MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Digging Up The Marrow’ Strikes Horror Gold


Film: Digging Up The Marrow
Starring: Adam Green, Ray Wise
Directed by: Adam Green

In a world where horror movie remakes, sequels, and flat-out ripoffs are going into production every single day it can be hard to believe there are any real monsters left to be discovered. It has been a decade since the universe gave us Victor Crowley, and far longer since an original monster has captivated audiences on a truly massive scale, but there is at least one man on this planet who believes there are many monsters we have yet to see. In fact, he’s seen them, and he knows where they live. It’s called The Marrow, and in his latest film director Adam Green digs up the truth behind its existence.

The premise is simple enough: After years of making horror films and receiving strange horror-themed gifts from fans, filmmaker Adam Green (playing himself) becomes obsessed with a letter from a man claiming to know the location of actual monsters. Not silver screen monsters, but real creatures unlike anything the world has seen before. The type of stuff that you only see in nightmares or movies, only walking on the same Earth you and I share each day. It seems crazy at first, but after a visit or two it becomes clear there is more going on than your common sense may allow you to believe.

Digging Up The Marrow is not as much about the pursuit of monsters as it is the love of them, and Adam Green really loves monsters. He’s built his career around this love, and it’s because of his clear passion for such things that he has built a dedicated following of fellow monster-obsessed fans. With this film he’s able to leverage that love and project it as obsession, which over time begins to take a toll on every aspect of his life. It’s not quite fiction, but it’s also not quite reality. The lines are blurred throughout, and you get the feeling early on that that is entirely the point.

While Green and his crew succeed with creating a believable universe for their story to exist within, the final film is not without its faults. There are several music cues meant to make light of hokey documentaries that quickly turn from cute to being just as annoying as the cues they are attempting to mock. Likewise, the story’s third act falls victim to a few too many cliches that similar genre pieces experience, but I will say the payoff is well worth the journey.

Artist Alex Pardee, whose work largely influenced the creation of Digging Up The Marrow appears in the film’s opening scenes as one of many people interviewed about their love of monsters. Fans of his work will no doubt be hoping to see his art spring to life, but I am not about to spoil the fun as to whether or not that ever happens. Just know there is more to The Marrow than either you or I could ever know, and that is part of what makes life fun.

Though I wish the film could better build and hold its sense of tension, Digging Up The Marrow is an undeniably unique cinematic experience that demands to be viewed at least twice. Filmmaker Adam Green has found the perfect collaborator in Alex Pardee, and together the two have introduced a new universe filled with possibilities both good and bad that I very much hope to see explored further in the future. The world needs more creative monsters, and with this film we’re able to find where such beasts are born. If you love horror, consider Digging Up The Marrow a must-see in 2015.


Review written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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