A group of teenagers head out for a weekend of booze, sex and fun on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Whiled totally hammered they talk about their biggest fears, and are killed off systematically by an unseen force according to their (gasp) biggest fears.
It can be difficult to review a movie like this due to all sorts of other factors than the actual movie itself. If looking at it through the lens of a big budget Hollywood movie, HAUNTED BOAT would be one steaming pile of dog poo. Just on a technical side of things, the camera work felt amateur at best, using overall bad angles and shoddy framing throughout the entire movie, making it difficult to see what the hell was going on half the time. The special effects were laughable, featuring one incredibly fake 'CG' shark, and the face of a dead guy peering in through the fog every now and again. Looked fake, felt fake. Weak! And the music... From creepy mood music (good), to cheesy rock ballads (bad), to classical (very bad), this flick had it all in all the wrong places. Add that together with some bad (and outright dumb) dialog, overly dramatic and uneven acting, and a cast of 'friends' that don't even seem to like each other, and you get one horrid haunted scare flick.
But if you look at this film as an amateur student film, it doesn't feel nearly as bad. The actual 'look' of it was more along the lines of the grainy video that we've seen in OPEN WATER and THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Because the quality was about what you'd get from your grandpa's video camera, it gave the film a sense of realism, as if we were on this haunted boat with the rest of them. That is, until the crappy CG showed up, and the teenage girls begin screaming so hysterically that it edges into being ridiculous (and outright funny). Also, I always have to give props to flicks featuring chicks in bikinis (check), and chicks getting naked (double check). This was much appreciated, though I can't say it really 'improved' the flick as a whole.
So really, I have to judge this flick on the one thing that all movies should be judged (regardless of production size), and that is as on it's entertainment value. Was this entertaining? Only in the way a bad movie can be, where you spend most of the time laughing at the unintentionally funny dialog, over the top acting, it's complete randomness and 'what the f*ck' moments. Would I want to watch it again? Even if the cable was out, the rest of my DVD collection went up in flames and all the rental stores in America went out of business I wouldn't voluntarily watch this movie again.
: Presented in anamorphic widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs. This probably looked as good as the handheld amature video was going to look.
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound & Stereo 2.0. While I appreciated it being in 5.1, the overall low quality of the film didn't really merit it.
HAUNTED BOAT was more like an experimental student film than anything else. Though the grainy video look gave the film a sense of realism, the overacting, strange friendship dynamics, and overall confusing string of events pushed it from being real to being hokey. Throw in some incredibly horrible special effects and shoddy camera work, and you have something you'd be proud of if you shot it with your buddies after downing a case of Bud Light. It did have some eerie elements going for it (and gratuitous nudity), but unless you dig student films or haunted boat movies in general, I'd suggest steering far, far away.