In 1962, the passenger ship Antonia Graza is the site of some hideous supernatural violence. Missing for 40 years, the liner is discovered in a remote region of the Bering Sea by a salvage crew who board and discover a fortune in gold. However, they also find malevolent ghosts and gruesome death.
Ghost Ship comes from the crew who delivered the remakes of The House On Haunted Hill and Thirteen Ghosts.
Though not actually a remake, it might as well be, since it scrambles elements from those earlier retreads plus bits 'borrowed' from the 1980 picture Death Ship (which had an identical poster) and Jamie Lee Curtis salvage killer robot flick, Virus.
For a while, the formula works. The opening mass splatter is exuberantly overdone; Gabriel Byrne can sell ominous sea-story monologues like no-one since John Houseman in The Fog; the little girl spook is appealing; and the rotting luxury hulk is an infallibly cinegenic setting. But then the supporting cast starts blundering into predictable deaths, with the black guy (Isaiah Washington), who keeps talking about getting back home to be married, obviously high on the 'doomed' list.
Director Beck loses it, with techno-scored flashbacks (note: techno isn't scary) and blow-up-the-place gimmickry from Alien crossed with the ghostly bit from Titanic.
Reviewed by Kim Newman