Movie Reviews 142 – Ghost Ship (2002)

Ghost ShipIf nothing else this movie will always be remembered for its gruesomely designed first scene in which an entire upper deck filled with party goers meet their demise in a split second. That scene takes place in 1962 and the ship is the Italian ocean liner the Antonia Graza which was never seen after that fateful night.

As a salvage crew sits in a restaurant having just completed their last operation and the members of the crew contemplate their next moves they are approached by a former pilot with a proposition. The pilot claims to have witnessed some huge radar reflections in a remote part of the Bering Sea and urges the salvagers to take on the job of finding out what was there. A deal is struck and they head out to the isolated and dangerous waters seeking fortune.

Needless to say they find the Antonia Graza and even without any specific items of value that may be on board, they are elated as the ship itself will provide a nice return. All they have to do is haul it back. No easy task to begin with, but they have no idea of the perils and hardships they are really in store for.

Further exploration of the ship yields both good news and bad. The bad part includes some ominously bad luck with destroyed equipment and even the destruction of their own hauler. The good news is that there is also an enormous stash of pure gold hidden. But just like a haunted house full of college kids the ship and its demonic entity starts gobbling up one salvage crew member after another as the real story unfolds.

I really dug both the mystery and the novel ways in which the setting of the ship and it’s creepy corridors was used to inch along the story. The surprise ending, while a bit forced, was more than I expected. The cast including Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Margulies and Desmond Harrington (of Dexter fame) are up to the task but the sultry Francesca Rettondini is the standout in a bit part as a singer on the fateful night of the Antonia Graza. Watch the movie and you’ll know why.

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