I want to give this movie some credit: while a lot of found footage movies are incredibly cheap, The Monster Project had a budget for its monsters. I've absolutely seen worse effects in other movies, and the creatures here didn't look like ass. The problem is that this movie is really, really proud of its monsters. It takes every opportunity--once things kick off at the halfway point--to show you them in action. But that becomes a problem, because the more you see clear shots of a creature, the less frightening it becomes. We become inured to it and can grow bored with it. And I know this feels more like a third paragraph thing rather than an intro, but I wanted to get that out of the way first.
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.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask for some paranormal activity (pun intended) from a movie with “Paranormal” in the title. Well, Paranormal Investigation has other ideas. Sure, it’s the story of a young adult of ambiguous age being possessed by an evil spirit, but there are zero special effects in this movie. Well, okay, there are SOME, but they’re just the cameras glitching slightly when the possessed guy walks past them, and then a mostly invisible body passing by a camera at the very end. So what else does the movie offer? Well… not much.
I’ve watched a fair amount of movies. I’d even go as far as to say “a lot.” Every week my friends and I gather and watch three (or so) as part of our Movie Night, I’ve been hitting up my local theater every week to see more current movies, and then I’ll sometimes watch something on Netflix in my free time. That adds up over the weeks, months, and years (Movie Night is over a decade old). So when I say that I’ve seen Phoenix Forgotten before, I don’t mean that literally, but instead that it reminds me of three other found footage movies: one I love, one I’m still ambivalent on, and one I hate.