Marrowbone Trailer

Director J.A. Bayona brought some chills and thrills with The Orphanage back in 2007, but he had some help from screenwriter Sergio G. Sánchez. Now the scribe is behind both the script and the camera for a new rural haunted house thriller executive produced by Bayona.

Marrowbone follows a family who has escaped from an abusive father in Britain to the safe harbor of a small cottage in America known as the old Marrowbone house. After tragedy befalls the mother, the four children (George McKay, Mia Goth, Charlie Heaton and Mattthew Stagg) must fend for themselves while not letting anyone else in the vicinity know about their family’s loss. But as the Marrowbone trailer shows, the family has another more pressing concern as the kids learn they’re not the only ones living in the old house.

Watch the Marrowbone Trailer

Judging from the trailer, this has the same kind of vibe as The Orphanage, perhaps with more scares coming from the suspense of the unknown rather than any straightforward spirit or monster. Then again, maybe it’s just a finely cut trailer that successfully avoids spoiling many of the more frightening moments and keeps the true horror hidden for a reveal in theaters.

However, the reviews from the film’s debut at the Toronto International Film Festival were not all that kind. The Playlist notes that the first hour of the film sets up plenty of intriguing narrative balls in the air that will make you wonder how they will all come together in the end. But the review notes, “And then it doesn’t, and the denouement is all of them splatting down around so randomly it makes you feel a little bad for the ambitious but sadly underskilled juggler.”

ScreenDaily wasn’t impressed either as they note, “The directorial debut of Orphanage screenwriter Sergio G. Sánchez is powerfully frustrating, undone by an ornate storytelling style in which twists only beget more twists, all in service of some fairly obvious observations about guilt, self-deception and devotion.”

That’s a bummer to hear, especially when you also have The Witch star Anya Taylor-Joy starring in a key role, but maybe audiences will find it more satisfying than critics did at TIFF.

Here’s the official synopsis from when the film played at TIFF last fall:

Escaping an abusive father and a troubled past in Britain, Rose (Nicola Harrison) and her four children travel to an inherited home in rural America. The voyage is taxing on Rose and she soon dies from an illness. In order to stay together, the children plan to hide their mother’s death until the 21st birthday of eldest son Jack (George MacKay). He and 19-year-old Jane (Mia Goth), 18-year-old Billy (Charlie Heaton) and five-year-old Sam (Matthew Stagg) live in impoverished conditions as they keep their secret from the world. When a nosy lawyer comes poking into their lives, the dreadful truth about what is hiding in the old Marrowbone house comes to light. The only respite from the ghost that haunts the place is a makeshift fort, where the siblings hide together from the terror that surrounds them, and the friendship of their ally, Allie (Anya Taylor-Joy), becomes their only hope.

Marrowbone hits theaters and VOD on April 13, 2018.

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