Monday, October 17, 2011

Ghost Ship

I think it looks swell - we'll take it!

(1952) *

Ignoring the protestations of a harbormaster, newlyweds, Guy and Margaret Thornton, purchase a dilapidated yacht that was once involved in the mysterious disappearance of 3 individuals. For whatever reason the couple wishes to restore the boat so they can make it their home (I would be throwing up in about 10 minutes). As the restoration ensues they begin to hear murmurings from the local townsfolk that the ship is haunted. When the restoration is completed they throw a big party for its maiden voyage. During the trip a crewmember they hired to run things unexpectedly quits after claims of seeing a ghost in the engine room. Later another crewmember also quits after claiming to see the same ghost. Guy scoffs at the idea of ghosts until he too sees the apparition in the engine room late one evening. A paranormal investigator is eventually hired and after he determines that the vessel is haunted a medium is brought in to rid the boat of this ghostly (nuisance?).

I made the mistake of reading the Netflix description prior to watching Ghost Ship and was frustrated to find that the description gave away the ENTIRE movie. No matter, this British movie sucks. Even at only 76 minutes Ghost Ship is generously padded with a lot of nonsense. With some heavy editing this would have made an okay episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Good evening

There are many problems with this movie including its slow pacing, too many conversations about “scary” things that would be more interesting to see rather than hear about, and the fact that the titular “ghost” isn’t scary and doesn’t do anything except stand in the engine room smoking a cigar. He doesn’t haunt, speak, or threaten anyone in anyway. I admit that I was amused by the no-nonsense paranormal investigator who, uses a tuning fork to scientifically explain why the ghost can only be seen in the boat’s engine room where there is a lot of heat/steam,

“The greater the heat, the more these vibrations are evident. Has it ever struck you how so many apparently inexplicable things only ever happen in hot countries? I mean, nobody’s seen the rope trick outside India. Voodoo’s only practiced in South/Central America. Firewalkers, fakirs, witch doctors: all in tropical climates. It’s like developing a photographic negative: the hotter the solution, the quicker the picture appears.”


Don’t confuse Ghost Ship with the superior 1943 Val Lewton film of the same name.


Johnny Sweatpants said...

I've never seen that movie but I recognize that guy with the blank look on his face. Are you sure that picture wasn't taken from the Val Lewton version? Wasn't he the mute guy?

Octopunk said...

Man this sounds lame. The buildup, and then the inevitable problems... a dead body? a horrible monster? No, a crew member quits. Then another one. Most restaurants face nights like that without any ghostly involvement.

By the way, folks, I caught up commenting on everything last night, all the way down to 50's Nosferatu review. Check it if you dare. I mean care.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

I care. (in Luke Skywalker's voice.)

It's difficult to stay on top of reading, commenting and writing so many damn reviews!

Hey JPX - I think the picture of the poster you posted is also from the 1943 movie of the same name.

JPX said...

Damnit, you and your eagle eye! I posted that before caffeine.

DCD said...

Haha! Excellent review and hilarious that JSP caught your poster faux pa!

Landshark said...

Awesome review, JPX.

"too many conversations about “scary” things that would be more interesting to see rather than hear about"

Man it's so hard to get my students to "show not tell" in their writing. It's gotta be even worse in a horror movie.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

I noticed you corrected the pictures JPX!