First, the history. One of the great nautical mysteries dates back to 1872 when a British brig called Dei Gratia came across a ship adrift in choppy seas. They were 400 miles east of the Azores in rough water when they changed course to offer aide to the Mary Celeste, a Genoa, Italy bound ship, now in distress.
What the Dei Gratia boarding party found on board the ship Mary Celeste unnerved them. The cargo load was intact, as was a six-month supply of food and water. What was missing was the crew. Ten souls, lost without a trace.
The fate of the Celeste crew has confounded historians for years. A new thriller, “The Haunting of the Mary Celeste,” now on demand and on digital, offers up a supernatural solution for the crew’s disappearance.
Researcher Rachel (Emily Swallow) has an idea that borders the scientific and the supernatural. It is her hypothesis that there are places on this planet where every now and again there is a rift when the tectonic plates shift. There is a physical change during the event and, like the blowback on a gun that sucks matter into the barrel, the crew members of the Mary Celeste were drawn into the rift, never to be seen again.
Rachel has determined the date of the next rift and is determined to prove her theory. With a small crew on a rented ship owned and operated by Tulls (Richard “Shaft” Roundtree) she sets off, only to have her theory proved in increasingly scary and weird ways.
“The Haunting of the Mary Celeste” is the kind of straightforward thriller where people optimistically say things like, “Hey Rachel, something’s going to happen tonight. I can feel it,” before everything falls to pieces. With characters straight out of Central Casting, the gruff old sea captain, the hot headed assistant etc, it offers up a soggy sea-bound adventure with very few actual thrills.