The plot is a little convoluted. It seems to involve some sort of doomsday cult looking for the answer to what is out there in the afterlife. They are searching for a woman or girl who can sustain and survive what others cannot. They torture young girls and women and hope that they see something to tell them after the torture. They take it so far that most of the girls and young women die. Lucie is one of these girls, she escaped as a young girl and when she is older and in her twenties she goes in search of the people who hurt her in hopes to stop the thing that is haunting her. Lucie's best friend, Anna, promises to keep her safe, but doesn't necessarily believe that she is being haunted, or that she was tortures as a child.
After Anna meets Lucie at a house where she has killed someone she claims to have been in on the torture of her as a child. Anna cannot believe what has happened. She thinks that Lucie has finally gone insane and she goes outside in an attempt to find help. Lucie follows her asking her to help dispose of the bodies so that she might finally be safe. Anna doesn't know what to do to help her and is conflicted.
There are a lot of things that happen between this and the end of the movie, including the deaths of innocent victims, the skinning of a girl's back in graphic detail, and scenes which make one wonder what the hell is going on and who are these people and are all girls/young women in movies total idiots who don't know how to preserve their own lives since they always get shot, stabbed, or murdered because they aren't playing attention to their surroundings.
This movie is not what I expected, and I would like to watch the French version to compare the violence levels. It didn't provide enough back story to be interesting, for example I didn't get to know enough about the young girls to care about what happened to them. It also didn't create enough of a feel of evil to the cult as it could have, so I didn't get the chance to dislike or like them as much as I would have liked. There has to be someone to root for, even if it is the antagonist, if there isn't someone to root for then there isn't any point in watching a movie. If there isn't someone to root for, then there should be something to root for and there wasn't that either. If it had been to learn what the cult was seeking and to find out what Lucie saw at then end of the movie it would have been more interesting.
I personally do not like watching a movie just for the gore of watching a horror movie. While I don't have a problem with gore or violence, I don't want to watch a movie that involves a lot of gore and violence with not enough story to back it up. The violence was only added to point out that these girls and young women had to go through all of this to see what they needed to see, and this is why they are called Martyrs.
While I do have my complaints about the lack of plot in this movie, and yes I know some will argue with me about this movie having a plot as some believe that it is about women finding themselves and building a relationship that takes them through the good and bad and strengthens their resolve to be who or what they are, I didn't feel that it was about that at all. And, before anyone says I am hating on this movie, I didn't hate it, I enjoyed it. Seeing Troian Bellisario in something other than PRETTY LITTLE LIARS was delightful as it showed her differing acting skills and she isn't just a melodramatic/soap opera actress.
So, I don't know if I would tell others to watch this or not as I am not sure where I am on it. Did I enjoy it because of Bellisario or did I enjoy it because it didn't end in a way that was expected. I can tell you I didn't like part of the ending as I don't like unanswered questions, especially if the movie makes the ENTIRE movie about the one question that you are expecting the answer to.