I’ll be honest… I’m more than a little petrified of the open sea. I’m also not crazy about closed-in spaces like on small boats. So add these two together and throw in some spooky happenings and you have the recipe for a big no thank you. Mary, a 2019 horror film by Michael Goi (Megan Is Missing 2011), did me the kind favor of combining all three of these things together for my nightmarish pleasure. The film has a killer cast too, including Gary Oldman (Bram Stoker’s Dracula 1992), Emily Mortimer (Mary Poppins Returns 2018), Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (The Magnificent Seven 2016), Stefanie Scott (Insidious: Chapter 3 2015), Chloe Perrin (Itsy Bitsy 2019 – read our review here), and Owen Teague (IT franchise – read our reviews here and here)
The film’s concept is pretty simple: David (Oldman) wants to start his own charter boat business and goes to an auction to find an old, cool boat named Mary that he is instantly drawn to. So, of course, David has to run out and buy the boat without even asking the permission of his wife, Sarah (Mortimer). But she forgives him, and David, Sarah, his two daughters, Lindsey (Scott) and Mary (Perrin), and shipmates Mike (Garcia-Rulfo) and Tommy (Teague) fix up the boat to take a maiden voyage together.
It’s not until they are all in open water and weird and terrible things start happening that anyone bothers to do any actual research on the boat. They discover that at least three former crews of the Mary have mysteriously gone missing. This really is something they probably should have researched BEFORE they bought the boat or set sail. Seriously, people?
I enjoyed this film for the most part. The idea of a haunted boat isn’t a new one, but Mary had a pretty interesting take on it. What lifted this film head and shoulders above your average horror flick was the acting. It’s not every day that actors of Gary Oldman and Emily Mortimer’s caliber show up in horror films. They were both totally dedicated to their roles and gave one hundred percent for the entire film. That’s not to take away from the supporting actors. I was particularly impressed with Owen Teague as Tommy, who has shown real talent in the Bloodline TV series and the IT franchise.
The special effects are very good, but this isn’t a film that was particularly heavy on gore if that’s what you’re looking for. There are, however, plenty of great jump scares, and the sea has never looked more like a place you just really don’t want to be. The DVD and Blu-ray include some bonus features such as The Making of Mary and A Family At Sea: The Cast of Mary. Both are intriguing and insightful. That being said, both are now available for purchase, so go ahead and give Mary a watch!