Oscar winner plays a boater who takes his family on a haunted ride in barely passable horror film

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The problem with a haunted boat movie with an above-average cast is at its core it's still just a haunted boat movie. 

That's the issue with "Mary," which stars Gary Oldman and Emily Mortimer as a couple riding the high seas in a vessel with a history of making its passengers go cuckoo. All the acting in the world can't overcome such a straightforward script, and "Mary" doesn't give its crew anything to do but go through the motions until they eventually capsize.  

Oldman, not far removed from his bellowing, Oscar-winning performance as Winston Churchill in "Darkest Hour," plays David, a down-on-his-luck charter boat captain who sees an opportunity in a broken down old boat he finds for sale in a harbor. He doesn't have the means to pay for it, necessarily, but he decides to go big and springs the news on his family that they're the proud new owners of Mary, a crusty old boat with a mysterious past. Yay?

Mortimer is Sarah, David's wife, who isn't exactly thrilled about the purchase but is trying to make the most of the situation after her recent infidelity nearly derailed their family. Their two daughters are along for the ride, and since their youngest shares a name with the sailboat, how bad could it be? 

Pretty bad, it turns out, and strange things begin to happen to the passengers once they set sail. Director Michael Goi, who also shot the film, tosses a few playful camera tricks in the mix but mostly this is routine stuff, well below the level of talent assembled. Hopefully Gary Oldman got himself a nice boat with his paycheck, because otherwise "Mary" is out to sea.

'Mary'

GRADE: C-

Rated R: for some terror, violence, and language

Running time: 84 minutes

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama

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