GHOST SHIP commits the cardinal sin for a horror picture by not being
scary, but it does earn one accolade -- it could have been worse.
Although it isn't frightening, it does have a singularly gruesome
opening that may have you gagging on your popcorn. Dozens of bodies
are sliced in two, leaving body parts and innards to flop around on
the deck of an ocean liner.
Director Steve Beck leaves the shiny glass world of his last picture,
THIR13EN GHOSTS, for a movie set in the rusting metal of a ship that's
been floating adrift for forty years. "The best damned salvage crew
in the business," led by Murphy (Gabriel Byrne), are in the process
of seeing what treasures this old lady of the sea has to offer them.
Even if the boat might as well have "Danger!" in neon lights on the
side, Murphy, Epps (Julianna Margulies) and the rest of his eclectic
team, are ready to try to salvage the unsalvageable. Typical of the
script's silly dialog is Murphy's explanation as to why they should
attempt to tow an ocean liner through a thousand miles of water, "Sea
gives you an opportunity -- you take it."
Once on board, the crew has to face all of the clichéd horror picture
pitfalls, including skeletons, maggots, rats and self-closing doors.
The soul "survivor" of the 1962 disaster, a little girl ghost named
Katie (Emily Browning), is there to warn Epps of the dangers. Of
course, when things go bad, the salvage team first turns on each other
and then tries to save each other. Save yourself. Let GHOST SHIP
pass by without taking you on as a passenger.
GHOST SHIP runs 1:25. It is rated R for "strong violence/gore, language
and sexuality" and would be acceptable for most teenagers.
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes