We start the year off with kind-of a stinker. Which I suppose is what I get for deciding to do 13 semi-random streaming movies* for this block. Mary is currently streaming on Hulu.
There’s nothing really wrong with this movie — it’s got a decent cast, the acting isn’t bad. The idea of a haunted ship is a pretty solid, old tale. They don’t over use computer graphics or jump scares (though most of the spooky is jump scares). It just doesn’t deliver. Potential spoilers below.
First of all, the family isn’t really all that likeable. The father, played by Gary Oldman, is too old to be starting the sort of adventure he gets himself into — mortgaged up to the neck on an old boat he wants to turn into a tourist boat. The mother, Emily Mortimer, is outed as having cheated on her husband. This detail isn’t really relevant except to make her character easy to dislike.
The kids are a teen, who gets snitty when her adult-age “boyfriend” gets kicked off the boat. As a father, this makes her annoying. Her sister is just kind of a weirdo. The “boyfriend” seems like an annoying punk. The most relatable character is the poor bastard Bosun or whatever his position is stuck dealing with these dramatic folks.
The witch herself is just some poor drowned witch. We don’t get a lot of her, or a lot of her story really aside from that they drowned her for being a witch. That she seeks her revenge on random folks a few hundred years later seems kind of weird given that some of the people she’s targeting are innocent, if annoying, children. Maybe she deserved to be drowned?
You can’t have irritating protagonists and a totally unsympathetic antagonist. I need to be rooting for a side here.
Also, there’s literally nothing scary about the movie, at least to me. Some haunting movies do just that — they haunt me when I’m in the dark, creep into my head when I’m trying to sleep. This didn’t. It didn’t stand out. I’m glad I saw it, but I won’t watch it again.
* I think I decided while writing this to watch witch-related films for at least some of the thirteen. One down, twelve to go.
Runtime: An hour and twenty-four minutes.
Acting: Decent and up.
Violence: A bit.
Dead Townsfolk: Three confirmed.
Revenge Kills: No.
Gun Use: No.
Monster Type? A dead witch.
Monster Ick Factor: No.
Funny? Not really.
Pet Death: No.