Digging up the Marrow (2014)

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As a Frightfest favorite director Adam Green is probably most well-known for his love letter to classic American slashers in the Hatchet series and recent sit – com Holliston but his world premiere Digging up the Marrow was a whole other animal entirely. Shrouded in mystery up until the world premiere screening, his latest fare is a meta documentary exploring monster art that takes an odd turn, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality. While genre exercises testing audience’s susceptibility to documentary hoax have already been explored with Blair Witch Project (1999) and Shooting Bigfoot (2013), Digging up the Marrow has similar fun with its concept, drafting in Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, X Men: First Class) as an eccentric monster expert who believes that monsters exist in subterranean cities called ‘The Marrow’, recruiting skeptic filmmaker Adam Green to film his discovery of one of its entrances.

The most enjoyable element of Digging up the Marrow is Adam Green’s blurring of documentary and reality, with the film itself being inspired by a specific fan who insisted Green’s character from Hatchet ‘Victor Crowley’ was a real individual and that he had misrepresented his true origins. This real – fan is replaced in Digging up the Marrow by ex – police chief William Dekker (Wise) who interrupts the production of Green’s monster documentary claiming that monsters are indeed real and through various interviews with Green, demonstrates the first-hand knowledge of monsters he has observed at the entrance of ‘the marrow’ through drawings realized from memory. Green (as any horror fan would be) is intrigued going on a monster expedition with Dekker, setting up obligatory woodland cameras, shooting in the woods at night and reviewing footage with his editor and Kane Hodder (Friday 13th). While revealing the trajectory of the movie will take away 100% of the fun it’s safe to say that the relationship between Dekker and Green produces some incredible dramatic scenes and if monsters were real let’s just say they could probably be constructed from extremely impressive practical effects.

While many horror flicks emerge straight on DVD format, Adam Green’s relationship with his fans is justified in Digging up the Marrow, providing Frightfesters with an an event movie that could be experienced outside the discourses of marketing and internet spoilers,  subsequently heightening the effectiveness of the faux documentary style and the sheer unpredictability of the plot. Although it will be incredibly tempting to keep your ear on the pulse of this movie, it’s probably best to approach it dry to truly experience its shocks, laughs and Green’s ability to tap into primal fears you didn’t even know existed. Bravo Adam Green. Bravo.

Director: Adam Green
Cast: Ray Wise, Adam Green, Tom Holland, Kane Hodder, Mick Garris
Runtime: 88 mins
Country: USA

Film Rating: ★★★★½

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