The new supernatural horror movie “Haunting of the Queen Mary” hits select theaters on Friday, August 18, and is also available On-Demand the same day. It was filmed on the actual ship and taps into its long history of paranormal activity. The psychological thriller explores the mysterious and violent events surrounding one family’s voyage on Halloween night in 1938 and their interwoven destiny with another family onboard the infamous ocean liner present day.
The reason I am featuring this movie is that Music Spotlight artist, Tiffany Ashton, helped compose four of the songs and sang the movie theme song, a dark, haunting version of Frank Sinatra’s “It Had To Be You.” She also had a part in playing a 1930s grand ballroom singer.
The Queen Mary has long been rumored to be haunted as guests and staff have reported sightings of the ghosts of former passengers and crew members roaming throughout the nearly century-old vessel.
And while other movies have been filmed about the supposedly haunted ship, the Queen Mary, this is the first one to be filmed on the actual ship. Eighty percent of it was shot on location.
Directed by “Dracula Untold” director, Gary Shore, the “Haunting of the Queen Mary”’ features a cast that includes Alice Eve (“Star Trek Into Darkness”), Joel Fry (“Game of Thrones”), Nell Hudson (“Texas Chainsaw Massacre”), William Shockley (“Death in Texas”), and Lenny Rush (“Am I Being Unreasonable?”), a BAFTA award-winner.
Shooting of the film took place aboard the actual Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Much like the Titanic, the Queen Mary is a luxury ocean liner once graced by generations of the rich and famous. It is now celebrated as “One of the World’s Most Haunted Places” (Time Magazine). Newly renovated, the ship is now encased in concrete which has been used for years as a luxury hotel and tourist attraction. The ship has a lengthy history of ghost sightings in its rooms and on its decks, making it the perfect setting for a paranormal thriller.
Ashton, who splits her time between Nashville and L.A., is a country winner for the Hollywood Music and Media Awards. And while she is a rising country music singer who releases original music and tours when time allows, the singer/songwriter/producer has found her niche in the sync world of creating music for film and TV.
She has worked extensively on the film’s soundtrack alongside Lakeshore Records who has done the music for everything from Bridgerton and the latest John Wick movie.
The song that Ashton sings as the 1938 ballroom singer is an original song that she wrote that describes the character’s descent into madness. Because the movie goes back and forth between the present and 1938, Ashton was able to contribute a wide range of music to the film.
Of course, I wanted to know if the songwriter had any of her own ghostly sightings. She told me, “From the moment that you walk onto the Queen Mary, you are stepping into a time capsule, literally everything from our dressing rooms to the dressing room three doors down from me was where Winston Churchill signed the declaration for D-Day. So, when you walk onto that ship, there is a very heavy, eerie feeling to it. It carries all the stories of every single person that has been on that ship, and you can feel that presence. That said, there were lots of experiences folks had on the ship. There is a presence on the ship that gives you the feeling that there's a lot of secrets to her.”
Other actors who stayed aboard the Queen Mary include Bob Hope, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, and Audrey Hepburn. Not only that, the ocean liner was used as a fighter ship in World War where it was dubbed the Gray Ghost. Hitler tried his best to sink it, but unlike its sister ship the Titanic, the Queen Mary was truly unsinkable.
The “Haunting of the Queen Mary” borrows more than a few elements from The Shining for a supernatural horror tale set on the high seas. Elegantly shot, the cinematography is very well done with a beautiful balance of lighting. And the story follows the actual ghost stories of the ship in Long Beach, allowing the myths and legends to come alive.
If you are brave enough and psycho-thriller horror flicks are your thing, this movie is well done and worth seeing. And while there is no nudity or sexual situations, there is violence that earned the film an “R” rating. Go see this film. If you dare.
If you want to hear the soundtrack featuring Tiffany Ashton, it is available here.
For more information on the “Haunting of the Queen Mary” click here.
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