It’s an incredibly progressive film with a clear goal, and that allows any stylistic choices to add to the story rather than distract
The Secret Of Marrowbone offers a truly blended set of genres and tropes rivalling most similar features to come before it. With elements of horror, thriller, drama and mystery, pigeonholing the film into one specific style is wrong way to analyse a film of such ambiguity. By providing a powerful young cast with a distinct and provocative new story, The Secret Of Marrowbone trumps many period dramas at even their own refined natures, becoming a film with endless appeal, both emotionally and as a form of entertainment.
Jack (George MacKay) and his family are sent to rural America, escaping their past lives and now elusive father. Pleased to remain as a family, the group keep themselves out of the way and safe from harm. That is until their mother’s shock death, leaving their future together in doubt. Now, determined to stay a family even more, the siblings keep their mother’s death a secret, stopping their separation until Jack’s 21st birthday. But with the authorities lurking, their task begins to become increasingly difficult to carry out.
The brilliance of the film comes from its incredible ability to suck the audience in. The slow drip of information and vital details, key to unlocking Marrowbone’s secrets, brings about an uneasy but continuous flow to the narrative. It’s an incredibly progressive film with a clear goal, and that allows any stylistic choices to add to the story rather than distract.
The young cast showcasing the Marrowbone children’s story are both powerful and realistic, and the wonderful Anna Taylor-Joy acts as a great gateway into the real world for them. The majority of the film’s thrills come from these five, and without such inquisitive performances the film would come off in a very different manner.
The Secret Of Marrowbone is certainly not the horror it looked to be originally billed as, but this expansion into other genres and styles gives it the wonderful feeling of a film with intent. It’s originality very much helps, along with its cast, but undeniably, it is a very good production offering something different to the current sea of similarity.
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