HAUNTING OF THE MARY CELESTE (2020) Reviews and overview

New! Visitor ratings! Click on a star to indicate your rating of this movie!

‘Fear lies beneath’

Haunting of the Mary Celeste is a 2020 American horror feature film about a team investigating mysterious disappearances on a ship at sea.

Directed by Shana Betz (Free Ride; Girls! Girls! Girls!) from a screenplay written by David Ross (The Babysitters; The Woods) based on a story co-written with Jerome Olivier, the movie stars Emily Swallow, Richard Roundtree, Ava Acres and Pierre Adele. Produced by Justin Ambrosino, Brian Dreyfuss and Norman Dreyfuss.


Rachel, a concerned researcher, and her team have set out to sea to prove that the disappearance of a family and crew from a merchant ship was for reasons having to do with the supernatural. Her theory that those on the Mary Celeste vanished into a “rift” between dimensions proves true as the boat breaks down and her crew begins to vanish one by one…


Haunting of the Mary Celeste was released on VOD by Vertical Entertainment on October 23rd 2020.


“Many films that tease an “other side” offers something, but the film seems to recycle the same shots with different actors. The jump scares are nothing remarkable, and Swallow and Roundtree’s performances drive much of the film’s tension as opposed to its supernatural elements.” Bleeding Cool

” …the case of the Mary Celeste is ripe for the horror genre in that, being unexplained, one’s imagination gets to run wild in trying to explain what malevolent force was the cause behind it all. Compounded by its unoriginal story beats, the film comes out feeling uninspired, outside of its impressive direction.” Film Pulse

“Yes, Haunting is a small film—literally so, at just a whisker under 75 minutes, but it is still an overachiever. Betz does a lot working within her budget constraints, building considerable tension from the claustrophobic setting. As result, for horror fans, The Haunting of the Mary Celeste is well-worth checking out…” J.B. Spins

“If you are looking for a fun way to spend seventy minutes, this will more than likely do the trick thanks to its excellent scenes of bloody thrills and its great atmosphere. But those looking for an engrossing character-driven horror film will be incredibly disappointed.”  Punch Drunk Critics

“The suspenseful atmosphere early on soon dissipates and it takes a good hour before that pace ramps up and begins to show some urgency. The few positives this film has are reserved to some decent acting performances and an intriguing back-story.” The Review Geek

” …as the film went on it became a drag that was less frightening come the final spooks. A tense atmosphere, creepy myth that is factually accessible to the audience, and Emily Swallow’s performance are the greatest strengths of Haunting of the Mary Celeste. It may be an “easy watch” to some looking for a horror fix, but it is definitely worth your time for the creepy mythos alone.” Up Your Geek

Haunting of the Mary Celeste is a perfectly watchable film even though there’s nothing special about it either. The acting is competent, though sadly blaxploitation legend Roundtree is given very little to do […] The real star is the sound design. the filmmakers get a lot of mileage out of sounds, shadow and suggestion.” Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

Emily Swallow … Rachel
Richard Roundtree … Tulls
Ava Acres … Jennifer / Sophia
Pierre Adele … Aldo
Dominic DeVore … Grant
Alice Hunter … Cassandra

Technical details:

74 minutes

MOVIES and MANIA provides an aggregated range of film reviews from a wide variety of credited sources, plus our own reviews and ratings, in one handy web location. We are a genuinely independent website and rely solely on the minor income generated by internet ads to stay online and expand. Please support us by not blocking ads. If you do block ads please consider making a small donation to our running costs instead. We'd really appreciate it. Thank you. As an Amazon Associate, the owner occasionally earns a small amount from qualifying linked purchases.