Thursday, 19 July 2018

Review: The Secret of Marrowbone

The Secret Of Marrowbone (aka Marrowbone)
Cert: 15 / 110 mins / Dir. Sergio G. Sánchez / Trailer

After honing his gruesome quill on 2007's The Orphanage, Sergio G Sánchez's first feature-length offering is an unevenly pleasant surprise. Predominantly younger casts can be a challenge, especially in the horror genre, but George MacKay, Anya Taylor-Joy, Mia Goth and Charlie Heaton make for a formidable line-up, with the 9yr old Matthew Stagg threatening to steal their thunder at any moment.

The Secret Of Marrowbone has been slightly mis-marketed as a horror movie when it's closer in tone to a Victorian macabre thriller (the trailer is particularly disingenuous). The inevitable jump-scare sequences are efficient in their own way, but are by far the least interesting aspect of the film. But what really sells this is the aforementioned cast, often just playing off each other and the creaking, rotting sets.

Try not to dwell to long on the real-world mechanics of various plot points, though. Best approached as a ride to be enjoyed than a destination to be second-guessed, Marrowbone is a well-made film of a slightly unsatisfying story. But come for the performances and atmosphere, and you won't go home empty-handed...

So, what sort of thing is it similar to?
This has the feel of The Others, The Awakening and the Famous Five on glue.

Is it worth paying cinema-prices to see?
Yes, but you won't lose too much by watching it at home.

Is it worth hunting out on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, though?
It is.

Is this the best work of the cast or director?
George MacKay and Anya Taylor-Joy are always great value for money, and continue to be so here.

Will we disagree about this film in a pub?
Given its lukewarm reception elsewhere, that's a possibility.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There isn't.

Yeah but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 2: Anya Taylor-Joy is in this, and she was in The VVitch with Ralph 'Garmuth' Inseson and Kate 'nameless First Order monitor' Dickie.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
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