Now, I’m fairly adept at using my imagination, and can assemble my own theory as to what happens when a movie is left open-ended like that. In this case, however, newbie writer/director Sean Durkin seems to be very absorbed in his own pretentiousness. He attempts to create the illusion that Martha’s memory may be that of a false one, and that her present fears are the underlying aspects of an unbalanced mind. Ultimately, the only thing that is really in need of some serious adjusting here is Durkin’s story. Much as Martha Marcy May Marlene is having a hard time escaping the cult, I’m experiencing great difficulties fathoming how this picture got made.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases this Fox Searchlight flick in a fine 1080p transfer, with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack that does a more than adequate job in presenting Martha Marcy May Marlene’s rather minimalist dialogue and overpowering music score. Special features for this dreary, lackluster drama include the short film Mary Last Seen, which is something of a prequel as it focuses on the same cult; several featurettes about star Elizabeth Olsen and the making-of the film; a music video for a song played in the movie (oy vey!); and trailers for this and other Fox releases.
In short: unless you’re one of those truly ostentatious types who thought Inglourious Basterds had a deep message about “Would you kill Hitler if you could?” (and there are people like that out there, I can assure you) you’ll probably want to avoid Martha Marcy May Marlene outright.