The Secret of Marrowbone – Film Review
Director: Sergio G. Sánchez
Writer: Sergio G. Sánchez
Stars: George MacKay, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton
Jack (George MacKay) is the eldest of the four Marrowbone siblings. They have only lived in their sprawling, dilapidated mansion for a short time. Their father is gone and their mother died shortly after they arrived in America. They have to keep her death a secret or else the family will be separated. They came to America to escape a terrible secret in their past, but has that past proved more difficult to escape than they imagined?
This film is the work of writer/ director Sergio G. Sánchez, who is previously best known as a writer. He wrote the screenplay for The Orphanage back in 2007. He has a number of shorts and TV movies to his credit but this is his feature debut.
The film is set in the late 1960s, with images of the moon landing being one of the few ways to place the film. The early segments have the feel of a Famous Five (Enid Blyton) novel, as the young family explore their new surroundings. Expect lashings of ginger ale and jolly hockey sticks! They encounter a local girl called Allie (Anya Taylor-Joy), and she becomes the love interest for Jack. There is a strange, unsettling presence in the house though, with the mirrors covered for fear of the ghosts that live inside them!
This film has a number of very good plot twists, and I imagine it worked well on the page. It just feels a little slow and ponderous when you have to sit through it all! The scares work well, but mostly as they’ve lulled you into such a warm, cosy space in the previous scenes. It does have its moments, but at just under two hours, much of it could have been left on the cutting room floor.