‘The Queen Mary’ movie review: This ship flounders in a murky sea of B-movie clichés

Though a handsome and well-acted production, this horror film is lost thanks to uneven pacing and an erratic plot

Updated - August 19, 2023 05:45 pm IST

Published - August 19, 2023 03:54 pm IST

A still from ‘Queen Mary’

A still from ‘Queen Mary’

The spookiest thing about The Queen Mary was when the usher came up and asked to see my ticket as there seemed to be two extra viewers in the audience. I was all set to have the person sitting next to me swing their favourite axe and end my misery once and for all. That, alas, was not to be as this supposed horror film finally ground to a close after many false endings.

The Queen Mary (English)
Director: Gary Shore
Cast: Alice Eve, Joel Fry, Lenny Rush, Angus Wright, Jim Piddock, Wil Coban, Nell Hudson, Dorian Lough
Run-time: 114 minutes
Storyline: Two families separated by time experience horrific events aboard the luxury liner

Gary Shore, who directed the dreadful Dracula Untoldhas helmed this exploration into all the ghouls that lurk aboard the luxury liner. The RMS Queen Mary with RMS Queen Elizabeth sailed between Southampton and New York. The Queen Mary sailed from May 27, 1936 to October 31, 1967, after which she was permanently moored in Long Beach, California. The ship is supposed to be haunted and runs tours during Halloween of all the scary attractions.

Shore, who has written the script with Stephen Oliver and Tom Vaughan, has incorporated these tales of supposed haunting into the movie. Telling the story over two timelines—1938 and the present day—The Queen Mary follows two families through the scary, gory events aboard the ship of horrors. In 1938, the Ratch family from the third class, David (Wil Coban), his tarot-reading wife Gwen (Nell Hudson), and their young daughter, Jackie (Florrie Wilkinson), crash a Halloween party on the ship. Jackie loves to dance and wants to be in the movies. David hopes a film producer at the party will cast Jackie if he were to see her in action.

In the present, Anne (Alice Eve) visits the decommissioned ocean liner with her son, Lukas (Lenny Rush), and husband Patrick (Joel Fry). She has a proposal for a book on the liner. The book, she hopes, will save both the ship and her marriage.

Also Read | ‘Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship’ review: That sinking feeling

Strange things happen to both families. The Ratches are caught out and told to leave the party, though Jackie stays and dances with Fred Astaire (Wesley Alfvin). David experiences a break with reality much to Gwen’s increasing unease and horror. Despite warnings, Captain Carradine (Jim Piddock) is not willing to sacrifice speed as that would mean the loss of the Blue Riband, an accolade for the fastest passenger ship.  

In the present, Lukas is separated from his family and meets a little girl by the pool—supposed to be a portal to another dimension and the most haunted part of the ship. Captain Bittner (Dorian Lough), who may or may not be the actual captain but enjoys wearing the uniform, takes mysterious phone calls from disembodied voices. 

While very good looking, thanks to Shore’s advertising credentials, The Queen Mary is as long-winded as its meandering corridors. Also, wonder why “Haunting of” was dropped from the title. A ship provides the perfect space for horror films and one with as glorious a history as Queen Mary should have been a cinch for thrills and spills. That is not to be and the action is as murky as the ghostly lights on the ship and in the end you feel like the lady at the piano, banging her head on the keys, begging to be let out.  

The Queen Mary is currently running in theatres

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