91 Min. | Horror – Mystery | December 2002
IMDB Rating: 5.5
Director: Steve Beck
Staring: Julianna Margulies, Gabriel Byrne, Ron Eldard
Ghost Ship Review: The third movie produced by the production company “Dark Castle” and managed by Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis, “Ghost Ship” (2002) marks a step forward and constitutes a neat improvement in comparison with the two previous movies, “the House on the Haunted Hill” (1999) and “13 Ghosts” (2001). This can be checked at the level of a meticulous making and quite outstanding special effects. It is all the more positive as with “Ghost Ship”, we deal with a B movie. Another good point, the change of scenery. It is a judicious choice to have replaced the threadbare topic of the haunted house by the haunted ship.
If the screenplay doesn’t avoid all the Hollywood conventions, neither all the cliches of the horror film, the director Steve Beck makes up for it by shrouding his movie an atmosphere of mystery as soon as the crew discovers the ship. He’s also imposing (slowly but surely) a progressive rise of the tension which reaches its climax in the end. We come in for a few real moments of fright and Beck, in the long run puts the spectator in his pocket. As far as the cast is concerned, there are two surprises. Julianna Margulies who for once decided to give up scalpels in the “ER” series and especially Gabriel Byrne. An ambitious actor who isn’t reluctant to sometimes act in a horror movie which is potboiler for him like “End of Days” (1999) or “Stigmata” (1999).
It is a shame that the end isn’t really satisfying and suits badly to the whole. But no matter, “Ghost Ship” remains a nice little horror movie whose main function is to make shiver. For this, it reaches its goal. One last thing, if the movies that come out of the “Dark Castle” production company keep on gaining in quality, maybe will they create a masterpiece one day. Horror fans have been unjustly dismissing this flick for far too long. Check out “Ghost Ship” and judge for yourself. It’s a well made, disturbing little roller coaster ride that may well put you off of the idea of ever taking a leisurely ocean cruise.