You could almost blame “Ghost Ship” of false advertising, as it’s a movie that almost promises to deliver a new kind of ghost movie, and then backs out after the prologue. Steve Beck’s horror movie begins on a very gnarly note with easily one of the most memorable horror movie openings of all time. Beck directs this hook brilliantly and you’d feel bad for not seeing the entire movie through. Once Steve Beck’s ghost film progresses, it’s sadly more of the same.
In a remote region of the Bering Sea, a boat salvage crew discovers the eerie remains of a grand passenger liner thought lost for more than forty years. But once onboard the eerie, cavernous ship, the crew of the Arctic Warrior discovers that the decaying vessel is anything but deserted. It’s home to something more deadly and horrific than anything they’ve encountered in all their years at sea.
Steve Beck’s horror film is a part of the Dark Castle banner, and it follows within that formula of generally looking like every film under the studio. The “Dark Castle” brand had a penchant for creating movies that all felt generally moody and atmospheric with heavy, varying tones of blue used to establish inherent terror. “Ghost Ship” is milquetoast ghost fodder; it’s basically cut from the same cloth but never quite delivers on any kind of tension or terror. The ship is a conscious being (So—did the deaths create the curse or did the curse create the deaths?), it separates each member of the salvage crew, and knocks them off one by one in ironic or bizarre methods.
Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s all everything we’ve seen from TV movies, and TV mini-series, and exploitation movies from the seventies with Donald Pleasance or John Rhys Davis on some cheap late night cable fodder. It’s just more of what we’ve seen a thousand times before except with great character actors thrown in to the mix like Julianna Margolis, Gabriel Byrne, and Karl Urban, respectively. You’re so much better off with “Thir13en Ghosts.” At least that one is filled with pay offs.
Included on the Collector’s Edition, there’s a digital audio commentary wit director Steve Beck, the six minutes “This Isn’t Real: Isaiah Washington On Ghost Ship features Washington discussing how his role with Clint Eastwood helped his casting for the role. “Every Body on Board: Makeup Effect Supervisor Jason Baird on Ghost Ship” is a six minutes discussion with Reid who talks about going from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace to The Matrix sequels to working on Ghost Ship.
Baird goes over the opening sequence, the challenges of shooting with so much water, making silicon replica bodies and the hanging sequence. “Dark Castle at Sea: Producer Gil Adler on Ghost Ship” is a seven minutes talk with Steve Beck who wanted to make something actually scary and doing something with more of an ensemble cast rather than any individual. “Max on Set: Ghost Ship” is a fifteen minutes previously unreleased EPK for the film from Cinemax Movie Channel. It features interviews from cast, crew and producers. Finally there are looks at Visual Effects, A Closer Look at the Gore, Disguising the “Ghost Ship,” Secrets of the Antonia Graza, and the theatrical trailer. Finally, there’s the music video “Not Falling” by band Mudvayne.