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Review: MARRTOWN (2017)

Secrets, all families have them. From scandalous behavior, fighting on the wrong side of a war or meddling in the dark arts, all manner of skeletons lurk in even the most respectable of family’s closets. And of course, sometimes they don’t stay in them. That’s where stories like MARRTOWN start out.

A duel, a curse, a “disappeared” child and a locket with occult powers. These are all in Theo Burton’ (Kristin Mitchem THE AXEMAN OF HENDERSON COUNTY) family history. And her life isn’t going much better, her father has just died, leaving her mother a wreck. Her grades are suffering from it, but Professor Daniels (Jeff Little KHANGE THE GAME) is understanding. He’ll give her a little extra credit if she gives him a little extra. Her friends are supportive, suggesting everything from reporting him to blackmailing him.

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But those aren’t her only problems. She’s plagued by nightmares, her neighbor Missy (Maria Olsen, ASHES, SOUTHBOUND You can read Ellen’s interview with Maria here) is telling everyone who will listen that Theo is a witch, the latest in a long line of them. And her own poking into her family history is making it sound believable. When her Uncle Jason (Bob Butler THE AXEMAN OF HENDERSON COUNTY) gives her a familiar looking locket all Hell starts to break loose.

MARRTOWN gets off to a rough start. The historical scenes never feel authentic, the actors and dialogue just don’t feel right. It also doesn’t help that the body jewellery on the Native Americans are obviously modern, factory-made pieces.

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Thankfully, once we move into the present day, things get better. The plot is fairly straightforward family curse stuff, with Theo being connected to the locket’s original owner, Theodosia. Of course, others want to use the locket’s powers for their own purposes. Nightmares that have real-world effects, etc. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but director Rich Rule (NO KNOCK LIST) and writer Zeilo Vogta, (who also plays Angus) pull it off reasonably well.

For a low budget, regional production MARRTOWN isn’t bad. Don’t expect Hollywood production values, and you won’t be disappointed. MARRTOWN is currently playing festivals and is available on DVD. Check the MARRTOWN Facebook page or its production company, Dizzyboy Productions for details and updates.

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