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Ghost Canyon

'Dead Mary: Unrated'
(Dominique Swain, Marie-Josťe Colburn, et al / DVD / NR / 2007 / Genius Entertainment)

Overview: Kim (Dominique Swain) and her best friends drive to a remote lakeside cabin to relax and reminisce about their college days. When the group decides to play the ghoulish game "Dead Mary", they unleash a vengeful spirit that possesses them one by one. As the demon forces them to turn on one another, each is faced with a choice. Would you hack your best friend to pieces to ensure your own survival?

DVD Verdict: If movies have one drawback, itís that they canít be punished for screwing up! When something truly bad wastes your time and leaves you angry and homicidal, thereís really s**t you can do about it. Oh sure, you can smash your own copy with a hammer, but countless more will be there to mock you from the store shelves. This is the kind of film that fills me with those violent urges. 'Dead Mary' tells the tale of a cabin-in-the-woods occupied by a group of mopey, depressed couples who spend the weekend reconnecting with their old chums. And for the entire first act thereís nothing to suggest that anything sinister is happening. Thereís no build-up, no sense of impending doom, just bored young adults and their problems. The guys and girls break off into their own separate groups and moan about their love lives, later gathering for a long evening of joyless banter.

As it turns out,'Dead Mary' is the exact same game as 'Bloody Mary,' just with a word switch, which is a clear indication of this storyís creativity. For the uninitiated, this is one of the oldest campfire tales in the book: Repeat the name of a witch three times in a mirror and she appears a la Candyman. So one by one our bored characters enter and exit the bathroom having uttered the most cursed of all names into the mirror. Thereís no sign of Dead, Bloody, or Virgin Mary, but when one character starts acting more emo than normal, itís clear that possession is afoot. One dead body later, the catís out of the bag. To the groupís absolute horror, the deceased are returning as zombified "deadites" ... and they love to gossip. Yes, these demonic creatures will talk your ear off if you give them the chance, and considering the soap opera hierarchy of this group (i.e., whoís the biggest adulterer?), you know that isnít good!

Thereís little else to say. Iíve watched 'Dead Mary' and canít unwatch it. It may be a labor of love and a technically competent film, but it doesnít numb the anger coursing through my soul. And to make matters worse, this is the second film with the exact same subject to hit shelves this month - the first being, yup, 'Bloody Mary.' For the love of God, just keep that bitch away! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
The Making of 'Dead Mary'
Music Video