2002 was a big year for horror films. Dog Soldiers, Fear Dot Com, Resident Evil, and countless others came out during a quick resurgence. Although it was nice to have lots of horror back on the big screen a lot of these films came and went, and were never mentioned again. A very slight few developed cult followings and have stayed popular through the years. One of those was Ghost Ship which came out about a week before Halloween, the best time to open a horror film in my opinion. Featuring a good cast, a cool story, great special effects, and a nice budget for a horror film Ghost Ship performed well at the box office, and maintains its cult following to this day.
Ghost Ship opens hot, with one of the best openings in any horror film. It starts in 1962 and wee a group of passengers on a cruise ship all dancing and having a good time. One of the passengers is a girl named Katie. She’s much younger than everyone else and just sitting alone. The captain asks her to dance and she is having a nice time until we see a hand hit a spool lever. This sends a wire cord flying at everyone killing the entire group. Heads going off, bodies cut in half, the works. A total bloodbath from start to finish. Kate is unharmed as she is small and the wire passed right over her.
We cut to 40 years later and a salvage crew out in the ocean finds the long lost ship and decides to board it and claim it as their property. They discover the ship holds multiple boxes each containing gold bars. Unfortunately for them the ship is haunted and not only do a few of the crew perish as a result but the ship they used to board the “Ghost Ship” (which is actually called the Antonia Graza) explodes. The crew has no other choice but to try and repair the Graza and escape with the gold. Problem is the ship has many ghosts who begin to torment the salvage crew causing them to go mad an murder each other. See it turns out members of the Graza crew murdered the passengers, and the rest of the crew in order to obtain the gold. However they went crazy and began killing each other as well. Its revealed this all happened because of Jack Ferriman, an evil spirit who makes people commit sins so he can send them to hell.
This is a cool film with a very original story. Its well-acted and well made. The special effect are fantastic. The opening wire massacre scene is one of the best kill scenes in horror films. The pacing is very tight as well as the chemistry between all the actors. The film is short by todays standards, running barley 90min which is good as it fly’s right by. As all these films did back then it features a twist ending that’s sure to please.
Scream Factory has released this in a nice collectors series set with fantastic new cover art. As with all their releases the video and audio are second to none. The picture is crisp and vibrant. Everything comes alive, and as the film is mostly dark it great to see how it doesn’t suffer from that dreaded blue tint that some of these restorations have. Scream Factory has this down to a science and this one is no exception. The audio is great and the score sounds amazing coming out of your surround sound. And as its Scream Factory it even loaded with special features.
· NEW This Isn’t Real – An Interview With Actor Isaiah Washington
· NEW Dark Castle At Sea – An Interview With Producer Gil Adler
· NEW Every Body On Board – An Interview With Makeup Effects Supervisor Jason Baird
· NEW Audio Commentary With Director Steve Beck
· Max On Set: Ghost Ship Featurette
· Visual Effects Featurette
· A Closer Look At The Gore Featurette
· Designing The Ghost Ship Featurette
· Secrets Of The Antonia Graza Clips
· Mudvayne “Not Falling” Music Video
· Theatrical Trailer
This is a really good horror movie that’s not to be missed. It hold up well and is just as good today as it was almost 18 years ago. If you have never seen it it’s definitely one to check out. Good story, good gore, and good jump scares make this a must have for your collection.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!