Movie Review: Ghost Ship (2002)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2002 horror film starring Julianna Margulies and Isaiah Washington.

Synopsis: In 1962, the Italian ocean liner Antonia Graza disappeared without a trace. Forty years later, the ship is discovered abandoned and adrift by a salvage crew that intends to cash in on their find by towing the ship to port. They soon discover they aren't alone and the ship is haunted by malevolent spirits that have already lured other ships' crews to their deaths.


My wife and I spent a good chunk of our Saturday doing chores around the house and, by yesterday evening, were pretty worn out. I decided to watch a movie while we were having a late dinner and, mostly because I was too tired to look at all my options, wound up picking out this film on Netflix.

We saw this movie not long after it came out on DVD and, other than the gruesome opening, didn't remember a whole lot about the film. After getting a refresher by watching it again last night, I can say it ended up being an OK choice.

I will start out by saying the movie does lack something when it comes to being a horror film. Yes, the opening scene is kind of gross and there are maybe a couple scenes that are a little intense. However, most of the "horror" scenes in the movie are kind of predictable and, because of that, just aren't that scary.

I did, however, think this movie worked really well from a mystery standpoint. As the salvage crew explored the ship, it was obvious something sinister and pre-planned happened to the ship's original passengers and crew and, as they dug deeper, clues for additional mysteries kept popping up.

I also found I didn't quite trust the one character, Jack (Desmond Harrington), who led them to the ship in the first place. There was just something a little "off" about him from the start and, while he seemed friendly, I kind of suspected there was more to him. However, I also couldn't figure out what that was until toward the end so that part wound up keeping me interested throughout as a result.

My only real complaint about the film is it never fully explains whether or not the salvage crew was chosen at random or if they were specifically targeted. There is some evidence of the latter, but the film does stop short of explaining it completely. And, if they were specifically chosen, there is no reason given, especially since they didn't seem to have any special abilities other salvage crews wouldn't possess.

Final Opinion

If you are looking for a movie that will have you terrified, this film probably isn't a good choice. However, if you like a good mystery with the occasional bit of suspense, this is a decent choice.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 05/12/2019, StevenHelmer
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