MARROWBONE (2017) by Sergio G. Sánchez
“We are living in a grave”
Fear is the son of trauma. And that is precisely where the most terrifying of the matter lies. Know that the ghosts are not out there, but that they lurk from the other side of a mirror that returns a distorted image, broken by the cracks that our own hand has left in the glass. This has always been known by the great horror narrators, from Lovecraft or Poe to King. And in the cinema it has been the breeding ground of the proposals of, for example, M. Night Shyamalan, to whom it owes so much “Marrowbone” on an aesthetic and narrative level.
It’s not strange, then, that this debt with Shyamalan is also related to the genre film of J.A. Bayona. Not only in the obvious -Sergio G. Sánchez, director of “Marrowbone”, is also a screenwriter of “The Orphanage (El Orfanato)” as well as other Bayona films not ascribed to the fantastic as “The impossible”- but also in other more tangential relationships such as the one that resembles “Marrowbone” with Bayona’s latest film (without Sanchez script), “A Monster Calls (Un monstruo viene a verme)”, so both share the story “coming of age” marked by tragedy and traumatic experience.
However, what already prevented ” A Monster Calls (Un monstruo viene a verme)” from being a perfect movie (that excessive sentimentality and Bayona’s obsession with the dramatic underlining of all scenes through visual and musical oversaturation) reappears in “Marrowbone” , once again with the alibi of the presence of children and young people as protagonists that seems to force the film to start with that fairytale tone that, fortunately, closes with a bitter blow at the end of the prologue when the title of the movie appears on screen. Fear as a metaphor The gothic tale that masks a terrible reality and the viewers receives small doses of the elements that make up the different layers of story until they reach catharsis.
The film is, therefore, a new twist (which brings nothing new to the genre, beyond some interesting findings) to this idea of horror as an expression of the internal demons. As the film progresses, “Marrowbone” seems more and more intent on moving away from its interesting initial proposal to render an educated tribute to all the references to which it quotes in a more or less obvious way, and which produce a final sense of “dejà vu”, that the film is subordinated to the punch that may have its final turn. However, despite its failures, “Marrowbone” stands out as a film that hits in its atmosphere of Arcadia threatened and that only lacks an ending in the style of “Psycho” (much less self-indulgent and more devastating) to have left us with a better taste in the mouth. But this, I fear, are main words.
Traducido por: Eduardo Llorente.
Our rating: (3/5)