A monster’s design can make or break a movie. There are countless times where I’ve been watching a movie and once the dreaded beast is shown to the audience it’s… bad. Sometimes REALLY bad. So I want to start off by saying that the majority of the monsters in Digging Up the Marrow look great! It’s just a shame that they couldn’t be in something better.
The movie is a mockumentary–a fictional film that purports to be a documentary–following real life horror writer/director Mr. Adam Green as he investigates the claims of William Dekker (Ray Wise), a man who says monsters are real. See, he believes that people born with freakish deformities disappear from society and live in an underground civilization he calls “the Marrow.” After a few nights of stake outs produce nothing, Adam gets frustrated. But then bam! He’s got a shot of a monster! They are real! Impatience to see more leads Adam to pissing off Dekker, and also pissing off the local monster hive. They get attacked by a number of creatures, but they manage to escape. Dekker disappears soon after. Months later we get an epilogue of sorts, where a naked and caged Dekker shouts that monsters aren’t real, clearly under duress as the next shot is a monster delivering the camera inside Adam’s house while he sleeps.
There’s a mystery throughout the movie of who really is William Dekker, but it pales in comparison to the fact that monsters are real. Sure, he lied a lot about himself, and Adam suspects that maybe his son was a monster, but who cares? Dude discovered monsters, and has seen dozens of different ones. Once you have proof, who he is should be an afterthought. But so much time is put into the question of who this man really is, so it’s extra frustrating when it all goes nowhere.
The movie feels at times felt very… self-indulgent, I suppose. We see the life of horror writer/director Adam Green playing himself, showing how much the fans love him and how many connections he has in the industry. There are multiple reference to Adam Green’s TV show, Holliston, and a couple scenes seem to serve no real purpose other than to let the audience know that the show exists. But this movie took 5 years to make, and by the time it came out Holliston was on an hiatus. 5 years later, and there still hasn’t been a third season. The scene where his producer tells him to stop working on this “documentary” and writer more Holliston scripts is now unintentionally hilarious for all the wrong reasons.
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