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2002, Horror/Mystery & thriller, 1h 31m

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Critics Consensus

With a plot as creaky as the boat, Ghost Ship fails to deliver the scares. Read critic reviews

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Ghost ship   photos.

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 40 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.

Rating: R (Sexuality|Language|Strong Violence/Gore)

Genre: Horror, Mystery & thriller

Original Language: English

Director: Steve Beck

Producer: Joel Silver , Robert Zemeckis , Gilbert Adler

Writer: Mark Hanlon , John Pogue

Release Date (Theaters): Oct 25, 2002  wide

Release Date (Streaming): May 1, 2008

Box Office (Gross USA): $30.1M

Runtime: 1h 31m

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production Co: Village Roadshow Prod., Dark Castle Entertainment

Sound Mix: Dolby Stereo, Dolby Digital, Dolby A, Surround, Dolby SR

Aspect Ratio: Flat (1.85:1)

Cast & Crew

Julianna Margulies

Maureen Epps

Desmond Harrington

Jack Ferriman

Isaiah Washington

Gabriel Byrne

Captain Sean Murphy

Alex Dimitriades

Emily Browning

Francesca Rettondini

Joel Silver

Robert Zemeckis

Gilbert Adler

Mark Hanlon

Bruce Berman

Executive Producer

Steve Richards

Richard Mirisch

Co-Producer

Susan Downey

John Frizzell

Original Music

Gale Tattersall

Cinematographer

Graham "Grace" Walker

Production Design

Roger Barton

Film Editing

News & Interviews for Ghost Ship

New on Netflix in September 2019: New Movies, TV Shows, Netflix Original Series

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Critic Reviews for Ghost Ship

Audience reviews for ghost ship.

This is one of those days where I wish I could just crank this review out in five minutes and be done with it because, again, I'm really short for time and I need to cook dinner before tonight's movie. Fuck my life. In all seriousness though, this movie is a bit of a conundrum for me. I know, for a fact, that I saw the first bit of this movie on some cable TV network when I was younger. But I cannot, for the life of me, remember if I had actually seen this in theaters when it first came out with my mom or aunt or both of them. I spent my entire time watching this movie trying to remember as to whether or not I had actually seen this. And, in all honesty, I still can't remember if I did see it in theaters. I'm not saying that my memory is perfect, but I've got a pretty good memory when it comes to movies I've seen in theaters. And this is just one that I'm completely blanking on. I can usually tell if it's one or the other, but I can't do that for this movie. Also, why the fuck am I wasting my time trying to remember whether I could remember such an unmemorable slog of a movie like this one??? Spoiler alert, I didn't really like this movie. It's not like the concept of a ghost ship is a new concept in the medium that is horror, but has it ever been executed as ineffectively as it was in this movie. It's one of those flicks where you just pay attention because you decided to watch it, but you don't REALLY pay attention to. Like you're just watching mindlessly, consuming what this film has to offer without really thinking anything. Talk about engaging, eh??? This tugboat crew is hired to, well, tug this ocean liner that mysteriously disappeared over forty years ago, at the point of this film's release at least, closer to sixty now. When the crew gets to the ocean liner, they find large quantities of gold and, of course, they think they've got it made. The thing is that there's quite a bit to the movie before we actually get to this point and, you know what, I don't really care to recap it because it's fucking boring and uninteresting. After they recover the gold and take it back to their boat, which explodes as the result of some spirit/demonic presence attempting to prevent them from leaving. This starts off a series of increasingly strange events that leads to the death of the entire crew, with the exception of Epps. I suppose the idea is that you're gonna be so intrigued by the mystery of what happened on this ship, where the gold came from and what was the motivating factor for the constant betrayals that went on aboard as everyone tried to get a piece of the pie. I mean $200 million worth in gold is enough motivation but, of course, there was a manipulator here. Anyway, the point is that I didn't really care about any of the mystery behind this ship. So, if you're like me, and you don't care about the mystery behind the disappearance of this ship, where the gold came from and who's the demonic spirit manipulating this, then what's the fucking point of it all? There is no point. The horror is terrible, the characters aren't particularly likable and the scripting is all of the place in that it doesn't know what it wants to be. What am I, or anyone else for that matter, even watching this movie for? I mean, the film fails to provide any reasonable amount of entertainment, so what was this meant to do??? I think I'd like this movie more if it was made to promote Mudvayne's second album. Mudvayne's song 'Not Falling' is featured heavily in this film. Why would I like this movie more for that? I don't really know and I can't actually answer that question, but there's something absurd of spending millions of dollars in producing and marketing this movie only for it to serve as promotional material for a shitty heavy metal band's second album. And I say this as someone who grew up as a metalhead, it's just that I never liked Mudvayne. Regardless, I suppose that's neither here nor there. It comes to be revealed, in the third act, that the person who took the crew to the ocean liner is the demonic spirit that's manipulating everything. It's a job for him, you see, he salvages souls for a living(?) as punishment for a lifetime of sin. I mean, I guess that makes sense, but who doles out the punishment?? Is this Satan himself??? Cause isn't eternal hellfire and damnation punishment enough??? The fact that this guy gets to avoid hell, by salvaging human souls on this ocean liner, honestly, isn't really that bad of a punishment. I mean it was a twist for the sake of a twist. And, even then, it wasn't a twist. The reason I say it wasn't a twist was because you kind of knew that Ferriman was involved somehow. And the reason I say it's a twist for the sake of it is because it, REALLY, doesn't stand up to scrutiny. I imagine they thought they were being cute by having Ferriman/the demonic spirit be a salvager, like the crew of the tugboat are, but when you actually think about it and you analyze it, it doesn't really stand up to any sort of actual scrutiny. You're just supposed to take things at face value and leave it at that, you're not meant to ask questions. And, while it's not as bad as some of Shyamalan's worst twists, it's really bad. It's not that it's that outlandish or preposterous, it's just the fact that it raises more questions than it answers and none of those questions are satisfyingly answered in this movie. I don't really know what else you want me to say about this movie. I feel like I've gone over everything that I need to have gone over in order for this review to be complete. There's nothing of value or importance in this movie. I'm sure this is someone's favorite horror movie and, honestly, I ask myself how and why that is possible. There's so many great horror movies out there and THIS is someone's favorite horror movie??? I'm just going by the law of probability, there's seven billion on this planet, one of them is bound to love this movie. Life just isn't fair sometimes and the fact that there's someone that loves this movie is proof of that. Hey, whatever floats their boats I guess (pardon the pun). Regardless, I felt that this movie sucked. From the horror to the writing to the unlikable characters to the twist, this movie offers very little of value. The film's cast is decent. at best, but, let's just say, they were swimming upstream.

