Morjana Alaoui, Mylène Jampanoï & Catherine Bégin, directed by Pascal Laugier.
I do not like films that rely solely on scenes of torture, what have sometimes, perhaps sensationalistically, been termed torture porn. Films like Hostel and its sequel do nothing for me. And, when I first started to watch this film, I must admit I did have misgivings that this too may come under that category.
It doesn't, though it shares many of the characteristics. There is graphic violence, but for me what sets it apart is the quality of acting, the naturalism of the filming and the startling twists in a well thought out plot, all of which makes sense at the end of the film, which never fails to shock and surprise. Even the extremes of suffering which some of the protagonists are forced to undergo has a thoroughly understandable if bizarre explanation by the climax.
Well worth the effort of putting oneself through the harrowing scenes that fill so much of it. It's a film that never pulls its punches or sells itself out and leaves you thinking about it long after it's finished.