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Ghost Ship (2002)
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Review Date: October 28, 2002
Director: Steve Beck
Writer: Mark Hanlon, John Pogue
Producers: Joel Silver, Robert Zemeckis, Gilbert Adler
Actors:
Julianna Margulies as Epps
Gabriel Byrne as Murphy
Ron Eldard as Dodge
Plot:
A team of boat salvagers ramble aboard a vacant ocean liner, floating around in the middle of the sea, in the hopes of getting stinky rich. Instead, they fall upon a haunted vessel which apparently doesn't appreciate the presence of strangers. A nice tit-shot of an Italian chick ensues and...oh yeah, so does a mystery about the boat.
Critique:
An okay Halloween time "horror" movie for anyone who doesn't mind sitting through a truly unoriginal plotline without any real scares, but with a couple of cool sequences, lots of dark, moody atmosphere, groovy sets and a handful of kills. Nobody's gonna write home to tell their mom about this movie (or their auntie for that matter), but if you're in the right frame of mind (a late night video session, for example) and just want to jump inside a spooky ship for the evening, you might want to check this munchkin out. It would also help if you enjoyed similarly themed flicks like DEEP RISING, THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, 13 GHOSTS and EVENT HORIZON (among various others) and if you aren't expecting to be taken through any creative twists. One of the things that I ultimately didn't like about this film was its resolution, which 1) was a little too obvious from the start and 2) didn't really click or affect me in any way. I also didn't like the typical James Bond/villain monologue at the end, with one person explaining the reasonings behind it all to another, or the actual explanation itself (picture me rolling my eyes...whatever!). The characters were also quite plain all around with Gabriel Byrne playing the tough, quiet guy, Julianna Margulies playing the tough, Ripley-esque woman, Ron Eldard acting through his blonde highlights and Isaiah Washington making sure that the film's accountants noted his presence come check-time. And the rest of the crew? Were there others on board...? I didn't notice.

Having said that, the film's shadowy atmosphere and mystery did keep me going most of the way, but overall, nothing really bowled me over. There were two sequences, however, which were extremely cool: the first was the opening scene, which has got to be one of the most disgusting (and slick) scenes of the year, and the other, a flashback scenario later on in the film, which actually turned out to be exciting, bloody and somewhat original (especially when compared to the rest of the movie). I also really dug the film's final shot, which unfortunately left things open for a sequel, but was well-handled and stuck out in my eyes (even though it didn't make any logical sense). As for the story, well...it was decent, but like I said before, nothing we haven't seen before and certainly no real suspense. It's basically just a haunted boat. Some cheap boo scares are tossed in here and there (most of which didn't work for me), an annoying "ghost girl" walks around and provides for some clues and folks ultimately start getting whacked one by one. Overall, I guess it can be considered to be a decent watch around this time of year (although if you really wanna get creeped out, check out THE RING!), but ultimately, it's probably best saved for a lonely, dark evening with your loved (or hated) one by your side come video-time. Popcorn would also help, nachos would make it even better and a left-handed handjob would definitely hit the spot (what any of that has to do with this movie is beyond me!). Not as bad as I thought it would be, but not very good either.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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