Ghost Ship – USA, 2002- reviews

‘Sea evil’

Ghost Ship is a 2002 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Steve Beck (Thir13en Ghosts; effects art director on The Abyss) from a screenplay co-written by Mark Hanlon (Buddy Boy) and John Pogue (The Quiet Ones; Quarantine 2: Terminal; Rollerball 2002). The movie stars Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Margulies and Ron Eldard.

Plot:

In a remote region of the Bering Sea, the crew of the Arctic Warrior salvage boat discover the eerie remains of  the Antonia Graza, an Italian passenger liner thought lost for more than forty years.

However, once onboard the eerie, cavernous vessel, the crew of  discovers that the decaying vessel is anything but deserted. It’s home to something more deadly and horrific than anything they’ve encountered in all their years at sea…

Reviews [may contain spoilers]:

“You’ve seen it all before, but that opening sequence, and a similarly effective and bloody reveal near the end of the movie played out against a pounding rock track, make it worth a look.” 20/20 Movie Reviews

“Note to future filmmakers: if you’re going to populate your movie with stock characters, don’t try to get them to carry the story. They can’t. Also, too much of what is good-to-OK about this is lifted from The Shining, Alien, and other stuff you’ve seen. Not to mention all but one of the character deaths are anti-climactic, seemingly unimportant.” Ain’t It Cool News

“The production design is fantastic, with some of the most elegantly lit scenes in recent memory, beautiful multi-colored dapples of what is supposed to be reflected water aboard the slowly sinking ship. […] Unfortunately, the biggest ghost haunting Ghost Ship is the spirit of better horror films past, a spectre that this movie can never quite escape. Blu-ray.com

“The first scene is brilliant, but the rest of the film never hits that peak again. The full story of the ship is slightly disappointing and I felt that the implication that the evil behind the ship was either the devil or one of his demons was actually less creepy than the idea of an unfathomable evil somehow built into the very fabric of the ship.” Celluloid Dreams

“With influences as diverse as PoltergeistThe ShiningGhost Story and even Moby DickGhost Ship comes across as a pretty decent ghost story […] The only problems are that it is never quite creepy enough, and the ending is a little too Twilight Zone like.” Digital Retribution

“Most of the intended scares are predictable. There are also a few plot holes […] but you will see them by the end of the movie. Overall, this movie is a little hokey. On the plus side, however, Ghost Ship is one of the most creatively gross movies I’ve ever seen. It starts out very memorably.” Entertain Your Brain!

Ghost Ship is another great example of a wasted opportunity to properly execute a worthwhile idea. Ghost Ship is to the ocean what Event Horizon is to space. They actually have a lot in common — Derelict ships that aren’t really that scary, characters which seem be to variations of those from Alien.” Hub Pages

“It breaks no new ground as horror movies go, but it does introduce an intriguing location, and it’s well made technically. It’s better than you expect but not as good as you hope.” Roger Ebert

“There are a plethora of good ideas even if they aren’t fully utilized. The opening death scene is legendary, yet, this fundamentally hurts the final impression for the audience as the film itself can’t maintain that level of quality. When you factor in the gaping plot hole with the many instances of mediocrity, the score is severely lowered.” Ryan’s Movie Reviews

“Julianna Margulies essays the Ripley role, some of the victims are driven mad by hallucinations, there’s a guessable twist and a “shock” ending […] the whole “collecting souls” thing is superfluous, but for a little slick, mindless entertainment, you could do worse.” The Spinning Image

“Despite being a bit predictable, Ghost Ship isn’t a bad film. It has a reputation for being disappointing but actually it’s an atmospheric and competently directed horror film. Though the characters are all thinly drawn, the talented cast does their best to try to bring them to life.” Through the Shattered Lens

“Effects-trained director Steve Beck, who debuted with Thir13en Ghosts (2001), piles on the CGI wizardry. But the movie is simultaneously soft and icky; the gross-out effects are grafted onto a sub-Tales from the Crypt ghost story that never scares up any serious chills.” TV Guide

“There is a sense of predictability about the film after the promising start and for all its good intentions it never takes us on board with its mishmash of ghosts, mysticism and spiritual concoction. Otherwise, it’s great. Terrific performances from a truly talented ensemble cast and excellent technicals…” Urban Cinefile

” …an entertaining ride for horror fans with stylish direction, decent mood and some really neat effects sequences. Throw in a competent cast of mostly unknowns, a well-staged flashback sequence that explains why the ship is haunted and a generally interesting script and you have a movie that’s better than expected…” The Video Graveyard

Cast and characters:

  • Gabriel Byrne … Murphy – Hereditary; Vampire AcademyEnd of Days; Stigmata; Gothic; et al
  • Julianna Margulies … Epps
  • Ron Eldard … Dodge
  • Desmond Harrington … Ferriman
  • Isaiah Washington … Greer
  • Alex Dimitriades … Santos
  • Karl Urban … Munder
  • Emily Browning … Katie Harwood
  • Francesca Rettondini … Francesca
  • Boris Brkic … Chief Steward
  • Bob Ruggiero … Captain (as Robert Ruggiero)
  • Iain Gardiner … Purser
  • Adam Bieshaar … First Officer
  • Cameron Watt … Second Officer
  • Jamie Giddens … Friendly Officer

Box office:

Ghost Ship took $68,349,884 theatrically against a reported budget of $20 million.

Trivia:

Not to be confused with Curse of the Phoenix aka Ghost Ship (2014) or The Ghost Ship (1943).

Related:

Death Ship (1980)

MOVIES & MANIA is genuinely independent and we rely solely on the minor income generated by affiliate links and internet ads to maintain and grow our online presence. Please support us by buying via Amazon links and not blocking ads on our site. Thank you. We really appreciate it.

Quick links to site contents:

A | B | C | D | E  | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Leave your comment here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.