Ghost Ship – Don’t Get on That Boat Week!

Sometimes it seems too easy to do a particular week on a genre or a particular star or director. This week is Don’t Get on That Boat! week. Ghost Ship is currently available on instant Netflix.

Ghost Ship

PASS: Ghost Ship (2002) – Rated R for strong violence, gore, language and sexuality.

“Dispatched to recover a long-lost passenger ship found floating lifeless on the Bering Sea, the crew of the Arctic Warrior salvage tug soon becomes trapped inside the mysterious vessel — which they quickly realize is far from abandoned. But just who — or what — is on board remains to be seen. Gabriel Byrne, Isaiah Washington and Julianna Margulies lead the cast in this high-seas horror film directed by Steve Beck.”

“Congratulations. You found a boat. In the middle of the ocean of all places.”

*Sniff* What’s that I smell? It smells good yet rotten at the same time. Yes indeed it smells like wasted potential.

The idea of a cursed or haunted ship is a good one all by itself. Watching the first scene in the movie, while heavy-handed, is very entertaining. Later flashbacks to events surrounding the first scene gave me the impression that the movie might have been much better if it had been about the original cruise and not the salvor’s voyage.

The story is written by Mark Hanlon and the screenplay is written by Mark Hanlon and John Pogue. The story is a good one with a fair number of really nice touches. The dialogue is almost jaw-droppingly awful. I’d quote some to show you but sadly this comes from the school of ‘let’s show how hip we are by dropping profanity in every other sentence’ screenwriting.

The cast is pretty good for a horror movie. Gabriel Byrne is largely wasted as the salvage captain. Julianna Margulies capably plays the tough heroine. Bizarrely out of place is Isaiah Washington whose character doesn’t seem to fit in at all with the rest of the crew. Ron Eldard, Desmond Harrington and Alex Dimitriades round out the crew.

While the opening sequence is almost a reason to recommend this film, the rest of the film doesn’t measure up. It’s not that the film is particularly bad (except the dialogue), it just isn’t very good either.

People Watch: Look for Karl Urban (Bones on the new Star Trek movie) as a crew member and Emily Browning (Violet from Lemony Snicket) as a young passenger.