Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Martyrs Lane Review: An Unconventional Slow Burning Ghost Story

Denise Gough	...	Sarah Steven Cree	Steven Cree	...	Thomas Anastasia Hille	Anastasia Hille	...	Lillian Hannah Rae	Hannah Rae	...	Bex Charlie Rix	Charlie Rix	...	Brian Kiera Thompson	Kiera Thompson	...	Leah Sienna Sayer	Sienna Sayer	...	Rachel Donna Banya	Donna Banya	...	Kyla Catherine Terris	Catherine Terris	...	Edith Lianne Harvey	Lianne Harvey	...	Amy Julie Barclay	Julie Barclay	...	Janet Rob Preston	Rob Preston	...	Removal Man (uncredited)

Release date: September 9, 2021 Running time: 96 minutes Written and Directed By: Ruth Platt Starring: Kiera Thompson (Leah), Sienna Sayer (Rachel), Denise Gough (Sarah), Steven Cree (Thomas), Hannah Rae (Bex), and Anastasia Hille (Lillian)

In this unsettling ghost story, Leah, 10, lives in a large, old house with her family but can’t quite work out why her mother seems so distant. At night she is visited by a mysterious guest, who might be able to give her some answers. With a new challenge every night, Leah is rewarded with bits of knowledge that, when pieced together, threaten to shine a dangerous light on both the truth in her nightmares and of the world she lives in.

Produced by  Christine Alderson	...	producer Emma Dutton	...	executive producer Peter Hampden	...	executive producer Katie Hodgkin	...	producer Alex Hurle	...	associate producer Rebecca Joerin-Sharp	...	executive producer Norman Merry	...	executive producer Ian Sharp	...	executive producer Bruce Webb	...	line producer
Martyrs Lane is a slow burning ghost story that evolves in a deliciously slow but no less unsettling manner. The haunting does have your standard hallmarks of a major ghost story, with subtle effects and small occurrences that key you into what is happening. I loved this subtle, somewhat sinister build up as it really made you wonder what was going on. It also let you get to know the characters and their personal relationships without much supernatural involvement. And even when the supernatural aspects begin happening, they come about more in whispers rather than pure events of supernatural dread.

And this slow build up is what makes this film so compelling. The time spent in the story allows you to really appreciate the main character and her ghostly friend. This also lets you really see just how distant her mother is. It would be one thing for the film to represent this quickly, but the movie spends some time to really showcase all the ways her mother appears to be absent from her life. And this is crucial to understand the overall story, which builds slowly and surely. However, the film has this wonderful build up but then seems to go a little off the deep end for the climax. It was so subtle up to this point and it made this scene feel a little ridiculous compared to everything else that we had seen. But the movie thankfully then goes back to a softer, mysterious, and subtle tone for the conclusion.

Martyrs Lane is a sumptuously subtle tale about grief, love, and religion that has a slow burning story and a softer, but no less horrifying, supernatural experience for the viewers.

Watch it.

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Martyrs Lane is available to stream on Shudder starting September 9, 2021. 

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