'Digging Up The Marrow' Unearths The Scares [Review]

digging up the marrow movie review

I'm not sure how he does it, but he does. Adam Green's latest outing, Digging Up The Marrow, shows that he can succeed where most would fail. The film, in theory, should not have worked. A "found footage" movie about monsters living under the Earth's surface sounds like a SyFy special and as Kane Hodder says "found footage, that's never been done before". But its not a "found footage" film, instead it's a fakeumentary and presented in such a way that you can't help yourself from believing in it. 

The film is shot in perfect documentary form and opens up just like many of the documentaries that are out there. You have the quick montage of interviews at conventions all dealing with the topic of monsters and then you're tossed into the main story. Adam plays a more amped up version of himself while Will Barratt plays the role of the friend who is forced into a situation that he has no desire to be in. The two travel to meet William Dekker (Ray Wise) because he has sent Adam notebooks filled with notes and drawings of real monsters that live in a place he calls The Marrow. From there on out it is a hunt to find and capture on film these real life monsters.

Ray Wise is the only person in the film to play a character. From the moment he starts ranting about The Marrow you instantly believe he is William Dekker and not Ray Wise playing Dekker. Wise brings to the screen a sense of truth and range that only a seasoned actor like Wise can bring. The way he stares into the camera with a deadpan look on his face really puts you in a mindset that this guy has seen some shit. Having Wise play this character is hands down the best decision made for the film, because the performance he brings is award worthy.

Will Barratt pulls double duty in the film. Not only is he the cinematographer, but he is the third lead. Barratt is behind the camera most of the time, but you can always hear him talking and he delivers some pretty funny lines. I'm not sure what to give him the most credit for - his cinematography or his acting- because they are both exceptionally well done. Barratt made the most out of his single camera and he really worked it to his advantage.

Adam is playing a caricature of himself, but at the other end of the spectrum compared to his Adam from Holliston. He is more concerned with spending Will's money and proving the existence of monsters than anything else (there is a great line about spending all of his money on the project). Adam's comedic timing is on point and the back and forth between him and Barratt make for some funny situational humor. Also the sarcastic looks given to the camera just nail the tone of each scene........(What's tone?)

The creatures are limited with their screen time, but when they appear they own the film. I have no clue how they did it, but these were some of the best and original monsters I have seen in a long time. And you know it's a fake documentary yet you can't help getting hit with the jump scare when the monster rear their heads. Not only did I jump, but I jumped twice. That right there should attest to the monsters' awesomeness and the films ability to draw you in. 

The movie really works in a way that I could have never imagined and Green deserves a huge round of applause for taking something old and making it new again. Yet I do have one gripe with the film and that's the ending. The film has so much steam moving forward to that final act, but somehow it loses a bit when it comes to the climax. Just when you think everything is going to play out and get explained your left with a weird awkward ending. Wise's character feels abandoned and left incomplete with no real resolution, but there is a silver lining in the last scene that I can't mention, because it would spoil the fun. 

Rating: 8.5/10.0 Stars

Rich Stile @TheDevilsEyes1

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