Digging Up the Marrow (2014)

Biography, Drama, Fantasy
Ray Wise, Adam Green, Will Barratt, Rileah Vanderbilt
A documentary exploring genre based monster art takes an odd turn when the filmmakers are contacted by a man who claims he can prove that monsters are indeed real.
  • RLJE/Image Entertainment Company:
  • N/A Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 20 Feb 2015 Released:
  • 24 Mar 2015 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Adam Green Writer:
  • Adam Green Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles:


Odd, experimental horror movie or… "Documentary"6/10
Adam Green, the upstart horror fan boy filmmaker behind Frozen and the Hatchet movies, directs this mockumentary about his love of monsters and how it leads to a strange old man called Decker (Ray Wise of Twin Peaks and Jeepers Creepers 2). Green plays himself as himself, not as a cartoonish parody as he did on his now defunct TV series Holliston. And we follow Green and his trusty cameraman as they record Decker's ramblings about the secret, subterranean society of monsters that lives beneath our world. Decker (a name presumably referencing David Cronenberg's legendary monster hunter from Clive Barker's Nightbreed) even claims to have found an entrance to this other world, a hole in the ground near a cemetery which he calls the Marrow.

Digging Up the Marrow is a fast paced, entertaining little movie that functions as a sort of subversion of the done to death found footage sub genre. But that also brings me to my main problem with the movie. I just am not sure what Adam Green intended to do here.

By playing himself, and having several other notable genre names cameo as themselves, people like Kane Hodder and Tom Holland, it seems that he wants to blur the lines between fact and fiction. However, by casting recognizable character actor Ray Wise as the fictional character at the center of all this, he completely ruins the illusion making it obvious from the start that this is wholly a work of fiction. So why make the movie in this fashion? I honestly have no idea.

But, I did enjoy watching the movie and Green does manage to prove at least two things here. The first is that he actually can "act" although he is playing himself, he plays himself as a likable, slightly awkward dreamer whose desperation to believe leads him down a rabbit hole into increasingly dangerous situations. The second is his wholehearted and rather admirable dedication to practical special effects. There is no cheesy CG here and what you see is obviously tangible and quite well designed to boot. Digging in the Marrow may feel a tad disposable, more like a time killing side project than a true feature, but it's still more entertaining and engaging than a lot of low budget crap out there. So check it out and have a good time.
Better than I expected, less than I hoped for.5/10
Horror is my favorite genre of movies, unfortunately for me, because there really just aren't that many good, watchable, horror movies produced and released - by watchable, I mean it holds your attention enough you WANT to see what happens, and you're not just watching it because you don't want to turn it off (which I've done, a lot) halfway through because it sucks so bad it just isn't entertainment, it's torture. (An idea for a horror movie maybe?Torture as in strapped to a chair and made to watch horrible horror movies with your eyelids taped open) This held my interest

enough to watch it straight through, mostly because certain scenes had great potential, but it was never realized. There isn't any gore, but there really is a creep factor - the "Monster Hunter" comes off at first as an eccentric man, perhaps a bit (well, a lot) fixated on the subject - the 2 guys who are making the film are believable, and play themselveswell. The idea behind it is kind of cool, but there just aren't enough scenes (none, really) that will make you jump out of your chair, leave the lights on when you go to bed, or make the hair rise on the back of your neck. It's a watchable movie, certainly worth the $2.99 rental on Amazon, but not good enough to see in a theater. The ending of the movie had some good potential, but, it ends with lots of unresolved questions. Bottom line: Unambitious, had a lot of unrealized potential, but it still entertaining. Don't rent it expecting to be totally freaked out - it just really isn't that kind of movie, but interesting enough to sit through. The film makers give the impression that they couldn't decide how to end it, and as a result, it had potential to be great ending, but they just didn't flesh it out enough. I like indie horror movies - some are awesome - WER, an indie flick, was one of the best werewolf movies I've seen in recent years for example, but this just is middle of the road.
OK movie, very bad effects4/10
The movie is actually not so bad, it's watchable .. it makes for a decent B horror film, but it's not much more than that!

