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Dead Mary (2007)

DVD Cover (Peace Arch)
Director:
Robert Wilson Robert Wilson
Starring:
Dominique Swain Dominique Swain
Marie-Josée Colburn Marie-Josée Colburn
Steven McCarthy Steven McCarthy
Maggie Castle Maggie Castle
Michael Majeski Michael Majeski

4.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres / Traits: Horror, Supernatural Horror, Urban Legends
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Review by Chad
Added: November 28, 2007
There's just something about urban legends that usually translates into some damned fine films (Urban Legend excluded). Personally, I think it's because the basic elements of these stories strike close to home; who out there doesn't have a friend of a girlfriend's cousin who "tried that Bloody Mary thing once and wound up in a mental hospital"? Granted, you know that whoever told you that story is full of shit, but having heard it from someone just adds a little something to the overall movie-watching experience if you ask me. When you consider that Candyman tackled this same urban legend and produced what is - in my humble opinion - one of the best horror films of the last twenty years, I think it goes without saying that I had high hopes for Dead Mary. Sadly, I didn't quite get what I expected out of the movie, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The storyline for this one is basically Evil Dead as presented by a group of hip, young adults who set out for a weekend of premarital sex, booze, and drugs at the local lakeside cabin. Oh, and instead of that blasted book setting things into motion, it's a little game of Dead Mary that does it (because, you know, "Bloody Mary is the lame version of the game"). The weekend begins innocently enough, with plenty of sunbathing, drinking, and of course, a little game of Dead Mary to cap things off. Upon playing this game, one of the little ladies becomes possessed by the spirit of Mary, and from there, she spreads the possession around like a bad case of herpes... or Mary starts possessing other members of the group, the contraction method is never really explained. Regardless, it becomes a bit of a paranoid situation when they realize that you can't tell who is actually possessed until said person decides to ram a shovel through your stomach of rip off your face, so needless to say, it gets a little tense for all involved. Rounding out the cast is Kim (Dominique Swain), her ex-boyfriend Matt (Jefferson Brown), stoner Baker (Steven McCarthy), his Catholic schoolgirlfriend Lily (Maggie Castle), abusive boyfriend Dash (Michael Majeski), his wife Amber (Reagan Pasternak), and Eve (Marie-Josée Colburn), the only person without a significant other.

When I said that I didn't get what I expected out of Dead Mary, I'm referring to the fact that I was disappointed in regards to how the actual urban legend was almost entirely ignored in this film. When you think about how neat the concept could be and when you see the old hag on the DVD cover, one expects for it to play a larger part in the film than what it did. As it turns out, this is merely used as a stepping stone for the possession storyline, and based on the way that it turned out, the filmmakers could have done just about anything to set things into motion with similar results; however, I have to admit that sticking a poodle in a microwave probably wouldn't be the most believable of ways to start a storyline about demonic possession, so it's probably best that they decided to go with this one. Regardless, I would have liked to have seen this play into the storyline more than it did, but other than that, I did enjoy the movie to a certain extent.

So, you now know what you won't get from this film, so what do you get? What you do get is a film that mixes together the better aspects of the paranoid thriller with the traditional elements of a supernatural horror film, and while I won't go on record as saying that it was a phenomenal film or anything silly like that, I will say that it did turn out to be much better than it could have been given the premise. The paranoia side of things is presented in a damned fine way, and even though some of the twists are pretty obvious, there were some tense moments thanks to the way that things were shot and the performances turned in by those in the leading roles. I enjoyed some parts more than others - the introductions should have been shortened and the ending was a bit rushed - but overall, it was a decent little film.

Dead Mary is not a great film and it doesn't come with my highest recommendations, but I was surprised to find that it was a decent enough evening in front of the tube. It could have been much better, but it also could have been much, much worse. 5/10.
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Tristan #1: Tristan - added 11/29/2007, 12:04 AM
Bahahahahahahaha. You suck.
I started watching this movie, started reviewing it, and had to turn it off. What a piece of fucking garbage. I couldn't even do it for the sake of the site.
0/10
Chad #2: Chad - added 11/29/2007, 12:09 AM
It picks up towards the end... actually, the first half is why I rated it as low as I did. Should have hung in there, sport.
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