A troubled young man returns home for Christmas in an attempt to reconcile with his estranged sister. Her alleged boyfriend shows up and turns the holiday dinner into a dark, disturbing night of violence and terror.
It's Christmas time. Roger returns home to reconcile with his younger sister, Brooke, who he hasn't seen in almost three years. He arrives with his new fiancée, Gwen, only to find out that Brooke is nowhere to be seen. To make matters worse, he's greeted by his estranged friend, Charles, and his ex-girlfriend, Kate, who have come to meddle in the evening's festivities. Suspicious of their intentions, Roger tries to keep his volatile temper at bay while everyone waits for Brooke to get home. Brooke's alleged boyfriend, Marcus, enters the house unexpectedly and assures the group that Brooke will be there shortly. As time passes, and her whereabouts still remain unknown, the night takes a disturbing turn. Roger's unsavory past comes to light as Marcus's true intentions explode into a shocking display of violence and deception. Written by
A Prime Example Of How A Bad Ending Can Ruin A Good Movie
Directed By: Bob Hardison & Rich Robinson
Starring: Ross Kurt, Marc Rose, Scoot McNairy, Jade Dornfeld, Samantha Shelton, & Frankie Ingrassia
MPAA Rating: "Not Rated"
Roger (Rose) is a troubled young man who returns home for Christmas to try to patch up his relationship with his sister, Brooke (Ingrassia). He brings with him his new fiancée, Gwen (Dornfeld). Brooke's friend, Charles (McNairy) also shows up with Roger's ex-girlfriend, Kate (Shelton). But, when they all arrive, they find that Brooke is mysteriously missing and her supposed boyfriend, Marcus (Kurt), has taken her place. What they do not know is that, as they bicker and argue, Brooke has been tied up in the bathroom with her head smashed open and that Marcus has plans for each of them. Everyone has something to hide and, before the night is over, everything will be exposed. As tensions mount and the guests realize that there is something wrong about the entire evening, Marcus unleashes his violent and terrifying plan that will shake them all to their cores and reveals his ultimate deception. 'Tis the season to eat, drink, and die merrily.
I had never heard of "Marcus" prior to my viewing of it and I didn't even realize that it had been released on DVD here in the United States until just a few hours ago. For the first hour or so of "Marcus", I was completely enamored with the various dramatic happenings that plagued the characters and the various ties that brought them all together. As secrets began to unfold and motives were revealed, I kept anticipating the ending more and more. I could not wait to see how the movie was going to draw everything to a close. Who is Marcus? Why is he there? How is he connected to these four people? Then, the movie ended and everything fell apart. There was a glaring lack of a comprehensive or even passable conclusion. Very little was explained and the ending actually makes us have more questions than answers. The problem is that we were never given enough information to make our own assumptions. In the end, "Marcus" just didn't gel.
I liked the performances in "Marcus" for the most part. Ross Kurt plays the title character or Marcus and I have mixed feelings about the overall performance. On one hand, I thought he did a fine job at the beginning, balancing regularity with evilness but, by the end, I really wanted him to branch out and really show the darkness behind the character. It never happened, unfortunately. Marc Rose gives an emotional, vulnerable showing, especially at the ending. I was quite surprised. Scoot McNairy (love the name, by the way) does a fine job. It was a standard performance. Jade Dornfeld and Samantha Shelton weren't really given that much to do and, like McNairy, gave rather average performances. Nothing very difficult was required of either of them, but they handled the easy stuff well enough. Frankie Ingrassia (love that name too) has shockingly limited screen time, though she plays a very pivotal role. She hit the nail on the head and really made me sympathize with her character despite not being on screen much. I bought it.
It is very rare that a movie completely wins me over and then, in the final fifteen minutes, completely loses me but "Marcus" did just that. I was quite bitter when the end credits rolled and I simply sat there, staring at the screen in disbelief and disgust. What started off as a mature, character-driven suspense thriller quickly dissolved into a bland, pointless, and completely pretentious mess. In deciding how I should write this review and whether or not I should recommend this little title, I knew that I had to be as straight-forward as possible. I could not beat around the bush. I enjoyed this movie for the first hour and then hated it after that. I do not recommend it in any sense of the word and I can't even say that you should watch the beginning and then turn it off before the ending because half of the fun of the beginning was trying to figure out how the film would end. I now know why I had never heard of this movie before but now I can only wish that I had never seen it.
Final Thought: "Marcus" falls apart in the last act.
Overall Rating: 3/10 (C)
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?