The only thing worth watching about Ghost Ship is that legendary/notorious opening slaughterfest.
Ghost Ship Synopsis
Jack Ferriman, a weather service pilot, approaches a salvage crew with claims of having repeatedly seen a mysterious ship in the Bering Sea. Days later, the crew and Ferriman locate the ship and discover it is the SS Antonia Graza, an Italian ocean liner that vanished 40 years ago. As the crew prepares to tug the liner back to shore, various supernatural threats begin to happen. Leading Epps, the only female in the group, to suspect something sinister is at hand.
I’ve recently reviewed two older horror movies that were heavily panned during their releases.
Both were derided for haphazard plots and lacklustre characters. Both also featured exotic locations that trapped/imprisoned the protagonists in the midst of things ala whodunnit mystery style.
In either case, I largely agreed with the original criticisms although I didn’t find the two movies totally unwatchable. Actually, I rather enjoyed the hysterical conclusion of The Haunting (1999).
Not so for Ghost Ship which also uses the same premise of a supernatural, murderous location. In fact, this 2002 production is so undecided in purpose, I’m not even sure whether to consider it as horror, survival action, or occult suspense.
Which is a great pity for there were several things going for it for a while. There’s the legendary opening scene, long considered by many list-makers to be one of the most creative, I mean most gruesome cinematic killfests ever. There’s also the suspenseful build-up that lasts for near half of the show.
And the ship itself. It’s nothing to go gaga over, certainly not the object of beauty the cast repeatedly says it is. But as a sinister stage, it does its job.
Sadly, when the movie loses it, down south to Antarctica it goes. One moment it’s trying to be deep ocean survival action the likes of The Poseidon Adventure, the next it’s back to gothic horror house suspense.
Creepy ghosts suddenly become adorable, talkative companions. And while still at that, techno-fueled massacres kick in, followed by a sudden heavy dose of occult malevolence.
It’s so frighteningly messy, the whole movie just ends up not being very frightening at all, pardon the pun. Note too that Ghost Ship is even undecided on how it wants its kills to be. There are the gory crimson showpieces, all lovingly executed. And then you have the kills that do not even happen on-screen. You are just shown the aftermath, or expected to “know.”
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