The "acting" is somewhat believable but when it comes to the visual effects of the "monsters" it just looks like they didn't try .. it looks literally like rubber masks and third rate practical effects.

Again with all of that said.. it was still entertaining for the most part, it's better than some of the other drivel I've seen :)

If you like B movies and you some time to kill then this is worth a go, just don't go into it expecting to be scared or to see something you should take very serious.

I'm going to add this to my collection of films to watch when I have friends over and we're doing a b movie marathon :)
A glorified mix of behind-the-scene and mockumentary with little scare or thrill5/10
Adam Green would probably better off making Hatcher 4 or actual documentary of his work. Digging Up The Marrow is an average found footage film with reliance of authenticity as film makers find an odd conspiracy theory. It gets a bit too meta with inside joke and backstage production, but there isn't much excitement since more than half of the content is simple bantering. What few scares it has are only half effective and numbingly too late.

Plot involves a real production house, they are called by a strange old man claiming that he has seen another world filled with monsters. Adam Green and his colleagues investigate this story with generous amount of interviews and vague camera shots. Since it's a mockumentary, genuine reaction might contribute more, but as the story progresses the yelling and debating become stale incredibly fast. Script is more true to life, yet it's often too sporadic to form any suspense.

The better part of the film is behind-the-scene features. It's nice to see more of the assembly parts of filmmaking, be that artistic design, editing process or a few nit bits from comic-con. Whereas the horror plot isn't that appealing or convincing in any way. Unfortunately, there is hefty amount of the playtime that's allocated for this horror tale which lacks real tension. There are a couple of good moments, but even those are expected gimmick other found footage films have already done, and ironically the film itself is aware of this.

Camera work is not great, it predictably uses first person view or some manners of CCTV. The most agonizing part of this subgenre, shots in the dark and shaky cam are also presented here. Although some of the effects could build the atmosphere, but halfway point after hearing multiple banters the film becomes tedious.

If it's a complicated way to show passion for the work, there has to be better ways to convey that message. A montage of authentic production from old films would be more fascinating than pseudo horror like this.
Somewhere between a documentary and a found-footage film7/10
-Digging Up The Marrow (2015) movie review: -This mockumentary follows a filmmaker who meets a man who claims he can prove 'monsters' exist.

-I think mockumentaries are either more fun documentaries or more fun found footage films. Either way, Digging Up The Marrow kept me from sleeping, sooo….

-The story is presents just like any of the shows about finding Bigfoot or whatever. So even though it may seem like a cliche film premise, it is presented in a way that seems like it is going to be the same as all the others. It kinda is, but it admits it is.

-The pace was fine. I did not get bored.

-None of the acting from the unknown cast was memorable or great, but I did not think anybody was bad. Especially having seen some of those monster quest shows.

-There was not a lot of music, but whenever there was music, it almost broke the fourth wall because there should not be music in mockumentary/found footage films.

-The practical effects in the film are impressive. And that was what the entire film was banking on, so I was not let down. The film also banks on a few pretty cliche jumpscares, but there are some unconventional scares that were effective.

-My biggest beef with the movie is, and I won't spoil anything, the old guy's idea of the monsters. Basically this sorta-crazy Scooby-Doo villain claims that all monsters are made of social rejects and people who had birth defects and deformities. Basically he thinks there is a big underground society (called The Marrow) of them not. That premise really unsettles me. Because it is one thing to just have the idea of monsters, but it is another to have the idea of formerly deformed people underground. Makes it creepy to me, but not in a great way.

-Digging Up The Marrow had a few things going against it, such as its overall cliche premise and unimpressive elements, but the film is successfully creepy and unsettling. I felt like this film had an amount of effectiveness to it, and therefore I will say that Digging Up The Marrow is worth watching on Nexflix. (Not worth paying for, but worth seeing.) -It holds a PG-13 rating for some scary images and some language. Nothing too heavy.