ghost ship trailer youtube

Ghost Ship is an exciting supernatural thriller that delivers some frightening chills. The story follows the crew of a salvage vessel that discovers a derelict passenger liner that went missing in 1962, however it turns out not to be as deserted as they thought when they start seeing the ghosts of dead passengers. Starring Julianna Margulies, Gabriel Byrne, Desmond Harrington, and Emily Browning, the film features a strong cast. And, the set designs and special effects are pretty good; creating a haunting and foreboding tone. The music too is used quite well, particularly during the action beats and the dramatic climax. Still, the plot can be rather formulaic and even a bit confusing at times. Yet despite its problems, Ghost Ship is a captivating horror film that's full of mystery and intrigue.

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon13.gif[/img] Once the protaganists got on the titiluar ship there was one massive jump that spooked me, and I was convincing myself that maybe the film wasn't as bad as everyone was saying but to my displeasure it sank my expectations completely shortly afterwards. On the positive side, the acting isn't awful and the set pieces are excellent and sometimes quite creepy. However the plot is derivative and sadly it's never as scary as it should be.

A very confusing film, there seems to be no plot whatsoever, the flashbacks are dreadful, not to mention the special effect, spare me please

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Original Theatrical Release

October 25, 2002

Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror

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An hour-long cruise, the meta-filmic essay of a vampire moviemaker, a ghost film. F.W. Murnau and his movie Nosferatu ; the love triangle between Bram Stoker, his wife Florence Balcombe and his boyfriend Oscar Wilde. And in the very middle of it all, the novel Dracula ?.

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Bloody Disgusting!

20 Years Later: ‘Ghost Ship’ Still Sails High With One of Horror’s All-Time Greatest Openings

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Twenty years ago today,  Ghost Ship  sailed into theaters and unleashed an unforgettable opening sequence that instantly entered the annals of all-time great cold opens. The stylish introduction ends with an unexpected shock and an insanely high body count. Perhaps it was a bit too effective; that high kill count quickly slows down once  Ghost Ship jumps ahead to the present.

No matter the film that followed, this cold open deserves its place among horror’s best opening sequences.

