Four couples spend a vacation at a cabin in the woods. While the girls sunbathe in bikinis, the men drink beer, smoke pot and (dead Canadian give-away) talk about "the relationship." It seems Matt and Kim (Dominique Swain) have broken up and are just going through the motions of being there. They had an open relationship and Matt cheated on Kim and didn't tell her. (Who writes this stuff?)
As the evening rolls around, the gang is still popping beers and the tension between Matt and Kim escalates. One girl, Lilly (Maggie Castle- B movie star), who is 22 and a little younger than the rest of the group (and new to the group) refrains from drinking Canada's finest. Suddenly Kim gets the idea to play a kids game called "Dead Mary" the Canadian version of "Bloody Mary." Each person takes a candle and goes into a dark bathroom and stands in front of the mirror with their eyes closed and says "Dead Mary" 3 times then opens their eyes. The poor lighting and power of suggestion and good imagination can make one think they see a dead witch for a fleeting moment.
As it turns out the spirit of Dead Mary is invoke and the night becomes very interesting as if it took a page out of the "Book of the Dead." When one in the group is killed, then comes back to life they suspect someone in the group is Dead Mary and they all arm themselves with makeshift weapons. The problem with the movie is that when it is supposed to pick up, it doesn't measure up to expectations.
Good horror for teens who are still young enough to play Dead Mary.
Oh yes, there is no phone reception and the cars won't start...but you knew that.
F-bomb, sex talk, no sex, no nudity.
If you can survive the excruciatingly boring first half hour of Dead Mary, you'll find a watchable horror movie. If the plot were a road, you couldn't walk on it because of a limitless number of potholes, the whole thing doesn't really make much sense, and Dead Mary herself really has nothing to do with what happens, but you can't help but enjoy seeing very bad things happen to such whiny, annoying characters you've learned to hate with every fiber of your being. If you were to take Candyman, Evil Dead, and Cabin Fever, mix them all up together, and extract most of the enjoyable essence that bubbles to the top, you'd have Dead Mary. Actually, apart from the first half hour, I found Dead Mary even more enjoyable than Cabin Fever (but that's not saying much, as I found Cabin Fever extremely disappointing).
Apparently realizing that there have been plenty of movies already featuring a bunch of dumb kids ruing the day they played Candyman or Dead Mary or Dead whoever in front of the mirror, the filmmakers made the bold decision to assemble a group of thirty-somethings playing the same old scary parlor game. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen until we've been forced to mix and mingle with these miserable human beings for far too long. Let's just say this isn't the fun-loving reunion the characters expected it to be. Matt (Jefferson Brown) and Kim (Dominique Swain) are in the middle of breaking up and thus are at each others' throats, the marriage of Dash (Michael Majeski) and Amber (Reagan Pasternak) seems to be based on mutual cheating, the loner Eve (Marie-Josee Colburn) is almost hot but just can't pull it off, and Baker's (Steven McCarthy) new girlfriend Lily (Maggie Castle) feels out of place because the doesn't know anyone. The first half hour is devoted completely to general bitching and stories about who is screwing whom. Then, finally, the Dead Mary gauntlet is laid down (you know, say "Dead Mary" three times in front of a mirror and you'll see her).
I was happy to see the character that annoyed me the most be the first to die; it's never all that clear how that person dies, but it happens in such a way to introduce some mutual suspicion among the others. It's obviously not a normal death, as most dead people don't reanimate themselves and start telling everyone else's secrets. Somehow, this is enough to convince the others that one of them could have the same deadly affliction (I'm going to call it Evil Dead-itis) but still appear normal -- and that you can only catch whatever it is when you're alone. The movie does succeed to some degree in keeping the viewer guessing as to whom the monster in disguise actually is, but the best thing it has to offer are some moderately gory scenes and the satisfaction you get from watching such miserable human beings meet such gruesome ends.
One character was smart enough not to even show up. Throughout the really long weekend, everyone keeps waiting for this dude named Ted to arrive. You would think the mystery of Ted's failure to appear would be an important plot point sooner or later. Well, that kind of reasonable expectation is quite wasted on Dead Mary, a film that fails to explain quite a bit about itself.