Directed: Steve Beck Rated: R Runtime: 1h 31m Studio: Warner Bros. Screenwriters: Mark Hanlon and John Pogue Cast: Julianna Margulies, Ron Eldard, Gabriel Byrne, Isaiah Washington, Karl Urban, Desmond Harrington, Alex Dimitriades, Emily Browning
Horror/gore films are not my thing. Most rely too much on the gore or over-sexualization of female characters. Few can balance gore and thrills with the needed suspense to make it genuinely gripping. Even worse is when these types of films fall back on overused troupes that make the story predictable and unfun to watch. In 2002, at least Ghost Ship felt original.
Is it the most gripping, suspenseful, and entertainingly intense story of horror films ever made, hardly. It gives off the same vibe regarding storytelling, stunts, and graphics as Resident Evil (2002), the first film based on a video game of the same name. Both also have a cast centered around a female lead.
In Ghost Ship, Maureen Epps (Margulies) is a member of a salvage ship, the Arctic Warrior. A young man hires the crew to salvage an abandoned cruise liner. Once they find the ship out on the Bering Sea, things take a supernatural turn.
It’s a ghost ship; throughout the movie, what happened to it is fleshed out via flashbacks. Some people don’t like the use of these in cinema, but it fits in the context of this film. It also adds to the eerie feeling the salvage crew experiences while aboard. While many won’t care for the film stylings of early 2000s films, if you can look beyond that, for the time, it was normal. By today’s standards, it’s either cheesy or terrible.
Ghost Ship has intrigue, suspense, and believable enough camaraderie amongst the crew, even if none of them are profound. It’s just not that kind of film. Though the techno musical choices were par for the course for the time, it seems odd now. I’m not sure calling this film’ horror’ is accurate. A supernatural thriller with gorey parts, yes.
Ghost Ship was released in theaters a week before Halloween. If you’re the kind of person who likes to have a Halloween movie marathon, then this film would fit right in. Even if you are not, it’s not so bad a movie that it can’t be watched once, so give it a place on your watchlist.
-A Pen Lady