Ghost Ship is one of the many movies that stands out as an example of what could have been a great movie had more people paid attention to the actual story and stopped looking for the jump scares around every corner. The movie could have used a few tweaks here and there to make it better, but overall its dialogue was far better than many horror movies that have been deemed as great over the years, and the overall story is far more interesting than others that people have championed for one reason or another. Why it didn’t stand out as one of the better horror movies of the 2000s is kind of hard to imagine, but hey, that’s how it happens. The story is one that does break down to brass tacks that are quite simple, but it does become enticing when one realizes that the Antonia Graza is a lure that’s being used to draw in more souls for the collector that is using the derelict ship to meet his devilish quota. Maybe it’s the fact that the collector didn’t sprout scales, wings, and a demonic appearance, or that the effects were kept to a minimum compared to many movies, but Ghost Ship didn’t meet with a favorable review from the critics or the average crowd. But really, if one takes a second look at this movie, one might find that there are a lot more redeeming qualities that could make this movie stand out in a positive way.
The terror factor never gets to be overwhelming, but from a story aspect, it’s a movie that is capable of entertaining those who like a ghost story that doesn’t go over the top.
This movie had its jump scares, and it had a few moments that were kind of terrifying, but it wasn’t so bad that it needed to try terrifying the audience every possible second considering that the setting, the Antonia Graza, told a story that was important and was a longstanding ghost story in this world that was also a well-hidden secret. The idea that the sea is a vast and unknown place is something that many sailors could attest to, but the mystery behind it is something that others might think has been destroyed by the use of technology and the new methods of sailing that have come throughout the years. The great part about this movie is that it keeps the mystery and without dumbing things down it grants the audience the feeling that strange things happen at sea, and that they’re not as predictable as people might think.
The actors did a great job since they had chemistry that worked for the movie.
There were moments that felt a little cheesy, but overall the dialogue worked since the actors knew their lines and were capable of working with and around each other to such a degree that it went smoothly and didn’t feel too choppy. True, there were moments that could have been given a greater deal of explanation since they felt as though something was missing. But the overall feel of this movie is that it’s a fun ghost story that’s isolated and also gives the impression that once the crew of the Arctic Warrior accepts the challenge to bring the derelict ship into port, they’re hooked, and there’s no getting out. But that goes double once they discover the precious cargo on the ship, a treasure trove of gold that serves as an even bigger lure.
The little girl used for the story was a creepy aspect that worked in a surprising way.
Emily Browning came off as rather creepy when she first appeared as a ghost, but given the nature of this movie, that was just fine since she was the only spirit that hadn’t been tagged by the collector, played by Desmond Harrington. The fact that the collector had been trying to gather souls to take back to hell was interesting since a cruise ship is a great spot to gather as many people as possible, but it’s also kind of a closed system unless one can work a long-con that will gather as many potential victims to one’s grasp as possible. But the revelation that another ship had been aided by the Graza makes it clear that the collector had hit a snag before.
Banking on human nature in a horror movie is 19a pretty typical method.
Human beings are greedy, panicky, and mistrusting at times, and when treasure is involved, the average person’s eyes will light up with the possibility of what they might do with the new riches that are at their fingertips. This movie was no different, though there were individuals among the crew that didn’t care about the gold when their survival was on the line, which made for a better final fight with the collector. But despite all that, the collector and the gold boarded another ship at the end of the movie, which feels like a fitting end.
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