endured by the casts of the Hostel or Saw franchises...much less the what the lead victim in Martyrs is forced to suffer through. There's some semi worthy content here, but not enough to drag this film past anything more than average.
I was really hoping for a good British horror comedy when I began this film, but was obviously disappointed by the half-assed and all together far too average, borderline torture porn I got. Oh well, I've said it before and will again, many times I'm sure....."they can't all be winners".
5/10 detached retinas