The  Steve Beck -directed horror movie was the third release under the genre label Dark Castle Entertainment and his sophomore feature follow-up to 2001’s  Th13teen Ghosts . Released in theaters on October 25, 2002,  Ghost Ship  followed a salvage crew seeking riches from a long-missing Italian cruise ship, the  MS Antonia Graza , only to discover its haunted past shortly after boarding.

ghost ship trailer youtube

The cold open teases some harrowing events that led to the ocean liner’s disappearance forty years ago. Soothing ballroom music plays against pink cursive credits and bubbles rising from the ocean’s depths. The title card set over a wide shot of the  MS Antonia Graza  to orchestral music feels more at home with a retro sitcom or romance than a horror movie.

What quickly follows is a romantic ballroom scene set on a luxurious cruise ship in 1962. Singer Francesca ( Francesca Rettondini ) croons “Senza Fine” to a bustling open-air ballroom. It’s a picture of opulence as the crew maneuvers through the dance floor to the tables beyond with trays of wine or carts of fine dining offerings. The exception to the elegant revelry is a bored wallflower, young Katie ( Emily Browning ), who relays her boredom to a kind crew member.

Eventually, Francesca summons everyone to the dance floor, and the ship’s Captain ( Bob Ruggiero ) attempts to entertain Katie with an invitation to dance. An unseen figure pushes a lever, setting in motion a series of motors and cranks that wind up excess wires piled on the deck floor. The wire rips through the unsuspecting crowd like butter.

Ghost Ship 2002 horror

Beck slows everything down just before the coiling wire bisects the patrons. The camera lingers over smiling faces, capturing the final moments of ignorant bliss. The camera pans between various mechanical components in play, a harbinger of doom that creates tension. Like a rubber band, the slow speed whips into a fast frenzy, the wire now moving with a force that slices through bouquets, metals, and bone with ease. The crowd barely has time to register the shattering glass or exploding lights before it hits them.

The camera gives one last pause, this time of a now bloodied wire, before scanning back through shocked faces. Still gripping her dance partner tight, Katie looks on in horror as bodies begin to fall around her in pieces. Arms, lower torsos, and heads slide away to a blood-slicked dance floor. Some writhe around, reaching for their missing limbs as they die. Katie’s scream echoes into the night.

Its jarring shift from romantic elegance to entrails-filled horror makes this sequence stand out—the slow, methodical build of presenting mood and setting before literally ripping it away. The abrupt shifts in pacing, from slow to fast to slow again, create foreboding and suspense, and allows the horror to really sink in when Beck examines the wire’s deadly aftermath.

Ghost Ship 2002 movie

Of course, the ability to kill so many in one fell swoop contributes to the feeling of shock. The imagery of a young girl standing at the center of a massive pile of bisected corpses leaves a lasting imprint. When cold opens in horror usually results in a death or two, Ghost Ship ambitiously dispatches an entire ballroom worth of patrons and crew all at once.

The answers to the mystery behind this gruesome act of violence never quite matched the adrenaline-inducing highs of this opening scene. Even still, it’s such a memorable moment in horror that it’s worth the price of taking a cruise on the Ghost Ship  alone.

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Horror journalist, RT Top Critic, and Critics Choice Association member. Co-Host of the Bloody Disgusting Podcast. Has appeared on PBS series' Monstrum, served on the SXSW Midnighter shorts jury, and moderated horror panels for WonderCon and SeriesFest.

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It’s a Slaughterhouse: 20 Years Later, ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ Remains One Hell of a Remake

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Remakes were all the rage in the 2000s. Halloween , Friday the 13th , Black Christmas , The Amityville Horror , House of Wax , The Crazies , My Bloody Valentine , The Hills Have Eyes – and the list goes on and on. And then there’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre .

 A Platinum Dunes creation, the 2003 remake did what most remakes fail to do: honor the original while doing something wildly unique and equally as cool. Director Marcus Nispel , also behind the Friday the 13th remake, carves out a special place in the pantheon of horror by trusting his instincts and letting the cast play (and scream along the way). 20 years later, the bright spot in the sea of mediocre remakes still operates on all cylinders, and in many respects, outpaces the 1974 original.

From the opening frames, the film presents itself as based on real-life events. Grainy police footage shows bodies behind transported, officers taping off the crime scene, and photographed pieces of evidence. “For 30 years, the files collected dust in the cold case division of the Travis County police department. Over 1,300 pieces of evidence were collected from the crime scene at the Hewitt residence,” says the narrator ( John Larroquette ) over the images. “Yet none of the evidence was more compelling than the classified police footage of the crime scene walkthrough…” The film goes on to show deep scratch marks down the walls to the furnace room and a clot of hair with an embedded fingernail. It’s gruesome stuff.

