The Legend of Bloody Mary (DVD) ~ Paul Priess (actor) Cover Art

The Legend of Bloody Mary (DVD)

Paul Priess (actor), Robert J. Locke (actor) and John Stecenko (director)

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5 out of 5 stars ( [1 customer review

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5 out of 5 stars Review I found on the net, September 12, 2008
By FlowerPower30
Thankfully some film makers still prefer to go a bit more old school. One example is ‘The Legend of Bloody Mary’ by John Stecenko. While there are elements of the new movement in horror present here it hails back to a more classic approach to the genre. This movie has an actual plot to go with the scares and lately that has been a rare thing. The film is now available through Lion’s Gate so do yourself a favor and go out and get it. Stecenko may only be 34 but he has accessed a style that is much older. By that I mean one that was all the rage when I was a kid many decades ago. There used to be a series of comic books put out by EC publishing that dealt with horror and fantasy. While our parents usually disliked any comic book these they out right hated. This just made them more interesting and popular with the boys in the neighborhood. You might remember some of these comics like ‘Tales from the Crypt’ and ‘Vault of Horror’. Usually they had a gruesome picture on the cover and equally spooky stories within their pages. Stecenko has captured this look and feel here for this film. The comics where known for their twists and turns in the stories. They were also known for stereotypical characters such as the bewildered policeman and the beautiful co-ed. The revival of an ancient horror was a popular theme that these comics explored. Here in this movie Stecenko revisits this with his stylistic choices. He has created a moody film that will deliver. The film starts with a voice over of a young woman. She is telling the person on the other end of the phone that ‘it is true just check your mirror’. We then see a young man, Ryan (Paul Preiss) walking shirtless through a straw covered field. In the distance someone is calling his name. The voice is that of his sister Amy (Rachel Taylor) who went missing after playing the ‘Bloody Mary’ game. A little ways off Ryan sees a mirror like the one his sister used that faithful night. It turns out to be only a dream but one that Ryan has lived with for a long time, over eight years now. He has never gotten over the disappearance of his sister. His sister innocently stumbled across a web site about a witch named Bloody Mary (Caitlin Wachs) and a game to summons her. It looks like the game was all too real for Ryan to stand. He is now a senior in college but the emotional toil of his sister has pushed him almost to the breaking point. His emotional state has placed a strain on his relationship with his girlfriend Rachel (Irina Costa). She needs to him Ryan but feels unable to do so alone. Rachel calls on a former professor of his Father O’Neil (Robert J. Locke) who is a renowned archaeologist. Together they hope to discover exactly what really happened to Amy and give Ryan some closure and relief. The film unfolds with a quick pace but it never feels rushed. There is a skill demonstrated in how Stecenko tells the story. He is, as mentioned, a highly visual director who is quite adept at using the images to create and reinforce the mood of the movie. What makes this film so interesting is how he infuses elements of mystery and the psychological thriller to reinforce the underlying horror. It is ultimately a well crafted film that is executed with skill. Apparently the budget was about one million dollars. This may seem like a lot but for most movies it would hardly cover the cost of craft services to feed the cast and crew. Stecenko gets the most out of his modest budget and gives the audience more than they might have expected. I have to admit I though this would be just another scream fest flick but I was thankfully proven wrong. For those out there that are addicted to the current trend in horror flicks don’t worry, there is enough blood shed and even a dollop of nudity to keep you happy. Lion’s Gate never ceases to amaze me with some of the films they release on DVD. They look around in the Indy film world and bring some of the most interesting right to your home. This is one not to miss.

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