Ghost Ship (2002) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Horror / Thriller
Warner Brothers || R - 91 minutes - $28.99 || October 6, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-10-18


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Steve Beck
Writer(s): Mark Hanlon (story), Mark Hanlon and John Pogue (screenplay)
Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Margulies, Desmond Harrington, Isaiah Washington, Karl Urban, Emily Browning


Theatrical Release Date: October 25, 2002


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 4 Featurettes
  • Puzzle
  • Music Video
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German SDH, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish

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.::THE FILM::.

There is something worse than a bad horror movie... a boring horror movie. I’m all for films developing characters, setting the mood and building some sort of tension, but when it never comes to fruition, you feel ripped off when it’s over.

Ghost Ship is about an expert salvage crew who are approached by pilot Jack Ferriman (DESMOND HARRINGTON) after he spotted a wayward boat in the middle of the ocean. Because it is in international waters, the vessel, and anything inside, is the property of those who claim it so it is an interesting proposition of potential riches. Now, I called the crew “experts” because, as in many of these ensemble movies, we are introduced to the rag-tag team each with their own set of skills:

Sean Murphy (GABRIEL BYRNE) is the ship’s experienced captain; Greer (ISAIAH WASHINGTON) the first mate; Munder (KARL URBAN) a master welder; Dodge (RON ELDARD) who I didn’t know what he was good at; mechanic Santos (ALEX DIMITRIADES); and MAUREEN EPPS (JULIANNE MARGULIES) is the rogue of the group. With her introduction we’re given the old cliché of that one crew member who ignores the orders of the captain determined to get the job done despite the odds... Any guesses who is the most likely to survive? Anyone?

In any case, upon boarding the ship – which went mysteriously missing since 1962 – the crew begins experiencing weird events, beginning with Epps who believes she saw a little girl. Murphy sees a strange face in the mirror (the ship’s dead captain) and other various spooky events. But things turn for the better when they stumble upon a large amount of gold worth upwards of $300 million. When they decide on an action to take the gold and leave the ship (before they were going to somehow haul the cruise liner back), some ghostly apparition sabotages the crew’s boat leaving one of them dead and the others now stuck on the ship with no way of leaving.

Despite my objections, and as sad as it may be given a 2.5 rating, I was a little surprised by Ghost Ship as it managed to surpass my basement level expectations, but don’t go thinking this is a good movie because it isn’t. Point in fact, even with some cool make-up effects and an interesting opening, I was quite bored by it all, knowing who was going to survive and not really caring about the big reveal at the end.

It’s not one of those bad horror movies I was eagerly awaiting to end, but instead one that I will not remember either way, which is worse than a bad movie, at least those kind you will possibly remember for their awfulness (and maybe even start mocking it “MST3K” style).



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All features are presented in 480i/p standard definition.

Max on Set: Ghost Ship (15:04) – This is one of those specials that aired on Cinemax and contains your basic sound bites from the cast and crew explaining the plot and they tell you why you should see this movie. *Yawn*

Secrets of the Antonia Graza is a puzzle game to find the four secret stories of the ship in the movie. No idea how to solve it, or really care to, though I did accidentally was able to view one; you’re really not missing much.

Next up are 3 self-explanatory featurettes: Visual Effects (5:42), A Closer Look at the Gore (5:32) and Designing the Ghost Ship (6:02).

And finally is a music video (3:10) by Mudvayne and the theatrical trailer (2:15).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Ghost Ship makes its debut on Blu-ray with a 1.85 aspect ratio and 1080p high-definition. The picture for this now 7 year old film isn’t anything fantastic and the way it was shot (many dark scenes) doesn’t lend itself to pretty visuals. Some scenes looked OK but throughout it also seemed a tad soft while black levels aren’t the greatest either. There is some noise and a little grain but it’s not distracting.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track, like the picture, is a little soft; there isn’t a whole lot of oomph to it. Even when there is a big action scene towards the end, it wasn’t very effective. The rear channels didn’t get much use with most audio coming via the center or side speakers. Now, the dialogue levels were good and John Frizzell’s underrated score sounded nice. This is a decent TrueHD track, but not amazing.



.::OVERALL::.

If you still haven’t see Ghost Ship, don’t start now. The concept it semi-unique but more suitable on “The Twilight Zone” or “Fringe”, but not a feature film.