When James Wan released Insidious in 2010 and the original The Conjuring three years later, it surprised a lot of horror audiences and critics. The director of Saw, and the producer of its string of increasingly grisly sequels, seemed to have taken a sharp right turn, abandoning what fans call “extreme cinema” and detractors dismiss as “torture porn” for haunted-house atmospherics and a more creeping variety of dread.
Martyrs is not a good movie.
No, I will go further: Martyrs is a bad movie, born of false pretense, disingenuously presented, and executed poorly. It is the only movie on this list I outright disliked. It wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t think it was so smart.