Due to cinematographer Daniel Pearl’s work, I used to think this was real footage. That something this dark and depraved really happened. (Technically, the film is somewhat based on such macabre stories as Ed Gein .) But I thought this story was real . In making the audience believe your story, you set up the narrative as something grounded and authentic. Perhaps it’s far more grounded than even the 1974 original, much less the many sequels. It lives within a heightened reality yet is still very much nailed to the ground, namely through emotionally charged and often agonized performances from the cast.

A particular standout, Jessica Biel does a helluva lot of screaming as our lead heroine, Erin, whose boyfriend Kemper ( Eric Balfour ) gets his face cut from his skull and worn as a mask. Much like Sally, she runs around the Hewitt residence, darting in and out of the wooded countryside. She eventually makes her way to the slaughterhouse where the epic third-act finale takes place. And unlike Sally, Erin actually fights back and wields a meat-clever, hacking off Leatherface’s arm. She’s an underrated Final Girl – her name is rarely mentioned when having this discussion. But I declare right here and now that she deserves far more recognition than any of us have given her.

ghost ship trailer youtube

Of course, the cast is nothing without R. Lee Ermey’s maniacal and mean-spirited turn as Sheriff Hoyt, who manipulates, traumatizes, and brutally assaults the group every chance he gets. His sly smile sends chills down the spine, but there’s a certain charm to Ermey’s performance that warms every dark heart; you just love to hate him . When we first meet the deranged policeman, he makes crude remarks about the poor young woman ( Lauren German ) who shot herself in the head (more on that later) and demands Andy ( Mike Vogel ) help him bind the corpse with Saran wrap. Hoyt emerges as a stand-in, a representative of corrupt police – whether intentionally or not, there’s a lacing of such socio-political undertones that can’t be ignored. “To protect and serve,” he salutes, after Morgan ( Jonathan Tucker ) and Andy dump the body into the trunk of Hoyt’s beat-up police car. A chilling performance gets even chillier in the second act when Hoyt torments Morgan into reenacting in great detail how the woman killed herself in Kemper’s van, down to sticking the pistol into his mouth. There’s nary a scene Ermey doesn’t knock out of the park – he gives such weight to his words that you just believe everything he says. His gaze is so piercing it’s like he’s talking through the camera and into your soul.

We’re also treated to a menacing performance from Andrew Bryniarski as Leatherface. He imbues his role with command and great attention to physicality. As a mostly silent killer, strength in presence is required to transmit raw emotion to the audience, and Bryniarski does not disappoint. In fact, he reaches the Hall of Fame for best portrayal of a horror villain, earning a place next to Gunnar Hansen from the original and Nick Castle as Michael Myers in John Carpenter’s Halloween . With Bryniarski, there’s more unwavering control in the chaos; even as he peek-a-boos between flapping sheets chasing after Andy, there’s a calculated quality to his movements. He colors outside the lines when he needs to, but every muscle twinge or soft grunt is with purpose. That’s the mark of a great actor – to make you feel everything down to your bones. The performance is so rattling that it lingers with you long after the film’s over.

ghost ship trailer youtube

Given the strong performances across the board – even Erica Leerhsen shines as Pepper – Marcus Nispel and Daniel Pearl are able to then build the camera work into a stylistic cathedral. As polished as it is, there remains a grainy aesthetic and a deep color palette that makes the world devilish and bizarre. Dark, mucky greens and browns tangle with the brightness of daylight, a counterbalance to demonstrate the contrast between our group and the Hewitts.

Now, we’ve gotta talk about that shot. You know the one. The money shot. On their way through rural Texas, Kemper and the crew come across a disheveled and shaken young woman on the side of the road. “I won’t go back there,” she repeats over and over again. At the urging of Erin, the group offers her a ride, but they’re about to get the surprise of their lives. When the van passes by the slaughterhouse, the woman lurches to the front of the van and tries to run them off the road. “You’re going the wrong way!” she screams. She cowers back on the seat, as the van barrels further down the dusty road. “He’s a very bad man…” she whimpers. She proceeds to pull a revolver out from between her legs, and her last words are haunting: “You’re all gonna die.” And bang! She sticks the gun in her mouth and pulls the trigger. The camera lands on Erin screaming and pulls back, making its way through the van and into the young woman’s head and out the back of the exit wound – and eventually stops near the bumper of the van. It’s a crazy, insane, and wonderfully bold shot. It’s enough to make you queasy, as the brain matter frames the lens as the camera moves outward. Genius! 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre survives as a shining example that when filmmakers venture beyond the confines of the original they’ll surprise you. Credit should also be given to screenwriter Scott Kosar for his work on cultivating an interesting story from the ground up and managing to give the characters real lives in which to explore and exist. The actors then take those words and breathe life into them, making for a thrilling showpiece forever immortalized into the annals of horror history. Despite reviews (it stands at a paltry 37 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), the film just works on every single level. And it wouldn’t have had any of these puzzle pieces been lackluster or felt out of place. From the cinematography to the actors’ willingness to take risks, Texas Chainsaw Massacre defines the remake era, and it’s easily an all-time Top 5 contender.

