Acclaimed Spanish screenwriter Sergio G. Sánchez takes to the director’s chair for his feature debut The Secret of Marrowbone, a mystery drama that follows a close-knit family threatened by their dark past. In dire need of a fresh start, siblings Jack (George MacKay), Jane (Mia Goth), Billy (Charlie Heaton) and Sam (Matthew Stagg) move from Britain to rural America, setting up home in the Marrowbone House where their mother grew up. When tragedy strikes, they must protect each other from a sinister presence.
The titular ‘secret’ of the Marrowbones serves as a plot-device to drive the narrative forward, and while the story becomes overly convoluted by a lacklustre love-triangle sub-plot, the smart implementation of traditional horror elements makes for a tense cinematic experience. Sánchez skilfully executes jump scares and other genre tropes, crafting genuinely frightening scenes in the eerie haunted-house setting. Despite some heavy-handed storytelling flaws, the piece works as a suspenseful chill-ride and a solid showcase for rising acting talent.