Martyrs Lane is a drama clad in a Halloween costume. It might be gothic and supernatural in its packaging, but beneath lies all that lies a saga of grief that unfolds slowly in just above 90 minutes. The film was written and directed by Ruth Platt.
‘Martyrs Lane’ Plot Summary – A Tale Woven by Grief
Leah, a ten-year-old girl, lives with her parents and sister in a house that almost qualifies to be an old mansion. The walls are old, and the wounds run deep. There is a sort of unrest that you notice from the start. Leah often gets up in the middle of the night due to bizarre and terrifying dreams. She hears this peculiar noise, almost a buzzing sound, from somewhere close to her mother. Her eyes fall on this locket that her mother wears, and something attracts her towards it.
One night she takes that locket and opens it to find strands of hair inside. She takes it out from it, and under the fear of being caught, she throws it outside the window. We see a perpetual tension on Sarah’s face(mother) after she cannot find those strands of hair. It felt like she was holding onto something, and the disappearance caused tumult inside her.
The Curious Case of Rachel
One night a little girl wearing a white dress knocks on Leah’s window. She has wings attached to her dress, which she says is just a prop and that she will have real ones soon. The conversation they have is clad in ambiguity, but it leads Leah to find out certain objects that, in turn, lead her closer to the truth. She starts understanding why her mother acts in a certain manner. The dots start to connect, and the truth becomes more evident.
‘Martyrs Lane’ Ending Explained – Is Rachel a Ghost?
Martyrs Lane takes us through the discomforting experience of seeing death from the perspective of a child. Rachel is a personification of loss. She is a spirit, a ghost, or whatever you may want to call her. Sarah had lost her daughter in a car accident. She wasn’t able to cope up with the loss. All she is left with is excruciating grief. She is not able to let go. Leah understands that, and that is why she asks her mother not to let the past horrors define her present. Rachel makes Leah believe that her mother does not love her, and the actions of Sarah actually validate that fact. But then there is a realization, and Sarah understands that what’s done is done and nobody can exercise any control over that. Leah guides her mother to a new beginning.
Also, an interesting comment is made about the dissolution of the monasteries in 16th century England under the regime of Henry VIII. The words suppression, grief, and loss are woven intricately into the atmospherics of the film.
In Conclusion – Is ‘Martyrs Lane’ Worth Your Time?
This film is not your staple jump and scare. The moments of horror are actually conversations between two girls. So it will not have that startling effect that you might be used to having while watching a horror flick. The film is threaded by grief and moves at a slow pace. Its strong suit is the drama that slowly unfolds.
Leah and Rachel are the stars of the movie. Their poignant performances are the highlight of this film. They display a kind of maturity that makes the whole act extremely real and believable. The narrative lacks the emotional buildup and has its low points. But the film has its heart in the right place if you are aware of what you are singing into.
Martyrs Lane is a 2021 Drama Horror Film written and directed by Ruth Platt.