There’s nothing else quite like it.

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After discovering a passenger ship missing since 1962 floating adrift on the Bering Sea, salvagers claim the vessel as their own. Once they begin towing the ghost ship towards harbor, a series of bizarre occurrences happen and the group becomes trapped inside the ship, which they soon learn is inhabited by a demonic creature.

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Want to watch ' Ghost Ship ' in the comfort of your own home? Hunting down a streaming service to buy, rent, download, or view the Steve Beck-directed movie via subscription can be difficult, so we here at Moviefone want to do the work for you. Read on for a listing of streaming and cable services - including rental, purchase, and subscription choices - along with the availability of 'Ghost Ship' on each platform when they are available. Now, before we get into all the details of how you can watch 'Ghost Ship' right now, here are some details about the Village Roadshow Pictures, NPV Entertainment, Dark Castle Entertainment, Ghost Ship Films Pty. Ltd., Warner Bros. Pictures mystery flick. Released October 22nd, 2002, 'Ghost Ship' stars Gabriel Byrne , Julianna Margulies , Desmond Harrington , Ron Eldard The R movie has a runtime of about 1 hr 31 min, and received a user score of 59 (out of 100) on TMDb, which collated reviews from 2,061 respected users. Curious to know what the movie's about? Here's the plot: "After discovering a passenger ship missing since 1962 floating adrift on the Bering Sea, salvagers claim the vessel as their own. Once they begin towing the ghost ship towards harbor, a series of bizarre occurrences happen and the group becomes trapped inside the ship, which they soon learn is inhabited by a demonic creature." 'Ghost Ship' is currently available to rent, purchase, or stream via subscription on DIRECTV, Microsoft Store, Redbox, Google Play Movies, Amazon Video, AMC on Demand, Vudu, YouTube, and Apple iTunes .

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Ghost Ship (1952)

A luxury ship is haunted by the ghosts of a crew that had disappeared off the ship years before. A luxury ship is haunted by the ghosts of a crew that had disappeared off the ship years before. A luxury ship is haunted by the ghosts of a crew that had disappeared off the ship years before.

  • Vernon Sewell
  • Philip Thornton
  • Pierre Mille
  • Dermot Walsh
  • Hazel Court
  • Hugh Burden
  • 16 User reviews
  • 12 Critic reviews
  • See more at IMDbPro

Ghost Ship (1952)

  • Guy Thornton

Hazel Court

  • Margaret Thornton

Hugh Burden

  • Dr. Fawcett
  • Prof. Mansel Martineau

Hugh Latimer

  • Mrs. Martineau

Joss Ambler

  • Yard Manager
  • Mrs. Manley
  • Mr. Leech, Surveyor
  • Bert, 1st Fisherman

Joss Ackland

  • Ron, 2nd Fisherman
  • Sid, 3rd Fisherman
  • (as John King Kelly)
  • 1st Engineer
  • 2nd Engineer
  • Thomas Selter (Lloyd's Surveyor)
  • Strange Passenger

Ian Carmichael

  • Pierre Mille (uncredited)
  • All cast & crew
  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

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  • Trivia The yacht used in the film belonged to director Vernon Sewell .

Guy Thornton : At the risk of being obvious, that is a very peculiar gent. Anyone would think he doesn't want to sell the boat.

Margaret Thornton : Vessel.

Guy Thornton : Ship.

  • Connections Featured in Minty Comedic Arts: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Ghost Ship (2022)
  • Soundtracks The Sailor's Hornpipe (uncredited) Traditional Performed at the party on the ship

User reviews 16

  • Nov 1, 2005
  • How long is Ghost Ship? Powered by Alexa
  • July 8, 1953 (United States)
  • United Kingdom
  • Barco fantasma
  • Merton Park Studios, Merton, London, England, UK (studio interiors)
  • Vernon Sewell Productions
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro

Technical specs

  • Runtime 1 hour 14 minutes
  • Black and White

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