Nov 232018

Mara is basically The Ring without any tangible back-story for our vengeful demon/spirit and although I really wanted to like this, especially since it stars Olga Kurylenko, it just didn’t work and the demon herself, when fully revealed, was hardly scary.




Genre(s): Supernatural, Horror
Lionsgate | R – 99 min. – $21.99 | November 6, 2018

Date Published: 11/23/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Clive Tonge
Writer(s): Clive Tonge & Jonathan Frank (story), Jonathan Frank (written by)
Cast: Olga Kurylenko, Craig Conway, Javier Botet, Rosie Fellner, Lance E. Nichols
Features: Featurette
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 22.3 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 2.5/5

There was one thing that struck me while watching this supernatural horror film, Mara: I really wish I was watching The Ring instead. The two films generally have similar plots with an evil supernatural entity coming forth and wreaking fear and death upon her victims. Though in this one, there’s no video tape or phone call, this creature I guess feeds off of guilt and/or vengeance. Kind of vague, actually.

The story focuses on criminal psychologist Dr. Kate Fuller (OLGA KURYLENKO) called in by the police to examine a woman, Helena (ROSIE FELLNER), who has been arrested for the brutal murder of her husband, blaming it on a demon named Mara.

After the examination, Helena is placed in a mental hospital, though something doesn’t quite sit right with Fuller and does a further investigation. This leads her to a man named Dougie (CRAIG CONWAY) who has been suffering from sleep paralysis which is when Mara would visit. From his experience, Dougie has figured out there are three stages, the final being she kills you and in each one, the victim’s eyes becomes redder (guess from blood vessels popping or something).

Soon enough, though, Fuller herself begins to experience the paralysis and starts seeing Mara. It’s a rush against the clock to figure out how Mara can be defeated; all the while sleep deprivation sinks in. Not an easy task to convince others — such as a police detective (LANCE E. NICHOLS) and a doctor (MITCH EAKINS) — that a “sleep demon” is hunting you down.

I really wanted to like Mara. The film begins with a decent pre-credit opening and Olga Kurylenko serves well in the lead, with the exception of one scene where she becomes emotional, the outburst didn’t exacrlt work. But for all the dark atmosphere and mystery behind this “sleep demon”, it really begins falling apart as the film progressed, though it didn’t take long to see some minor correlations with The Ring. But where that film built tension as we learn of Samara’s background, this one just gives us some history lesson that Mara dates back before Christ. We don’t know why she does or really the rules, other than, I suppose, feeding off of tragedy… or something along those lines.

Finally, by the end where we really get to see Mara in all her glory… and she was more laughable than scary. I know her herky-jerky movements were to evoke something otherworldly, but it just looked kind of ridiculous, not to mention her almost spider-like arms and legs.

Mara was directed by Clive Tonge marking his debut from a script written by Jonathan Frank, a name I’m only familiar because I recently watched a movie of his called Final Score, which was directed by Scott Mann, who produced this feature with his production company, “Mann Made Films”.



This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. The only feature is Mara: A Legacy of Evil (7:02) featurette.


VIDEO – 3.75/5

Although tonally this is a dark movie, there are some lighter parts that appear bright while skin tones do look natural. Detail is decent enough, sharper on the close-up objects or people, and really didn’t notice any major instances of banding, artifacts, aliasing or other flaws. Even so, this is also not the kind of transfer that will pop off the small screen.

AUDIO – 4.5/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is fairly strong outputting clear dialogue principally from the center channel with the front and rears being relegated mostly for the “haunting” soundtrack or any ambient noises. The LFE does turn on for some key moments, shaking the floor with great intensity.


OVERALL – 2.5/5

Overall, Mara is basically The Ring without any tangible back-story for our vengeful demon/spirit and although I really wanted to like this, especially since it stars Olga Kurylenko, it just didn’t work and the demon herself, when fully revealed, was hardly scary. This Blu-ray from Lionsgate has good video, great audio but only a singular bonus feature.




Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

  2 Responses to “Mara Blu-ray Review”

Comments (2)
  1. This sounds a little too close to the Maggie Q film called “Slumber” which also suffered from having its star deal with a bad story. Olga is one of my favorite actresses and she was reason I bought “Mara”. Disappointed to see this one fail as well.

  2. Oh that’s right! I actually bought that one because it starred Maggie Q (haven’t gotten around to watching it yet). But now that you mentioned it, the overview from that back cover does sound similar…

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