Collective Nightmares – Martyrs (2008)

Chain yourselves to your headphones! This is our longest episode yet. And it is our longest episode because the film for this episode deserves all the discussion and more! We are talking about Pascal Laugier’s 2008 film Martyrs.

Laugier’s newest film Ghostland is slated to be released later this month. Here at Collective Nightmares we are aquiver with anticipation for this film. Thus, this is April-Laugier month here on the podcast. This episode we discuss Martyrs. Next episode we will discuss Laugier’s follow-up film from 2012, The Tall Man. Then we will conclude April-Laugier with a discussion of Ghostland (as soon as we have a chance to see it).

A special note on spoilers. This film in particular deserves and demands to be seen without spoilers. Please respect the film and watch it in a dark quiet room before you listen to our podcast.

There are also spoilers for Laugier’s follow-up film The Tall Man toward the end of this episode.

As always, thanks for listening (if anyone actually is listening). Please let us know if you are!

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Topic Index – Martyrs

Intro and why Martyrs?

13:03 – Meta

14:03 – Article on Meta (NEED LINK)

16:10 – Why horror

19:12 – Fun horror vs terror horror

20:09 – Visceral Horror

21:41 – Horror with resolution

24:10 – Philosophical questions

27:35 – Nicholson Baker

33:45 – Stories we tell ourselves

37:50 – Something about martyrs that we couldn’t remember but it was totally Kristeva on martyrs! Pg. 129

40:17 – The ending

47:30 – Anyone know this reference? (still talking the ending)

49:31 – Nevermind! First post Martyrs moment of joy. 50 minutes in, eesh!

57:35 – The questions of life

59:18 – Situating Martyrs in the horror genre

1:00:34 – Banality of evil

Hannah Arendt – Origins of Totalitarianism

1:01:44 – Ritual vs system (Weber and Durkheim)

1:07:21 – Comparison to Tall Man

1:15:35 – Why the skull contraption?

1:19:47 – Getting out?

1:21:58 – Feminist film?

1:23:08 – Rape

1:24:51 – Camera work

  Montage referenced is at

1:25:37 – Sound design and music

1:29:00 Note: Tubular Bells is the name of the track from The Exorcist

1:29:46 – How would we improve the film?

1:30:06 – Characters

1:34:29 – Types of martyrs

1:37:09 – The Tall Man spoilers! (Laugier’s next film after Martyrs)

1:39:13 – How one woman completely ruined Marshall’s (and everyone else’s who had not seen the film) first viewing of Martyrs and somehow still hosts horror movies at the local art house movie theater. Also, yes, I’m still bitter.

“Horror films are our collective nightmares.” Robin Wood.