Learn How They Designed the Creepy World of the New Horror Film ‘Welcome to Marwen’ (VIDEO)

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brian-mcgee - December 6, 2018


In 2010, filmmaker Jeff Malmberg (Won't You Be My Neighbor?) introduced the world to the story of Mark Hogancamp, a man traumatized by a severe beating at the hands of some thugs, who retreated into a fantasy world created in his backyard. In the 83 minute film Marwencol, he gave us a complete picture of this damaged man who overcame adversity by creating amazing art that ultimately helped him heal from his wounds.

Hollywood saw that documentary too, and decided to remake it as Welcome to Marwen, a film with some of the creepiest special effects I've ever seen. Hollywood has turned this beautiful little tale about redemption into a "kill it with fire" horror show with cgi-Barbie dolls. Even worse, filmmaker Robert Zemeckis has rendered all of these (non-union dollar store equivalent) Barbie dolls to look like some of the film's stars including Steve Carell, Leslie Mann, Janelle Monáe, Eiza González, Merritt Wever, and Gwendoline Christie.

This looks abysmal. I've always appreciated Zemeckis' desire to blend cgi and live action, but this looks like a good concept that would've been disposed of in a third draft because it proved impractical. I don't see myself going on any sort of emotional journey here because there's a god damned Barbie doll sized Steve Carell talking to me and I think he wants me to kill my neighbors.

You can't blame the actor, but I think the timing of releasing this the same time as Vice undercuts Steve Carell's chances of getting an Oscar nomination. Carell is also terrific in the outstanding Beautiful Boy, another movie no one saw, and another one that won't get Carell his second Oscar nomination this year. None of this is to mention that Sam Rockwell is looking to be the supporting actor nominee to come out of Vice, which is where he got nominated this morning for a Golden Globe.

Welcome to Marwen, if you really must see it, opens December 21. See Marwencol instead if you're interested at all in this story.

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