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The cast and director of Marrowbone share on-set stories, working with the first-time director, and standing apart in the horror genre

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The Secret of Marrowbone steps away from the typical jump-scare, gory horror film. It’s psychological and suspenseful, as Director Sergio G Sanchez states: “I think the film is very much a puzzle: there’s nothing shocking up front, but it’s almost like the horror comes from the cracks in the story.

“And once you put all the pieces of the puzzle together, that’s when the horror really jumps at you. So when you go home, and you start thinking about what you’ve seen, that’s when the film becomes really scary, and I think it’s a film that plants roots in your brain and sticks with you.”

As he explains, “my take on horror has always been based on emotion, actually. I think to establish a strong emotional link with the characters, that’s what makes the horrific elements really pop out. I think Marrowbone is a really original mixture of emotion and genre.”

Production for the film had finished some time ago, which clearly just made Sanchez more excited for the premiere. “I’m excited mostly because I haven’t seen the film in six months! After we finished editing, I had this stream of festivals and I never had a distance from it, so I think it’s the first time I’m going to get to watch it as an audience member with some perspective.”

The Secret of Marrowbone is Sanchez’s directorial debut, having previously been a screenwriter on productions like The Orphanage (1996) and The Impossible (2012).

“I’ve worked with the director before as a screenwriter, and I was really excited that he was finally directing his own vision of a script that he’d written himself,” said Nicola Harrison, who plays the children’s mother Rose, in the film.

Harrison also shared her fondest memory from set, which oddly was from “this scene where I’m dying,” she laughed.

“I don’t think that spoils too much since it’s in the blurb. We were filming in 36-degree heat, and I was under a quilt in the bed, with the lighting on me, and I had a skull cap on with the wig on top of that, and had on a nylon, sixties-style nightie… It was so hot. And it was quite an emotional scene, and at one moment, me and George [MacKay] were like, ‘Let’s go for a drink later’. We just started cracking up because it was such a bizarre moment.”

George MacKay and Mia Goth, who star respectively as Jack and Jane Marrowbone, had only great things to share about working with the first-time director.

“He’s so giving, and he just wants to create an experience as much as telling a story,” said MacKay. “It was amazing how much he would encourage us to explore every scene to the fullest.”

“[Sergio Sanchez] couldn’t have been any better, he was a dream. He was so giving and so thoughtful, and so passionate, and I think that’s probably the most important thing. He was so caring and just wanted to make the best movie possible, and was open to all ideas. It was very much a collaborative effort. And as an actor, I couldn’t really have asked for anything more than that!” said Goth.  

The cast clearly had a great filming experience, with Goth even stating that “what I’ve take away from that whole experience is the fact that it was the most incredible summer I’ve ever had in my life. And that, on top of the fact that we created this film that we’re all so proud of, that was done so beautifully… it’s just a rare opportunity to experience something like that. I feel very grateful for that summer.

“We were away from our homes and our families, we didn’t know the area, we were in this together and we just bonded and became great friends. And I think that a great testament to that is that two years on, we’re all still very close and still admiring and cheering for each other.”

MacKay could only concur: “We had the best time together in Spain. The location was really beautiful and we all really got on, so despite the scary story we had a really good time.”

The Secret of Marrowbone is out the 13th of July, distributed by Entertainment One. 

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