Ghost Ship is a nautical horror film directed by Steve Beck, who you might also know from his directorial debut Thir13en Ghosts. It features a pretty stellar cast as well, including the likes of Karl Urban, a young Emily Browning, Gabriel Byrne and Isaiah Washington.
The film is set on the spooky wreckage of the infamous ‘Antonia Graza’ which disappeared suddenly under mysterious circumstances back in 1962. A ragtag salvage operations team stumble upon the Antonia Graza and think that they have struck gold, but they soon find out that the ship itself holds something a lot more sinister than just treasure and the payday of a lifetime.
Even though Ghost Ship currently holds a 13% average score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, the picture is still widely regarded by a lot of horror fans as a timeless watch, and here’s why.
1. The Opening Scene Is Still Talked About
With its cheery title cards and party atmosphere, the film tries to trick you into thinking you didn’t just walk into a horror film, shortly before it sets the tone for the rest of the movie. The visual effects are widely considered to stand up to this day, pun very much intended.
2. It Carries Out The Haunted Theme Extremely Well
The sense of isolation combined with the ever-present threat of the ship itself makes for an incredibly tense viewing often butchered by others trying to capture the haunted horror essence.
3. The Set Design Was Great
Not a lot of credit is given to how the production team behind Ghost Ship was able to make the film feel like it was taking place on a sprawling ship whilst also making it feel incredibly claustrophobic. The atmosphere of Ghost Ship kept audiences on the edge of their seats by portraying death and decay down every tiny corridor.
4. You Know Exactly What You’re Getting
With a title like Ghost Ship, you can hardly expect anything else when you start your viewing. This fact that the Dark Castle production team were behind the creation of Ghost Ship doubled down on the fact that it was pretty much telegraphed that you were in for a no-frills horror journey. Dark Castle went on to produce hits such as The Orphan and Splice.