Mary Horror premiered last night (November 4th) in its home town of Bernardsville, New Jersey. I was lucky enough to catch the screening, the first and only free screening that will take place. After almost mowing down several trick or treaters on my way to the screening, I finally made it to the auditorium. Due to my craptastic GPS I was a couple minutes late, and took my seat just as Patricia Quinn entered the film. But, for those of you who haven’t been following Mary Horror, let me give you a brief synopsis of the film.
Mary Horror follows a young girl named Mary who unfortunately loses her grandmother due to old age. This is only one event in a serious of unfortunate events that plague Mary’s life. Luckily, she has a family heirloom, a spell book from her grandmother, that she uses as a security blanket. However, as her world falls apart, she seeks more and more comfort from the book. Eventually, a money making scheme shatters Mary’s existence. Two years later, the town will experience a night that many will not survive. Watch as Marry Horowitz becomes Mary Horror!
Now, as I just mentioned, Patricia Quinn had just entered the film. The Rocky Horror Picture Show star is not the only film veteran to appear in Mary Horror. Ernie Hudson from Ghostbusters and Shawn C Phillips from dozens of horror films also appear in the film. Shawn and Ms. Quinn both have substantial roles, while Ernie has a blink and you’ll miss it cameo – “Who you tryin’ to call?!” All of the other cast members are made up of Bernardsville residents and New Jersey natives. The stand out to me was obviously the lead role, Mary, played by Susie Duecker. Also, I give props to actress Katie Farley (who reminded me of Jamie Lynn Spears, not that that’s a bad thing!). And for whatever reason, a mental patient whose only line is “Pluto is a planet!” seemed to get a nice pop from the audience too.
I think holding the premiere in Bernardsville, where parts of the film was actually filmed, was a great idea. The audience seemed genuinely happy and excited to see people they know or love on the screen. Nice for them, kind of creepy for me… Over four years later and I still feel uneasy in an auditorium. Damn high school…
The two greatest characteristics of Mary Horror is the in-depth plot and the comedy. The plot in Mary Horror is always changing, always evolving. It really takes a lot of twists and turns without leaving any plot holes. And the comedy… I chuckled a few times. One of the news reports was especially hilarious, but you’ll have to see the film to know what I’m talking about. Another funny bit was when a walking her dog is attacked by Mary, the dog plays dead yet comes back to life and walks away once the owner is dead. But, since this is a horror film – let me say there were two genuine scares.
Towards the end of the film, Mary goes on an awesome rampage through town. The movie theater portion of the rampage was the most pleasurable to watch, to me at least. There is even a small chase scene, and as a fan of the good ol’ chase scene, this won Mary Horror some points.
Well, for the most part I told you all the good things. So, let me address the bad things. The thing that bothered me the most about Mary Horror was the scoring/backing tracks. I believe that the audio levels and musical scores can either make or break scenes in movies. Some of the scores were so generic that they didn’t fit the scene and it brought down the overall quality. That is the single biggest problem I had with production. The other things like audio levels, dark scenes, and focus levels can all be chopped up to the venue it was premiering at. I can’t hold that against Ryan Weber. I would have liked to see more gore, actually, and that I can hold against Mr. Weber.
After Mary Horror was finished, and two rounds of applause, it was time for the question and answer portion of the premiere. It was nice to see the cast and crew together, out of character, and they seemed to thoroughly enjoy each others company. I got a kick out of listening to some of their stories, like how one of the actors got the job because of his mom, and that scenes had to be reshot because actors kept saying each other’s real names. Very fun. I enjoyed this portion of the night almost as much as the film. Wish I wasn’t so frickin shy, I would have asked a couple questions!
So, here’s the part where I say whether or not I think the film was good. The short answer is – yes. People need to realize there is a huge difference between Hollywood blockbusters and indie films. I’m always appreciative of the effort that directors like Ryan Weber put into their productions. Based on what was told about the budget, I’m very pleased with what was produced. Everyone involved with Mary Horror should be very proud of the film. With famous cameos, a remarkable cast, killer plot, dedicated director, and the support of a whole town – I would say that in the long run Mary Horror will do very well for itself. Great job, everyone!
If I had to describe Mary Horror, I’d say it is a modern and original mix of Bloody Mary and Lizzie Borden.
(PS: Shout out to the towns people of Bernardsvile, NJ. Yall helped me twice while I was lost! Lol)