Ghost Ship review

How's this for a scary premise? Not only is Ghost Ship directed by the man who gave us Thir13en Ghosts; it's produced by the company behind House On Haunted Hill and written by one of the guys responsible for the Rollerball remake. In fact, the only good thing you can say about this abysmal horror flick is that it's the first film from Joel Silver's Dark Castle Entertainment that's not a remake of an old William Castle movie. Like, hurrah!

Director Steve Beck obviously didn't get sent back to filmmaking school after Thir13en Ghosts, since Ghost Ship is just as ear-smashingly loud, just as brain-achingly dumb and - if you can believe it - just as annoying as his badly-spelt supernatural debut. Shifting the haunted house set-up to the high seas, the ghost ship of the title is an ocean liner from the '60s that has suddenly turned up in international waters. Old sea dog Murphy (Gabriel Byrne) and his crew (including Julianna Margulies doing a mean Sigourney Weaver impression) plan to salvage her and make themselves rich. But, before you can say `Marie Celeste', the ship traps them onboard and starts killing them off one by one...

Kept afloat by a so-dumb-it's-funny script, Ghost Ship is certainly better than its unlucky predecessor, while the gore content has been upped with enough extra claret to warrant an 18 certificate (a dinner-dance massacre gives new meaning to the term `slice'n'dice'). But even the most forgiving horror fan will find it hardto stomach the sheer stupidity of the plot twists, and not even the presence of Byrne and Margulies, who do their best with the hokey dialogue, can stop Beck from running the whole project aground.

A shuffle forward from Thir13en Ghosts, this high-seas shocker has a couple of good moments but not enough steam to keep it afloat.

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