Horrortoberfest ’20 Day 27 – Digging Up the Marrow (2014)


There are plenty of “found footage” horror movies out there but I really like the way that this movie does the entire thing as a documentary. Not even like it was going to be a documentary but then everyone died and this is the found footage but like an actual documentary the whole way through. The meta use of it being by the actual studio, using the actual director and so on in the film is a nice touch.

William Decker contacts Adam Green of ArieScope studios saying that he has proof that monsters are real and that they live underground in a place he calls “The Marrow”. Decker claims that when deformed or “monstrous” looking children are born, society casts them off and they end up living in an underground society of monsters. While skeptical at first, they go along and start filming around where he tells them that he found an entrance to the Marrow. Even when they begin to see things they can’t explain, the crew just can’t fully accept the story and so they begin to dig deeper into what is happening.

While the production of the film isn’t bad, I am extremely uncomfortable with the monsters of the film being people with birth defects. Handled in a proper way, that could actually be an interesting commentary on how society rejects and casts out those that are different. Unfortunately, the “monsters” end up being like actual, literal monsters with retractable spider arms and what not that have animalistic roars. It is even hinted that Decker’s son is among those in the Marrow, which should add a humanizing quality to the whole thing but instead we get creatures in the dark. I guess at least it’s good that they didn’t base any of the monsters we see on real world deformities but they do show several pictures of actual children with deformities when Decker is explaining his theory.

Decker is played by Ray Wise, which is both a blessing and a curse for the movie. It’s great because Ray Wise is an amazing actor and adds a lot of depth to a character that could have been extremely goofy or one-note. It’s unfortunate that they got Ray Wise just because it immediately takes you out of the whole “documentary” feel of the movie since he is so recognizable. The art and design for the monsters in the movie was done by and inspired by the works of Alex Pardee and they are some gorgeous pieces. One of the weaknesses is actually the time they directly translate one of the art pieces into a monster and you lose a lot of the magic of the drawing.

While unique and an interesting watch, the movie loses points for way in which it handles the idea. Had they just gone with “monsters are real and they live underground” without the angle of them being deformed people, I think it would have played much better.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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