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THE MARSH
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Jordan Barker

Starring:
Gabrielle Anwar
Justin Louis
Forest Whitaker
Joe Dinicol
Niamh Wilson

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Claire writes children's books for a living. She is currently touring to promote her current book, and is now haunted by horrible visions . To escape these visions, she retreats to a quiet town named Marshville, which is actually the source of her nightmares.
Is it good movie?
Bleh. The Marsh is really a sort of made for tv type of film which will pass under your radar. You can ignore the Night Listener rip-off DVD art, and even ignore the fact that Forest Whitaker is attached to the production.

Now don't get me wrong, the whole thing is fairly watchable, with okay production values, but the film just rings the crap out of the predictable bell until your ears ring. Whitaker plays the helpful psychologist who helps Claire interpret her dreams, and he does a fine job, but I don't know what he was thinking attaching himself to this script- it had to be before Last King of Scotland.

The PG-13 scares are in abundance, via quick cuts, boo scares, and other such overused horror cliches. You'll notice the old "long hallway" shots. This isn't always a bad thing, necessarily. I watched the flick with a few folks who got their scare on something fierce a good few times. And not to purposely spoil things, but I thought the whole "dumping the bodies in the marsh thing was pretty decent.

At times Your mind will boggle at the stupidity (bravery?) of some of the characters, and many times that scare that has been built up will simply turn out to be another character- not a ghost. You'll pick up on the "scary little girl" vibe that came from other Japanese horror flicks. You may even notice similiarties to flicks that were lousym like The Return or The Forgotten.

The Marsh is shot rather well, with very good cinematography, but that doesn't save anything. The acting is decent enough, but considering the script, I suppose it was the best they could. Also, there was a lot about the plot that really bugged me. When all is said and done, the story makes it seem as if the entire town Claire has visited never even went looking for missing persons when somehing like that would happen. I found that pretty hard to swallow. The antagonist is also just so poorly written, I couldn't get past it.

If you were describing this flick to someone, you'd say "So it's about this girl who has bad dreams, and then she goes to this place, and then ehhh..you know, same old stuff."
Video / Audio
The video transfer is sharp and spot on. What would you expect from Sony?

Audio is also top notch stuff, with immersive surround for all to hear.
The Extras
Standard behind the scenes stuff is to be found in the originally named Behind the Scenes. It runs almost a half an hour long, and is nothing but back patting, which almost manages to make you think you'd watched another film...a good one.

Want trailers? You get a ton- Incubus, Clive Barker’s The Plague, Population 436, Hostel, Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, Seraphim Falls and The Messengers.
Last Call
An ok movie wrapped up in a very nice cinematographical package (is that a word? cinematographical?), The Marsh is mediocrity at its best, with nothing to hold your interest. You've seen better films than this, and the trend will continue. If it's on at 2 am on one lonely night and your woman isn't satisfying you, watch it- but don't say I didn't warn you.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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