• Digging Up the Marrow



    Released by: Image Entertainment
    Released on: March 24th, 2015
    Directed by: Adam Green
    Cast: Adam Green, Ray Wise, Will Barratt
    Year: 2014
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    The Movie

    Digging Up the Marrow probably shouldn't have worked in theory.

    The picture-directed, written and starring the New England born filmmaker Adam Green-is shot in the overused, faux documentary style, complete with shaky POV camera shots and startlingly scary jumps, yet ultimately succeeds as the most complete and well actualized film of Green's young career.

    This is due to the palpable feeling of dread and anxiety which permeates Green's semi-meta tale of his own monster documentary, which takes a severely creepy wrong turn when Green and his cinematographer Will Barratt are contacted by an eccentric shut in by the name of William Dekker, who claims to hold proof that monsters are indeed real, and live in a series of underground metropolises he has dubbed "The Marrow."

    Digging Up the Marrow possesses trace amounts of similarities to Clive Barker's Nightbreed in this regard-particularly the imaginative and unique sketches Dekker presents Green and Barratt during their interviews - although this film focuses more upon the documentary film process and the doubts of its creators when it comes to their subject Dekker and his wild, unreliable claims of these shy, deformed monsters which may or may not be dangerous to their human counterparts living above The Marrow.

    Still Marrow manages to keep the audience engaged from beginning to end, despite the fact that these monsters aren't Green's real focus. This is thanks in large part to the talents of veteran character actor Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, Robocop) as Dekker, who brings plenty of pathos and believable emotion to the role. Wise works wonderfully against Green and Barratt, despite having the years of experience under this belt, with the whole cast coming together with relative ease and familiarity.

    Green's trademark humor and New England wit make appearances just at the right time, providing proper levity without dragging down the pace. Meanwhile, a number of guest appearances from the horror community-including director Mick Garris, actor/stuntman Kane Hodder and Troma's own Lloyd Kaufmann-reinforce the documentary and meta feel to the movie, while the monster hunting sequences ease the listener back into the fictional plot without coming across as jarring or awkward.

    It must also be said that the special effects are quite effective, creepy and shocking, understated when they need to be and impacting when called in to shock. The film does suffer from a bit of nauseating shaky cam during some of the more tense scenes, though, and it would've been nice to actually see a bit more of the action from a cinematic point of view, rather than a first person handheld shot.

    These criticisms are minor when compared to how much Digging Up the Marrow succeeds at resonating with horror fans, many of whom desperately want to believe that monsters are indeed real... although, as this film proves, maybe we should all watch out for what we wish.

    Visual/Audio/Extras

    Image Entertainment's Blu-Ray of Digging Up the Marrow looks great, with a sharp and focused picture with deep blacks for all the night shots. The widescreen 1.78:1 picture is framed nicely during the action sequences, while the DTS 5.1 audio is loud, distinct and clear without any unnatural hiss. The disc also arrives with a ton of extra features, including over thirty minutes of deleted and extended scenes, complete with introductions and explanation by Green.

    The director also provides a fun and informative audio commentary with Barratt, Wise and artist Alex Pardee, whose illustrations influenced Dekker's monster descriptions for the film. Said monsters also get their own separate featurettte on the disc, rounding out a packed presentation with love, care and proper attention.

    The Final Word

    Digging Up the Marrow is a fun film which deserves to be seen by diehard monster and horror fans. Yours truly has never been a fan of Green's work in the past-be it the Hatchet franchise, Frozen, or the Holliston T.V. series - which makes this nonbeliever all the more impressed by this lean, smart and well actualized creep fest.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!