The Reel Review


Twenty years after she and her mother escaped from being held captive in the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the now adult daughter of that same convict known as the infamous survivalist The Marsh King, takes matters into her own hands to protect her family when he escapes from prison, intent on reuniting with her. Daisy Ridley and Sam Mendelsohn stars in this mystery/thriller based on Karen Dionne’s 2017 novel.

Gil Birmingham and Daisy Ridley in The Marsh King’s Daughter

The Where the Crawdads Sing vibe is strong in this serviceable mystery which, despite a lethargic, meandering screenplay and some pretty far-fetched plot developments, is still an entertaining and suspenseful watch. The first 20 minutes starring Brooklyn Prince (Cocaine Bear, The Florida Project) as the titular daughter are particularly riveting. Ridley plays the adult Helena with just enough mystery to keep viewers wondering what exactly she will do when she reunites with her manipulative convict/father.

Daisy Ridley in The Marsh King’s Daughter

The third act is a pretty predictable fare, as Helena heads back to her childhood cabin in the woodlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where – surprise – dear ole dad is waiting. Slow pacing bogs down what could have been a riveting climax. But even so, it’s a decent watch on a rainy day.


• Daisy Ridley stepped into the lead role after delays led Alicia Vikander and director Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) to drop out of the film.

• Both Daisy Ridley and Ben Mendelsohn have starred in the Star Wars franchise – Ridley as the lead character Rey in the most recent sequel trilogy and Mendelsohn as Director Orson Callan Krennic in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

• Although set in Michigan, The Marsh King’s Daughter was filmed on location in and around the Ken Reid Conservation Area in Ontario, Canada.


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