Many of us know the urban legend of bloody Mary. Say her name, and she appears in the mirror, right? It's a story/ritual that has freaked people out for so long that you may think a film about it would be ... super cliche. I have to write that yes, reader, you definitely know the story, but Khiray Richards has really stepped up and made it his own. A slightly different take on the bloody Mary mythos and one that worked exceptionally well, in my humble opinion. "Mary" doesn't completely reinvent the wheel, but the concept is fresh enough to have captured and kept my attention throughout.
The film begins with an introduction of sorts to the new and improved bloody Mary legend before shifting focus to the main characters. A tight group who are looking to get away for a holiday and find themselves playing a form of the game Heads Up, and bloody Mary's name is randomly on the card. Once the round is done, it's brought to the viewer's attention that nobody remembered adding that particular card - and that particular card sparked a conversation about Mary. One of the friends, George, decides it would be cool to perform the bloody Mary ritual, much to the dismay of his friends and brother, Quint. Although not straight away, it's no surprise that George vanishes and is replaced by a mysterious woman.
The woman explains how they "may" be able to get George back, but that's just not in the cards. Both the woman and George are gone, vanished without a trace. Mary has them, so it seems. We then fast forward six months to find the encounter with Mary has not sat well with the group of friends. Especially, for obvious reasons, Quint - who becomes convinced his brother is still out there ... alive. I won't spoil the entire film for you, but again, reader, this is a fresh take on the legend, and in a nutshell? I really enjoyed this film.
Normally, this would be the part I go into the technical aspects of the film in question but honestly? There's not really much to write about. "Mary" will never be mistaken for a zillion-dollar Marvel film, but it definitely looks much larger a production than it is. The cinematography works well for the story, the edit pushes things along nicely, and even the backing score and sound effects all help build tension and atmosphere. So I have zero complaints from a production point of view.
Now, I'm not saying that "Mary" is a perfect film. Yes, there were a few points where I felt some of the acting was a little underplayed - but nothing that would keep me from watching the film. Truthfully, I would rather have a part underplayed than overplayed. For the most part, Richards' film was a well-written, nicely acted, and paced film with a great hook and some great scenes. The actual "horror" elements are easy enough for even non-horror lovers, and this is a film I would watch a second time. To Khiray Richards and his troupe, well done! A solid four stars.