Nato And Remy’s Last Stand: “Torture Porn” Horror, What’s Wrong With Us?

Nato – The Collector

The Collector was spawned from “torture porn” veterans Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, the deviants who took over writing duties on Saw IV through Saw 3D, and put them in total control with Marcus Dunstan also taking directorial duties. It received a wide release, but never reached the massive audience Saw achieved, although Dunstan and Melton are finally following up their cliff-hanger ending with The Collection, releasing this year.

I was an instant fan of The Collector, vocally disagreeing with nay-sayers. The whole criminal versus even more malicious criminal provided a solid ani-hero to root for and an opposite force to really hate and fear, adding the whole “collection” aspect as a pretty vicious and strange twist. Saw has the Jigsaw aspect, Hostel has the “for the love of torture” motto, and The Collector introduced us to its own mask wearing devil who kept victims in a trunk when he wasn’t done with them, an awesome torture idea in my own opinion.

Aside from all those differences, Dunstan and Melton bring the same inventive hedonism Saw fans know and love, as “The Collector” booby traps the house for Josh Stewart’s character Arkin. There’s everything from bear traps, to stichings, to barebones usage of pliers seen above. Ranging from Rube Goldberg-esque to caveman simplicity, The Collector hits from all sides.

I’d watch this film over each and every Saw sequel, but I know I’m in the minority for that school of thought. Millions of dollars wouldn’t agree.

Remy – Martyrs

Truthfully though, there has only been ONE “torture porn” movie that has done “torture porn” right. A film so profound that it can change the way you think,  if you can get past the sheer brutality of it. That movie is Martyrs.

Do you understand that for “torture porn” to actually WORK, it has to be a part of the story? Hostel and Martyrs may be the ONLY movies of that ilk that seem to know that, Martyrs more so than anything.

First and foremost, we need to address something. “Torture” porn is a [email protected] up term, and shouldn’t be used. It implies that we, the viewer, get sexual satisfaction out of it, which we don’t. I understand it sums up the genre (in focusing on the torture aspects of these stories, calling it “torture porn” just gives it an easily identifiable moniker) and I agree we need to have something to define it, but the porn word is used wrong there, but that is irrelevant. Just needed to say it.

Martyrs may be the most spiritually complex movie you will ever see, even if you think it to be anything but. I almost don’t want to touch on my feelings about the movie TOO much so as to not sway the feelings of those who have yet to see it.

I will tell you this, though. Since the dawn of time, it has been said that spiritual nirvana was able to be reached through extreme acts of physical pain. That, if one endured enough, the answers to spirituality would be achieved. And Martyrs BEGS that question of the audience. Ironically, very few people walk away from the ending to this film (dare I say one of the greatest endings in horror for people who aren’t too scared to be forced to think) thinking the same thing.

So what is Martyrs about? A group of rich, French aristocrats who have a small group that seems to exert its finances trying to find out if there is a God or not, and how they do this is by torturing young girls.

Yup, really. It may sound like a sad and sick reason to just torture girls on film, and at times, it can be excruciating (watching a vulnerable French girl get punched in the face for nine minutes was one of the hardest stretches of film I ever had to sit through, outside of the rape scene in Irreversible) but you need to understand, it is all laid out for us. They talk about how the act of crucifixion was used as a way for mortals to talk to their Gods before death. It is as spiritual a movie as it is dark and twisted, and you NEED to stick it out for that ending. Yes, getting there is a brutal, but there is no denying that when the movie ends, you will be left with your mouth hanging open, and the feeling that you need to ask even more questions.

I didn’t, though. I thought the ending was quite clear. Not only that, but I found the ending to be beautiful, transcending what the movie was at the beginning. How often can you say THAT about “torture porn”. Or as I like to call the genre, Cinema Brutale. That last word is French. I did that on purpose. I’m worldly and stuff.

But unless there are bouncing boobs and willing participants, please don’t call it any kind of porn, ok? Thanks.

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