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Digging Up the Marrow

5.81 h 28 min201516+
What if the ghastly images and abominations haunting our collective nightmares actually exist? Writer/director Adam Green sets out to make a documentary exploring this tantalizing premise after being contacted by a mysterious man named William Dekker (Ray Wise).
Adam Green
Adam GreenAlex PardeeRay Wise
Science FictionSuspenseHorror
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Will BarrattTom Holland
Adam GreenAlex PardeeCory NealAndrew Mysko
RLJ Entertainment
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4.1 out of 5 stars

403 global ratings

  1. 54% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 21% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 12% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 7% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Stephen O'BlenisReviewed in the United States on February 20, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Nightbreed Meets Found Footage
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Featuring numerous horror luminaries from both sides of the camera, Digging Up The Marrow has one of the most unique set-ups in found footage films. Horror director Adam Green (played by horror director Adam Green) is approached by the obsessed William Dekker (played by Ray Wise, one of the few actors in the movie to play someone other than him- or herself), who wants Adam to film a documentary based on his theory that monsters are real. He feels they've been here all through human history, born of normal human parents but then mutating, and they live in an underground world called The Marrow. Despite some reluctance from his fellow filmmakers, Green takes on the project, thinking little will come of it but thinking just Maybe, wouldn't it be astounding if some of the kind of creatures we see in movies and mythology turned out to be real? The motivations and the mental stability of Dekker are called into question, but on the expeditions he takes them on, they in fact end up recording some very strange sightings. The problem is, almost anything today can be convincingly fabricated by special effects, so how do they know this isn't some bizarre hoax?

I was a little hesitant about seeing this one because I shy away from features showing how movies are made (I never watch the 'making of' or 'behind the scenes' features on discs), fearing that knowing how it's done might steal away some of the movie magic. That isn't too much of a problem here. We are with the filmmakers on their journeys and in the editing room, but it doesn't go indepth into the technical side of it, so my worry was for nothing. This is like a found footage version of Nightbreed in many ways, and it's a must-see if you're into films that blur the line between reality and movie, like Wes Craven's New Nightmare and Shadow Of The Vampire. And it's really fun to let your imagination get carried away to wild extremes by Digging Up The Marrow. Like, if the human actors played themselves, how do we Know the creatures didn't do the same?
4 people found this helpful
John's Horror CornerReviewed in the United States on April 18, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
A charmingly pleasant horror-comedy mockumentary about real monsters living among us.
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This is a very charming, unpretentious, self-aware, playful mockumentary. This film was far from what I expected, but no less enjoyable for it. I’d love to see a sequel about the creatures of The Marrow.

A breath of Horror Convention fanfare sweeps us away into nostalgia as we reflect on how and when and why we came to love horror. And if these monsters that we’ve come to love, or at least some monsters analogous to them, were in fact to exist then where would they exist?

At first, this feels like an absolutely real documentary. I love Grave Encounters (2011), but it’s so slickly written and shot; the complete opposite of Marrow, which is affably clunky and takes the time to reveal presumably true aspects of a director’s relationship with the fans and their physical fan mail. Describing his reaction to his fans’ love of his films and the genre, real-life horror filmmaker Adam Green (Hatchet I-II, Victor Crowley, Chillerama) is likably awkward in front of the camera as he introduces this documentary effort to tell the story of William Dekker (Ray Wise; The Lazarus Effect, One Missed Call, The Butterfly Room, Chillerama, The Rift)—a man who claims to have discovered “real” monsters.

Dekker explains on camera that these monsters are of human origin and they exist in The Marrow, an underworld hundreds of feet below the surface. This is where you know this film is not only not a real documentary, but a goofy satire. Dekker’s story is at times well thought out yet beyond unfeasible, but delivered with a straight face. From here things get hokey, clearly a deliberate comedy. I find the tone charming even if overtly goofy at times.
Accompanied by his real-life cinematographer (Will Barratt), Green’s interviews and fieldwork dig deeper into Dekker’s ridiculous claims… until they find actual evidence of a creature!

There is no gore at all and creature effects (heavily concentrated in one great scene) were limited by a very low budget. But there some very provocative visuals nonetheless and the movie hardly needs for us to see anything at all. This film instead thrives on the wacky entertainment value of watching Dekker’s story unfold. The story has its developments. They’re silly, but they work for the tone of the film. And everything builds to a final act that is goofy, ridiculous, deliberately stupid, kinda terrible and kinda wonderful.
2 people found this helpful
wylieReviewed in the United States on March 27, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
The story line is similar to The Griffith park monster
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A similar story about members of Barnum's freak show living in caves at Griffith Park in the off season this is well known to people who lived in Los Angela's my father managed Yellow Cab and ran groceries up the hill by the observatory for years to the same pay phone used to call dispatch we would get a list go to the store and drop them off they paid my father almost the same as his weekly salary some were scary to a 7 year old child my sister only remembers the monkey a pet of one of them I remember the clown and the balloons he blew up for me Dad would drink with them for a minute they maid their own booze he said years later but needed his help to get it right they treated us like royalty then poof gone forever someone was killed in the park I remember Dad saying the cops blamed the coloreds it took years before I knew what that meant.......
6 people found this helpful
Wolfboy_54Reviewed in the United States on January 18, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
DIGGING UP THE MARROW is good fun if you know what you're getting into
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DIGGING UP THE MARROW is probably one of the more misunderstood, underappreciated genre films of recent years. A lot of that fault belongs to Image Entertainment in misrepresenting the film with quotes like " 'The scariest movie of the past two decades'--UK Horror Scene." That quote built viewer expectations in the wrong direction, setting it up for a fall. Had Image been a little more honest and compared it to THIS IS SPINAL TAP or simply described it as a parody of TV paranormal documentary programs, DIGGING UP THE MARROW would probably have a better reputation.

