Mary (Movie Review)

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

PLOT: David (Gary Oldman) is a struggling blue-collar captain looking to make a better life for his family. Strangely drawn to an abandoned ship that is up for auction, David impulsively buys the boat, believing it will be his family’s ticket to happiness and prosperity. But soon after they embark on their maiden journey, strange and frightening events begin to terrorize David and his family, causing them to turn on one another and doubt their own sanity. With tensions high, the ship drifts off course, and it becomes horrifyingly clear that they are being lured to an even greater evil out at sea.

REVIEW: One of the main reasons that I was excited to check out this fright flick MARY was the director, Micheal Goi. The man is perhaps best known for his work on Ryan Murphy's FX horror anthology series American Horror Story, sure. But I know the man as the maniac behind one of the foulest, most revolting films I have ever seen: MEGAN IS MISSING. If you haven't seen that film – and want to experience some real trauma from the safety of your living room – check it out. For all others that might want to keep a shred of happiness in their lives, make sure to skip it! You've been warned. But all of that strange backward praise aside, Goi is one hell of a brave director so I was waiting on pins and needles to see what he came up with next. Enter MARY. Too bad. 

"All aboard for jump scares and dream sequences!"

Anyhow, yes, Goi was one of the main reasons I tuned into this picture. But the main reason was to see LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL and SID & NANCY actor Gary Oldman's return to horror. With bit parts in films such as HANNIBAL, THE UNBORN, and RED RIDING HOOD, Oldman is no stranger to our beloved genre, but the man is hands-down forever to be remembered for his role as Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA. Oldman is as good as ever in this movie and that sits in a strange place with me. In fact, all I could think as the film was playing out was why did he choose THIS movie as his return to horror? I never found out. 

So Oldman is great. Go figure. How about the rest of the cast? Well, the always reliable (if a bit off-putting) Emily Mortimer (SHUTTER ISLAND, SCREAM 3) brought her A-game to the movie and tried to make it all watchable. No dice. Jennifer Esposito is wasted here, and Stefanie Scott (INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3) looks good in a bikini (that's all she's given to do). Owen Teague (IT) is given one of the film's juicier roles, but the movie literally just takes him out of the picture once things start getting interesting and lets us know his (off-screen) fate much later on as if the actor just up and left the set in the middle of shooting and the powers that be behind the scenes had to think of some way to write him out. Basically, with these quality actors onboard, this is a film that would have been better suited as a family drama. But forcing in a handful of lame jump scares and dumb dream sequences and calling it horror ruins the whole affair. And it's not normal that I've ever wished a horror movie kept the horror out of the recipe.

But along comes MARY…

The look of pure horror

In doing a bit of research I found out the film was written by a dude by the name of Anthony Jaswinski. If you don't recognize the name, it's all good. The man is behind one fun flick THE SHALLOWS and then a handful of mediocre motion pictures such as SATANIC starring Sarah Hyland, BACKWOODS starring Haylie Duff, and Brad Anderson's VANISHING ON 7TH STREET starring Hayden Christensen, John Leguizamo, and Thandie Newton. Most telling however is that he is also the mind behind the incredibly uneventful flick KRISTY with Haley Bennett and Ashley Greene. If you're one of the peeps that saw that film and (like me) thought "Where's the beef?" then I'm sure you'll have a good idea of how MARY goes down. The plot runs A to B to C without much to chew on during or afterward. I kept waiting for some kind of depth to emerge from the film's screenplay – but alas, the only thing it has up its sleeve is a boring, see-through "surprise" ending. Weak.

Also telling is that this film comes to us from producer Tucker Tooley, who is best known for films such as A PERFECT GETAWAY and HELL FEST. Again, let mediocrity reign. In the end, the movie is mostly a bore. But I think it's a flick your mom will love. Better yet this is best described as the kind of horror movie people that don't like horror movies enjoy. If only as a one-and-done on a stormy night. The production values are sound as is the acting all around. The film sports a killer premise but does little to nothing with it. For all of this, I think I'm going to go ahead and give MARY the exact middle of the road rating it deserves. Let's move on with our lives. MARY will be hitting theaters, VOD, and streaming on October 11, 2019.

Source: Arrow in the Head

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