When I heard about the supernatural ship film Mary I thought to myself, ‘Oh, this is going to be good.” I wasn’t wrong.
Mary, set in the present day has to be inspired by the true story of the famous ship the Mary Celest, while it is not confirmed, the stories have too much in common not to be related. So, before we dive into my review let me tell you the true story of the Mary Celeste, an American ship discovered adrift in the Atlantic on December 5, 1872. Last seen on November 7, 1872, when it set sail from New York, it was found by the Canadine Brigatine Dei Gratia at partial sail. The Mary Celest was void of crew and passengers when discovered but the crew’s belongings were left in place as if they simply walked away mid-task. All of the lifeboats were missing though the vessel had no damage and there were no signs of being pirated. To this day, no one knows what happened or why. The Mary Celest remains one of the biggest maritime mysteries to this day. It makes for a spooky tale, doesn’t it?
In Mary, David, a fishing tour captain, stumbles across an old boat at an auction, his dream of starting a charter-boat business seems close enough to touch. After surprising his family with the ship, it takes them a while to warm up to the idea, after all, the ship needs work and the marriage is already strained thanks to Sarah’s (Emily Mortimer) not so secret affair. Once the Mary is seaworthy the family sets sail along with two hands for a test run. Things quickly go from bad to worse when a dark force begins to manipulate those onboard.
I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of action in the movie. Taking place mostly in the boat, you wouldn’t think so much could be done in such a small location, but director Michael Goi somehow pulls it off. We just don’t get enough ship horror films.
The tale is an interesting one with decently formed characters, which helps viewers to become invested in the movie. I have to say there were a few minor things that didn’t sit well with me, like the fact that the relationship between the youngest daughter and the entity wasn’t explored other than a few drawings and a statement that she was “not feeling good.” That could have been interesting. I also felt like that we just didn’t see or hear from Oldman’s character enough, instead the story centers more on the character’s wife. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, I felt like the advertising lied in a way.
While I did not feel perfectly content in the end, Mary was still an entertaining movie. That’s why I’m giving it a 4 out 5. I highly recommend that you check it out now on Blu-ray and DVD from RLJE. Bonus features include The Making of Mary and A Family At Sea: The Cast of Mary. They are definitely worth watching.