Sunday, 9 December 2018

MARIANNE

DOESN'T CONTAIN MUCH IN THE WAY OF SPOILERS

Okay, okay, it's not terrible. We're not talking the depths of genuine rubbish here: we're not talking Ted V Mikels here. But it is ultimately a mostly boring family drama from Sweden with only a light dash of the supernatural about it and a couple of brief appearances from Peter Stormare. Other than that it's pretty dull and about twenty minutes longer than it needs to be, and someone really should have taken a pair of garden shears to it.

Mostly Marianne concerns a man failing to communicate with his sulky teen goth daughter in the aftermath of (and indeed before) the death of his wife in a car smash, the exact details of which are kept hidden until the end. Is he being stalked in his sleep by a Mare, a vengeful spirit of Swedish folklore, or is it just a manifestation of grief and guilt over the accident and his broken family?

Stormare is usually good for some agreeable hamming, but not in this case: Marianne is a quiet, sombre and frankly miserable drama, it's not a horror movie and there's little fun to be had with it, so the performances are quite rightly restrained and non-theatrical. As a drama about grieving and family it's fine, and more successful than the horror movie it veers towards every often, but crucially it's advertised as horror and not gloom and glumness, and it's hard enough to care very much anyway given that our lead is not terribly likeable. Of minor interest.

**

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