International waters can yield some interesting finds, away from the prying eyes of conventional laws, the bottom of the deep blue sea can provide some alluring treasures, some fantastic tales and some terrible secrets. In 2002, horror returned to the high seas as an abandoned ship made for some dark discoveries, in the film Ghost Ship.
We see the Italian cruise ship Antonia Graza in the final moments before a horrific incident kills the crew and passengers. We cut 40 years in the future to the crew of a salvage ship, finding the now forgotten, forever floating carcass of the Antonia Graza in the Bering Sea, nobody has seen this ship in the last 40 years, but when fresher bodies and hidden gold become apparent, it becomes apparent that the ship may have a lot of sinister goings-on.
Like a lot of Dark Castle Entertainment films, there’s a slight camp feeling in the air, that helps implant some light relief to the ghoulish proceedings. This is particularly seen in the intro where the perfectly vintage logos and fonts evoke a delightful combination between Bewitched and The Love Boat it certainly looks out of place considering the macabre direction that the film takes almost immediately after. But don’t be fooled as the eerie atmosphere quickly reclaimed. Particularly through good sets as the tattered remains of the waterlogged cabins and the corroded metal work of the ship’s innards make an impressive arena for to stalk.
Paranoia is the fashion aboard the remnants of the Antonia Graza, with shadows playing tricks on our crew, as a notable instance is reminiscent the classic scene of the film, The Shining. But just because they’re essentially shadows, doesn’t mean that they are harmless. From the get-go, the film is quite gory, with the opening showcasing the bifurcation of the 1962 cast and crew. This moment reappears towards the end as a stylish ghost scene that is bold, and choreographed like a music video, it grabs your attention and is a moment that will haunt you long after the credits roll. But even their deaths aren’t enough as the 2002 crew with the likes of Gabriel Byrne and getting picked off one by one through mysterious and gruesome circumstances.
Ghost Ship is a thrilling, chilling and grilling film. A film that throws action, some romance, hidden wealth, and a whole lot of creepy happenings into an hour and a half. That mixes both camp and cadavers to a genius degree that makes the whole experience more than watchable. Ghost Ship isn’t a dream cruise, but it’s certainly a film that you want to sink your time into.
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