MARTYRS LANE is a horror movie that premieres at Fantasia 2021 and will be on Shudder in September. Do not miss out on this horror treat! I was looking forward to watching this one, but it was even better than I expected. Read our Martyrs Lane movie review here!

MARTYRS LANE is a new horror movie that features a ghost story. And not just any ghost story, since it’s a young girl who is visited by the ghost of another young girl. It’s all very mysterious at first, but you should catch on to key elements of the mystery very quickly. You’re meant to and it doesn’t take anything away from the scary and creepy parts.

This horror movie premieres at Fantasia 2021 and plays at the Edinburgh film festival the day after. Horror fans should count themselves lucky that Shudder was quick to grab this one. It will be out on Shudder in September 2021.

Continue reading our Martyrs Lane movie review below.

A ghost story – and then some!

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot. However, it’s no secret that Martyrs Lane features a ghost story. And that particular element of the storyline works brilliantly. From being a sweet and funny encounter way up to becoming a rather sinister experience. The child actors are amazing which is why this works so well.

Serving as the backdrop for the ghost story is a very dysfunctional family. Or rather, a family with a mother who is clearly not well and seems very depressed. The father, a Vicar in the local church, is a kind and gentle man who does his best to be there for both his young daughter and the teenage daughter.

Speaking of these two siblings, their relationship is perfectly portrayed. A little girl and a teenage girl almost always have moments of both love and care as well as taunting and irritation. All characters are fleshed out in impressive ways – even those with less screen time.

Martyrs Lane – Fantasia Review

Kids in horror movies

Many horror fans have issues with kids in horror movies. Usually for one of two reasons. One, because they think the kids are bad actors. Or, two, because they can’t handle watching kids hurt or sad.

If you’re opting not to watch horror movies due to reason one, then you’ve been watching the wrong movies. There are so many examples of brilliant child actors. From Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense to Jacob Tremblay in Doctor Sleep. Or how about Sennia Nanua in The Girl with All the Gifts who certainly made a huge impact on me!

Also, the entire cast in both the new It adaptions and the Stranger Things series. I mean, come on, they are brilliant!

However, if you’re not watching horror movies starring kids due to reason number 2, then I must warn you about Martyrs Lane. The young actors in this movie are absolutely mind-blowingly good and they do get hurt, scared, and sad.

The star is Kiera Thompson as Leah (the living girl), but Sienna Sayer (as the ghost) also made quite the impression. And the teenage sister is portrayed absolutely wonderfully by Hannah Rae (Broadchurch, Carmilla).

Do not miss out on Martyrs Lane

Ruth Platt is the writer and director of Martyrs Lane (and yes, the title is explained through the story). She started out acting and was in the Academy Award-winning The Pianist (2002). Ruth Platt had her feature film debut as a writer and director back in 2015 with the horror-thriller The Lesson and then made the drama-comedy The Black Forest in 2019.

With Martyrs Lane, she has crafted a horror movie that works exceptionally well, and it is definitely worth recommending.

I was looking forward to watching Martyrs Lane but didn’t expect it to be anything special. Just a good horror movie with a ghost story at the heart of it. However, it was much better than I’d ever expected. Especially the two young girls in key roles were brilliant. You do not want to miss out on this horror treat!

MARTYRS LANE had its world premiere at Fantasia 2021, where we screened it. It will also be out on Shudder on September 9, 2021.


DIRECTOR: Ruth Platt
WRITER: Ruth Platt
CAST: Denise Gough, Sienna Sayer, Kiera Thompson, Hannah Rae, Steven Cree


Young Leah (Kiera Thompson) lives in a vicarage with her family. It’s a busy environment during the days, buzzing with people and activity. At night, it becomes an entirely other place. Dimly lit, deathly quiet, empty, large spaces filled with melancholic energies. Every now and then, Leah’s awoken by her mother’s screams, echoes of unspoken traumas that continue to breathe inside her. Leah’s been trying to connect with her better, but she knows that something unnameable stands between them. One night, a spectral child (Sienna Sayer) appears at her window. Fragile, inquisitive, bearing feathered wings on her back. They form a friendship and the visits become regular. A game is initiated, where Leah is given a nightly task, each bringing new layers of perilous understanding. Of herself, of her mother, and of the dark things that separate them.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard