So this movie was recommended to me by Amazon when I was ordering my fix of horror movies. I hadn’t heard of this movie before and had never heard of it mentioned when talking to horror fans of my other geeky film friends.
I don’t claim to be a horror fan but I am a movie fan. I love nothing more than a film to catch my attention, stimulate my imagination and wow my senses, and this is where horror movies come in. It’s not the scaring that attracts me it the insane imagination of the writers, directors and actors that bring a story to life on the screen, and you have to admit most horror films are normally insane!
I feel that horror and thriller movies (good ones I add) grab me and throw me into the writer’s imaginary world and make me grip the chair as all my emotions are played upon in a daring scary of a life and death tail. The idea of this movie caught my attention when reading the synapses before quickly adding this title to my virtual shopping cart and ready to state the line of ‘It was only £3.99! That’s a steal.’ To my wife when the large Amazon package arrives in a few days (it was actually only £3.99).
So the film is shot as a documentary style footage with acclaimed American horror director Adam Green (Hatchet 1-3, Frozen [not the Disney one], and Holliston) playing his self. Adam is going through his fan mail and comes across a letter from a fan called William Dekker (played by Ray Wise) which includes sketches, maps and photos of details to an underground metropolis called the Marrow. Dekker claims that this is the home and save haven for all monsters, freaks and disfigured people of the world and wants the world to know that we are not alone out there and something creepy living right under our own feet (well America’s feet anyways). Adam arranges a meeting with Dekker for a chat and becomes intrigued with the story he is hearing. The thought that all of this could be real is long a dream come true for Adam, so he agrees to put the filming of his TV show Holliston on hold to investigate and Dekker’s findings.
This film has some great moments that drew me into the story wanting to more about William Dekker and his life, with some outstanding acting from Ray Wise that bring life and mystery to the strange character Dekker is. I really enjoyed this story and for a low budget movie the rest of the acting really wasn’t that bad at all, apart from the odd other horror directors that spoke to Adam. The thing that stole the show for me was the animatronics and makeup effects that made these monsters look so lifelike. The attention to detail and the back story that must have gone into designing the monsters to make them that much more true to life then you normally see in other monster movies. Green used a fantastic team and it really brought this movie to life and any monster movie fan who has seen this movie would agree.
Some people might say this is a monster hunter film, and it is filmed in a documentary style so what’s new? This has been done before so many times. Well I have to admit I was left thinking that at the end of the film even though it’s up there with ‘Troll Hunter’ as one of the best, until I watched the special features on the DVD! Turns out that this film only came about by accident. Adam Green was given a pamphlet by an artist called Alex Pardee while at a horror convention. This pamphlet contained drawings of monsters and the story of the Marrow, this was small time artiest Ales Pardee’s own work and he had a stand at the convention selling his art. Adam Green was so impressed with the strange monster drawings and the tale of the Marrow he decided to contact him and talk to Alex about making this into a movie. Alex was on-board and signed up to by Art Director to the movie.
The movie was filmed in-between lots of other projects and took around 4 years to be finished. The idea that someone who has no ties to the film business had his work transformed onto the big screen just from meeting one of his hero’s at a horror convention and having a chat makes me still believe that anything is possible if you work had enough.
A monster movie that after watching makes you go to bed with the hall way light still on and jump every time the wind howls around the house. A has a fantastic origin story of its own, perfect for all monster movie lovers.
By Jim (Squidbeak) Parkhill