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2018-03-15 16:53

What it's about:

Four siblings seek refuge in an old home after the death of their mother, only to discover that the house has another, more sinister, inhabitant.

What we thought:

An abandoned house in the middle of nowhere in rural America, four siblings, a mother who dies from a mysterious terminal illness and a criminal psychopath father - are all tropes that work well in the horror genre.

Sergio G. Sánchez’s (The Impossible, Orphanage) feature directorial debut Marrowbone has all the ingredients for a good horror, but it lacks the seasoning to deliver a deliciously scary bite. 

We meet the Marrowbone family when they move into their new home under suspicious circumstances. 

The farmhouse is mother Rose’s (Nicola Harrison) family home and upon starting their new life they make a promise to forget their past. 

But their happiness is short lived when Rose dies and she makes eldest son Jack (George MacKay) promise to take care of his siblings: Billy (Charlie Heaton), Jane (Mia Goth) and Sam (Matthew Stagg).

In order to stay together the siblings pretend that their mother is still alive until Jack turns 21. 

But their story takes a turn for the worst when a bullet shatters a window in their house. 

There’s a six month time jump and when we meet the siblings again something sinister has happened – the house is dilapidated, there’s a mysterious stain on the ceiling that keeps spreading and all the mirrors in the house are covered.

Jack himself has changed too – he suffers from blackouts and has a wound on his forehead that doesn’t heal. 

The story of what happened in the six months - that the viewer does not see - unfolds at a very slow pace. 

At the same time there’s a sub-plot love triangle involving a lawyer Tom (Kyle Soller) who handled the sale of the house and Jack’s girlfriend Allie (Anya Taylor-Joy). 

Besides all of that, more about the Marrowbone’s background is coming to the fore. 

And for good measure there’s a haunting/ghost added for effect. 

There is a lot going on in this film and when the big plot twist (total cliché) happens towards the end of the film it’s not a big payoff. 

When it comes to the acting the young cast deliver okay, believable performances. 

The film’s biggest flaw is the mish mash of genres – it is not sure if it wants to be a family drama, a ghost story or a psychological thriller. 

While the film has its entertaining moments there’s just not enough to sit through the almost two hour running time. Wait for this film to be available of DVD or internet TV rather. 

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