25th Oct2021

‘Bloody Mary’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Chrissie Wunna, Sarah T Cohen, Antonia Whillans, Beatrice Fletcher, Danielle Ronald, Abi Casson Thompson, Clint Gordon, Stephen Staley, Ellis Tustin | Written by Sophie Storm K. | Directed by David Gregory

Producer Scott Jeffrey really knows how to stretch out his budgets doesn’t he? Case in point, Bloody Mary (or Curse of Bloody Mary as it says on screen OR Summoning Bloody Mary as it’s listed on IMDb – with a 2022 release date!). You see Bloody Mary was filmed at Longlands Hall, a youth hostel in Haworth, West Yorkshire. Now saying that probably means absolutely NOTHING to most people, however… Bloody Mary is one of THREE films filmed at that location, all of which also star Chrissie Wunna (Dragon Fury). The other two films being Dinosaur Hotel and Monsters of War – two films that share a lot in common thematically too!

Whilst Bloody Mary shares a locale with other Scott Jeffrey films, what the film also has in common with other Jeffrey-produced films is the reliance on folklore and urban legend… We’ve had horror films based on the Tooth Fairy; the Leprechaun; Cupid; along with scarecrows, genies and mummys! Plus he’s tapped fairytale characters like Humpty Dumpty and Jack and Jill and turned them into evil protagonists. Here we get the urban legend of Bloody Mary, itself already the focus of a number of genre films, (including the third Urban Legend film). Hell, Jeffrey already tapped into the same kind of supernatural character with his film The Candy Witch, creating a new terrifying trope; so why not go for the real thing with Bloody Mary?

Bloody Mary opens mid-massacre, with the titular character seemingly already running rampant through a hostel at which Chrissie Wunna’s Francine works, eventually killing one of the survivors Ben (Stephen Staley), leaving only Francine alive. Why? Well it seems she has made a literal deal with the devil and to spare her own life she now lures new victims to the hostel, now rebranded as an isolated retreat, to be fresh sacrifices to Bloody Mary. The victims this time round are a group of friends including Elena (Antonia Whillans), Morgan (Beatrice Fletcher), Kate (Danielle Ronald) and Dani (Sarah T Cohen).

Among those names is Jeffrey regular Sarah T Cohen, who’s appeared in the likes of Cupid, Witches of Amityville, Medusa: Queen of the Serpents, HellKat, Conjuring the Genie and The Legend of Jack and Jill. The rest of the group are relative newcomers to Scott Jeffrey’s productions, most of them appearing in the aforementioned The Legend of Jack and Jill which, given how Jeffrey works, I’m assuming was also filmed around the same time as this film – especially given that they share crew behind the camera too?!

However someone who is new to Jagged Edge Productions is writer Sophie Storm K. (or just Sophie Storm on the film itself), who’s also credited with the script for Easter Killing, aka Easter Bunny Massacre, which is also available to stream online with this film. Now, as I’ve said before, given that Scott Jeffrey and his co-producer Rebecca Matthews BOTH go by pseudonyms I’m not even sure that Sophie Storm K. is a real person – even moreso given their only credits are Scott Jeffrey films. However if Sophie Storm K. Is a real person, they’re certainly au fait with the Jeffrey style of filmmaking and script-writing; this script conforming to the “house style” Jeffrey has cultivated under both his Proportion Productions AND Jagged Edge Productions shingles. Which is really an incredibly long-winded way of saying that Bloody Mary feels very much the same as every other Scott Jeffrey production. Unfortunately that means it can only suffer in comparison to those films it has followed – especially The Candy Witch, which is essentially the same “urban legend” tale. That film at least has an incredible gore quotient, the titular witch’s vengeance doled out with buckets of blood and gore. Here we get lighting effects, some crunching foley sounds and a bit of blood. Oh and the ending feels like it was lifted from the first Tooth Fairy movie too!

On the plus side we do get Abi Casson Thompson (Cupid, The Candy Witch, Rise of the Mummy) as the titular Bloody Mary. Thompson makes for an effective villain, crawling around on all fours, wailing like a banshee and generally looking remarkably menacing for a woman in a cape and mask (the effects budget seemingly not big enough for anything other than effects make-up on Bloody Mary’s face).

Sans directorial credit on IMDb (though credited to one “David Gregory” at the end of the film), Bloody Mary feels very much like a by-the-numbers Scott Jeffrey production; I would hazard a guess because it was undoubtedly shot fast on no-to-zero budget to make use of the location they had and performers available. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing, however given Jeffrey has recently given us the remarkable The Curse of Humpty Dumpty, this film does feel like a step backwards.

Bloody Mary is available to watch now on the V Horror Youtube Channel.

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