When career-criminal Marley unintentionally kills a young mother protecting her daughter during a job-gone-wrong, he becomes (quite literally) haunted by his guilt. After a subsequent stint in prison, Marley is back on the streets again, but he is not alone. Stalked by the resentful apparition of Ana (Ana Ularu), the young woman he killed, he battles with his own psychological hell, and his desire for redemption.
Marley (Frederick Schmidt) quickly finds himself back within the control of his manipulative gang boss Brendan Doyle (John Hannah), who has a special new job for him – one that will bring him face to face with Jess (Skye Lourie), Ana’s now teenaged daughter, and throw him deep into a sinister criminal conspiracy.
Directed by Justin Edgar (We Are Freaks and Large) The Marker is not your typical urban crime movie. Set in the gritty underworld of Birmingham, the film attempts to mix violent action with moody psychological intrigue. With Ana’s “ghost” guiding Marley’s hand and lurking in the background of scenes, it is left ambiguous as to whether her appearance is genuinely supernatural, or simply the tormenting manifestation of Marley’s guilt-torn mind. Whatever the explanation, Marley’s character embarks on an emotional and dangerous task to redeem himself in Ana’s eyes, turning against his own lawless employers to protect young Jess, whilst fighting his own demons.
Schmidt is an excellent choice for the leading role, evoking the image of a young Tom Hardy, and giving an understated realism to Marley. Alongside him, John Hannah, who is well known for his comedic and romantic roles in Four Weddings and a Funeral and Sliding Doors, now shocks as the psychopathic bully, Doyle, while Ana Ularu also impresses as the ominous and controlling feminine spectre, despite having hardly any dialogue.
The Marker is not a film without fault, but deserves due recognition for its creativity, and the talents of its aptly chosen cast, having earned its place as a new addition to an ambitious genre of British cinema. Backed by Creative England, Sharp House and Met Film Post, and having garnered interest from the likes of Edinburgh International Film Festival and the European Film Market in Berlin, Justin Edgar’s project has proven itself as a prominent low-budget contender.
The Marker is released nationwide on 29th September 2017.
Watch the trailer for The Marker here: