Director: Ruth Platt
Writer: Ruth Platt (Screenplay)
Starring: Denise Gough, Anastasia Hille, Steven Cree, Hannah Rae, Donna Banya, Catherine Terris, Keira Thompson, Julie Barclay
Plot: Leah, 10, lives in a large vicarage, full of lost souls and the needy. In the day the house is bustling with people; at night it is dark, empty, a space for Leah’s nightmares to creep into. A small, nightly visitor brings Leah comfort, but soon she will realise that her little visitor offers knowledge that might be very, very dangerous.
Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Martyrs Lane starts as we meet 10-year-old Leah (Thompson) who lives with her family Sarah (Gough), Thomas (Cree) and Bex (Rae) in a large vicarage, that has seen a number of lost souls pass through the walls.
Leah does start to get a visitor at nights, a young girl (Sayer), who comes with her own stories and being the only person in the house that is the same age as herself. As the visit become more frequent, Leah wants to learn more about the girl, which will start to show the truth about who she truly is.
Thoughts on Martyrs Lane
Characters & Performances – Leah is the little girl that is often left feeling isolated in the vicarage, with nobody else her age around. She tends to get teased by Bex, while her mother is unstable. The visits from the young girl become the highlight of her life, as she finally gets someone her own age to chat to and play with, with the communications become deadlier as the Leah must learn the truth. Kiera Thompson does give us one of the strong young star performances of the year, one that will show us the pure loneliness she is going through, with the curiosity mind she has. The young girl that visits Leah is the next best character in the film, as she brings the friendship Leah desires in life, while holding onto a giant mystery. Elsewhere we get the family of Leah’s who have their own secrets that are being used to hide the truth from Leah.
Story – The story here follows a young girl that will start to get visited by another young girl in the night, giving her a friendship, she is lacking in life, only for a secret waiting to be driving the friendship. This is a story that will offer up plenty of mystery that relies on the suspense created about how the interactions occur. They mystery around it is very interesting, with us only learning any information as Leah does, showing how the adults in her life, have kept the truth from her, showing just how much they will do to protect her. This does create a double edged sword, as we do need a little bit more information about what is going on, but the mystery is interesting to see unfold.
Themes – Martyrs Lane is a horror thriller that is filed with an uneasy suspense around what is happening with the visit, getting small hints and reveals around what is happening. We are always wanting a bigger impact in the scare, but the suspense will drive us to wanting to see more. The location does play into the film with the vicarages being a place that would have plenty of history around it.
Final Thoughts – Martyrs Lane is a genuinely creepy horror that will give us plenty of suspense.