4.4/10
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51 user 39 critic

Dead Mary (2007)

Not Rated | | Horror | Video 20 February 2007
Trailer
1:28 | Trailer
A group of friends enjoying a weekend in the woods play a game of "Dead Mary" and summon an evil witch who begins possessing them one by one.

Director:

Robert Wilson
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Cast

Cast overview:
Dominique Swain ... Kim
Marie-Josée Colburn ... Eve (as Marie Josée Colburn)
Steven McCarthy ... Baker (as Steve McCarthy)
Maggie Castle ... Lily
Michael Majeski Michael Majeski ... Dash
Reagan Pasternak ... Amber
Jefferson Brown ... Matt
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Storyline

Kim and her boyfriend Matt have just broken up, but they travel together to a cottage nearby a lake to spend the weekend with their friends Eve, Dash and his wife Amber and Baker and his new girlfriend Lily. The atmosphere becomes heavy with the situation between Kim and Matt, and one of them suggests them to play "Dead Mary". Matt, Eve and Dash summon the evil witch repeating her name three times in front of a mirror with a candle. Along the night, Matt hears weird noises, is killed and returns to life, while part of the group is possessed by the fiend. Without knowing who is possessed, the rest of the group fights to survive. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You always hurt the ones you love. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original screenplay was called Bloody Mary. The title was cleared in every territory except Japan, where the name Bloody Mary is copyrighted, and it was suggested that the title be changed to Dead Mary for release in that country alone. When the film's producers discovered that another film, also called Bloody Mary, was being readied for release around the same time, it was decided that the film's title be officially changed to Dead Mary in order to avoid confusion. This spawned an inside joke in the finished film, when the better-known game Bloody Mary is dismissed as being "the lame version" of Dead Mary. See more »

Goofs

In at least one point in the film, Lily's character is referred to as "Lydia." See more »

Quotes

Kim: Screw you, I lie.
See more »

Connections

References The Lion King (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Turbulent Hydrodynamic
Performed by Sianspheric
Written by Paul Sinclair / Matt Durrant / Steve Peruzzi / Sean Ramsay
Produced by The Shimmer Twins, Sianspheric and Rob Sanzo
Sianspheric appear courtesy of Sonic Unyon Records
www.sonicunyon.com
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User Reviews

 
A word of advice to those trying to emulate The Evil Dead...
22 September 2007 | by mentalcriticSee all my reviews

When you are trying to tread the same ground as a well-made classic that has all of its best elements in place, there are really only two possible outcomes. You can either do a good job and be compared to the original in somewhat flattering terms, or you can do a bad job and end up the joke of the industry. The latter is what happened to director Robert Wilson and his writers when Dead Mary rolled out onto home video. A big part of the problem is their inability to provide a proper undercurrent for the story, with no credible explanation for the film's events in sight. It does not matter how preposterous your story is on the surface. If you do not provide it with at least a small anchor in reality, you will lose your audience. For a good example of a preposterous story going to glory because its makers took the time to anchor it in some turf of reality, one need only look at such pieces as RoboCop, Ghostbusters, or Desperado. Dead Mary proposes a preposterous idea and does nothing to anchor its audience in its reality.

That would have been forgiven, or even mended, if the film had taken just a little bit of time to introduce the cast of characters and give them a hint of a personality. For a good example of this done right, one can simply go back to The Evil Dead again. Within the first half-hour, we are given subtle yet strong hints of who each character is and what they are like as people. Dead Mary's writers attempted to cheat this by grafting soap opera archetypes into the characters, and it unfortunately backfires. By the time the film goes into the gory payoff, all we know about these characters is who is married to whom, who is cheating on whom, who is upset with whom, and who failed to arrive. Outside of the parameters of this semi-outdoor trip that was done far better in The Evil Dead, we know so little about the cast of characters that caring about them is next to impossible. Half of the time, we do not even know their names. The other half of the time, their names have so little weight it would have been more effective to simply call them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.

Making it even worse is that the central premise is so vague and ill-defined that it ends up making less sense as time goes on. In The Evil Dead, our heroes wind up fighting one another because they have stumbled upon the results of an archaeological expedition that turned up secrets they could barely grasp the implications of. In Dead Mary, the heroes play a stupid game that was quite obviously culled from Candyman and given no mechanism of actuation. Quite literally, one moment our characters are having a dispute on what was meant to be an idyllic vacation, then the next they are regenerating destroyed flesh and doing bad David Vincent impersonations. It becomes such a non-sequitor that all of the impact is lost. Another comparison to The Evil Dead that Dead Mary cannot stand up to is the moment when we learn that Cheryl has been taken by something the group resurrected by accident. The dramatic buildup and payoff of The Evil Dead was arresting. Dead Mary is by comparison poorly-written and shot even worse.

Does this make the entire project a waste? Well, no, there are moments when the film does look like breaking out of its amateurish writing and becoming something more substantial. Dominique Swain and Maggie Castle do the best they can with a screenplay that gives them absolutely nothing to work with. One can see the frustration crossing Dominique's face as she struggles with staggeringly inept screen writing. When the film gets confused as to what it is trying to emulate and even attempts to borrow from The Thing, Dominique and Maggie slot into the important roles of that particular story nicely. Marie-Josée Colburn also does well trying to give her character a haunting or threatening vibe, but is undone by the fact that the screenplay tips its hand way too early, and makes the revelations to the rest of the cast so perfunctory that the audience is a solid hour ahead of the heroes. People despair of the constant-rewrite culture that pervades Hollywood, but films like Dead Mary demonstrate why most screenplays should be revised at least five times.

Another problem Dead Mary falls into is that it constantly needs to fade to black in order to jump from one character to another. For a film that supposedly takes place over the course of a night, this is not only unnecessary but serves to deflate the dramatic tension. Another area where The Evil Dead excelled was that with the exception of some very seamless cutaways, the entire thing achieves the feeling of taking place in real-time. The result is that by the time the hero emerges into a dismal morning sunrise, the viewer feels gobsmacked that all this mayhem and death took place over the course of one night. The final death scenes of the possessed characters left the audience in awe. In Dead Mary, the perfunctory execution of the one character we know to be possessed is edited so poorly and executed in such a who-cares fashion that it ultimately robs the film of any memory of dramatic tension. There is a reason why I keep comparing Dead Mary to other, better films. Namely, Dead Mary is so obsessed with what not to do that it ends up not doing anything at all, and the result feels more like a collection of unused footage than an actual film.

Dead Mary is very much a two out of ten film. It is so pedestrian in style that it ends up being neither good nor bad. It is simply boring.


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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 February 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Daimonismeno paihnidi See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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