DEAD MARY Region 2 DVD Review

     March 19, 2008

Reviewed by Niall Browne

Dead Mary is a low budget supernatural thriller that mixes elements of Evil Dead, The Thing and even Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher to make a clichéd schlocker. Dead Mary is a film that shouldn’t really work, but it manages to succeed against all odds. It’s not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s far from bad. Which is a pretty good review, when you consider some films in the horror genre today.

A group of life long friends decide to spend the weekend together in an isolated cabin, they haven’t seen each other in a while, but instead of everything being fun and games things begin to take a turn for the worse when the group decide to play “Dead Mary” which entails facing a mirror with a candle and repeating “Dead Mary” three times in order to see the long dead witch, who happens to be called Mary.

Shortly after this, one of the friends goes missing. When they discover his body he looks as if he’s been torn to bits by an animal, however once he starts to regenerate and take on the dead friends persona (albeit, a crazier one), the group suddenly realises that they might not be able to trust anyone. Could their paranoia tear them apart before the evil spirits in the forest? You’ll have to watch the DVD to discover that one!

The main problem with Dead Mary is that it is a film of two halves, the first being a friends reunited film, much like Mike Binder’s Indian Summer, this first segment being the most enjoyable, with some good dialogue and character development. Much like Dreamcatcher, the film takes a dip once the supernatural element kicks in. Also, the film is called Dead Mary, however we are never introduced to the titular witch. In fact the film implies that there is a strange evil force causing the havoc in the woods, not a witch or evil spirit. That said, it’s a brave move and it makes sure that the film strays away from any Blair Witch Project comparisons.

On the plus side, the actors conduct themselves with sincerity, with no sign of the tongue in cheek humour that prevails in horror cinema today. Dominique Swain (remember her?) leads the cast, who all appear to be a good decade older than most fodder in horror films.

The Extras

Featured on the DVD extras-wise is a trailer, a music video and a 27 minute making of in which the cast discuss their characters and the film.

Final Thoughts

Not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, Dead Mary is a clichéd horror film that does exactly what it says on the cover. It delivers enough scares and builds enough tension to keep you watching. A guilty pleasure time waster.

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