Director Adam Green and cinematographer Will Barratt play themselves. Ray Wise plays a crusty old crackpot--or is he?--named William Dekker. Dekker approaches Green with the idea of filming a documentary about a community of severely deformed humans (or creatures) who live in an underground civilization called The Marrow.

A big monster fan himself, Green swallows Dekker's tale with great enthusiasm, even when There is good reason to doubt Dekker's claims. Dekker imposes restrictions on their filming that make it difficult to catch any footage of the creatures. Eventually they do get a shot of one of The Marrow dwellers and the movie shifts gears. It starts becoming a bit darker. Wise's performance also masterfully alternates between quirky-funny and disturbing. The last shot of Wise reminded me just how powerful an actor he truly is.

The film is a little bit slow through the middle of the film. For those with patience, there is still a bit of fun on the journey as everybody from Adam Green's colleagues to his wife try to convince him just how dumb it is that he believes Dekker's claims. For Green that is just the point. Like Fox Mulder, Green simply WANTS to believe. Successfully filming these creatures would validate a life-long interest in monsters. The dialog is very witty at times, but still retains a feeling of unscripted spontaneity. There are also a few nice cameos along the way.

The conclusion is ultimately satisfying. Probably a better payoff than I've seen on some of the "true" paranormal programs this film sends up. Some creatures are shown, but not so much as to overstay their welcome. For those who want to see the creatures more, there is an excellent extra detailing the process of translating Alex Pardee's moody creature designs into some amazing sculptures.

I am not well versed enough in all of the technical aspects of DVD mastering to comment on it in an informed way. I will say the presentation is really good. Contrast and color are generally excellent, even if some of the night scenes seem a little too dark. However, I that that may have been intentional.

If prepared for what this film actually offers versus how Image misrepresented it, I think you'll have a good time with DIGGING UP THE MARROW.
14 people found this helpful
UlshaReviewed in the United States on May 2, 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
By a very narrow fan base FOR a very narrow fan base
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This is quite simply a fan film to the horror industry made by people who also happen to work in the industry. The psychological/suspense aspects are well done at points and there are moments I felt through the actors in their responses. The monster creation is very inventive showing traits of other well known monsters, movie and folklore, while still being their own. These items are not most of the movie however, which comes across like a plodding making of a documentary-documentary on a topic that only deeply invested fans would sit through. It tries to be subversive in presenting the question are these things real or just an elaborate hoax by a deranged man but the ending was so forced it came off corny ruining any dawning horror from the crew that I rolled my eyes hard enough to hit the back button.
This should have been a YT short.
One person found this helpful
Richard A. ColeReviewed in the United States on March 14, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Just fun
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This is just a fun film, that doesn't pretend it is "serious art". Just a "Mockumentary or fake documentary to bring up some scary fun. Not to be taken too seriously. When I saw Ray Wise, a well known actor, as a Ex -policeman, and the tone of the film was a documentary, I knew it was not real or a movie in the real sense.
It was fun and a bit manic, but not to be taken as real. This comes from Green who makes above average B-movies. Not meant as an insult.
The ending was cool, his wife, now ex, was sexy and beautiful as ever. Loved the ending.... Great rear ….
This was a fun film, sort of serious, but not. Sort of a self deprecating thing. I doo look forward to what he comes up with next.
MRossReviewed in the United States on May 4, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Maybe not unique in concept, but certainly in execution
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Horror movies in the style of a mock-documentary (which is different than a mockumentary) is not exactly unique, but to have one that pulls off not only great monster designs but a great use of the concept is.

Instead of plying the viewer with monsters and saturating the movie until they no longer care, they are used effectively and when appropriate, making them far more effective and eerie. Some of the monsters have a slight Japanese aesthetic about them, lending further creepiness to the designs.

It's tempting to rate the movie a full 5 stars in an attempt to marginally counteract the unfair rating it currently has, but I'll stick with my honest opinion and rate it a 4. It's vastly superior to similar horror flicks, and is underserved at the current rating.
2 people found this helpful
Muffin McFurryReviewed in the United States on September 29, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Fun movie, better than I expected!
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I had a free trial for the Shudder channel and watched this movie. It was very entertaining, but be warned that there is a lot of dialogue and suspense, but not a lot of monster showing. The monsters that were shown seem to be practical effects rather than CGI, which was nice. The movie is a documentary style with a bit of mystery, and I wish there had been more explanation about the ending. Way ching this reminded me of Troll Hunter, another fake documentary movie, but I personally think Troll Hunter is better.
6 people found this helpful
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