Ghost Ship (2002 film)
A promotional film poster
|Directed by||Steve Beck|
|Produced by||Joel Silver
|Written by||Mark Hanlon
|Music by||John Frizzell|
|Editing by||Roger Barton|
|Studio||Village Roadshow Pictures
Dark Castle Entertainment
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Release date(s)||25 October 2002
5 December 2002 (Australia)
|Running time||91 minutes|
Ghost Ship is a 2002 horror film directed by Steve Beck. The film was shot in Queensland, Australia and Vancouver, Canada. It stars Julianna Margulies and Gabriel Byrne. It was produced by Dark Castle Entertainment.
Despite its title, the film is unrelated to the 1952 film of the same name.
In May 1962, dozens of wealthy passengers are dancing both in the ballroom and the deck of the Italian ocean liner, Antonia Graza, while an Italian woman (Francesca Rettondini) sings "Senza Fine." On the deck, a young girl named Katie (Emily Browning), is sitting alone, until the Captain of the ship himself offers to dance with her. Elsewhere, a hand presses a lever that unravels a thin wire cord from a spool. The spool snaps and the wire slices across the dance floor like a blade, bisecting the dancers. Only Katie is spared, due to her height. The Captain's face splits open at mouth level as the top of his head falls off and Katie screams in horror.
40 years later, a boat salvage crew—Cpt. Sean Murphy (Gabriel Byrne), Maureen Epps (Julianna Margulies), Greer (Isaiah Washington), Dodge (Ron Eldard), Munder (Karl Urban), and Santos (Alex Dimitriades)—is celebrating a recent success at a bar, when Jack Ferriman (Desmond Harrington), a Canadian weather service pilot, approaches them and says he has spotted a mysterious vessel running adrift in the Bering Sea. Because the ship is in international waters, it can be claimed by whomever is able to bring it to port.
The crew sets out on their ship, the Arctic Warrior, an ocean salvage tugboat. They discover the ship is the Antonia Graza, which mysteriously disappeared in 1962 and was believed to be lost at sea, as both the crew and the passengers were never heard from again. When they board the ship and prepare to tow it, they discover that it contains a large quantity of gold. However strange things begin to happen. Epps claims to have seen a little girl on the stairwell. The crew find a digital watch on the bridge and Greer claims to have heard a woman singing throughout the ship. Epps and Ferriman discover the corpses of another salvage crew. They decide to leave the ship but take the gold, but an invisible force opens a gas valve in the engine room and the Arctic Warrior explodes as the engine is started, killing Santos and leaving them stranded.
They attempt to fix the Antonia Graza and sail it back to land, but the crew members are picked off one by one. Greer meets Francesca, the singer who he heard, who seduces him and then leads him off a precipice to his death. Captain Murphy, after entering the Captains Cabin, comes across the ghost of the Antonia Graza's Captain, who explains that they recovered the gold from a sinking cruiseship Lorelei, along with a sole survivor. He shows Murphy a picture of the survivor, who he is shocked to recognise. He rushes to tell the rest of the crew, but a supernatural force causes him to see everyone he meets as the burned ghost of Santos, causing the crew to think he has gone mad and lock him in the drained fish tank.
Meanwhile, Epps meets Katie, who reveals that the crew of Graza turned on the passengers and each other. The sole survivor of the Lorelei convinced the crew of the Graza to turn on the passengers in order to claim the gold. The crew killed all of the passengers, including Katie, but then turned on each other. The last officer, after killing his crew mates was shot by the singer, Francesca. Another man then joined Francesca in an embrace and walked away as a large hook swung into her face, killing her. The man is revealed (via photos Murphy received from the Graza's Captain) as Jack Ferriman, who is actually a demonic spirit who masterminded the massacre in 1962 and may have done something similar on the Lorelei.
Epps deduces that Ferriman lured the salvage team to the Graza to repair the sinking ship, and that the best way to fight him is to sink it. She sets explosives, but is confronted by Ferriman, who has killed the last of her crew. Ferriman describes himself as a salvager of souls; collecting souls is his job, which he says he earned by a lifetime of sin. He explains that since Katie was a child and never committed a true sin, he can't control her as he does with the evil ghosts. So long as the Antonia Graza remains afloat, he can continue to use it as a trap and keep his masters (and Satan) satisfied. After a brief struggle, Epps detonates the explosives and sinks the Graza. Katie helps Epps escape the rapidly sinking ship. She is left in the debris as the souls trapped on the ship ascend to heaven; Katie stops to thank her.
After drifting on the open sea for some time, Epps is found by a cruise ship and taken back to land. As she's loaded into an ambulance, she sees the battered crates of gold being loaded onto the cruise ship by Ferriman and members that look like but are not her fallen crew members. Ferriman glares at her and carries on; she screams as the ambulance doors close.
- Gabriel Byrne as Captain Sean Murphy
- Julianna Margulies as Maureen Epps
- Ron Eldard as Dodge
- Karl Urban as Munder
- Desmond Harrington as Jack Ferriman
- Isaiah Washington as Greer
- Alex Dimitriades as Santos
- Emily Browning as Katie Harwood
- Francesca Rettondini as Francesca
Production notes 
The film began in 24 january 2002, life as a spec script called Chimera by Mark Hanlon. Originally, the film, as written, was a relatively bloodless psychological thriller as opposed to a more blatantly supernaturally themed movie. Most notably, much of the film's gore is absent from the screenplay. The film would have focused on four salvage crew members who end up stranded aboard the ghost vessel they are scuttling (the titular Chimera); over the course of one night, each member - whether it be from panic, cabin fever, or supernatural forces - goes insane and plots to kill the other three members of the crew.
In the above-mentioned script, Murphy is the "main killer" and the ship sinks as it runs on the rocks. Murphy and Epps survive till the end but while the ship is sinking Murphy runs to take gold ingots. The weight and also the lost time bring death to Murphy. Like in the final version, Katie helps Epps to escape. Over time, the script underwent rewrites, and the psychological aspects of the script were all jettisoned in favor of making the film a slasher. It has been suggested that "The cast signed on based on this (original) draft ... and were sadly disappointed to find the script had been radically changed by Joel Silver and associates when they arrived to begin shooting."
Details of the 1872 salvage of the Mary Celeste, as recounted by Murphy in the film, differ significantly from the actual incident.
As expected for an Italian ocean liner, all service signs appearing on and in the ship are written in Italian, but almost all carry mistakes and misspellings. The name of the ship itself - the Italian-sounding "Antonia Graza" - is a corruption of the name "Antonia Grazia" (Grazia meaning Grace in Italian).
There are at least 50 scares in this film, as confirmed by the excellent DVD extras. This may or may not be a world record for scares in a single film.
Box office 
With a reported budget of $20 million, the film opened to number 3 at the box office with only a little more than $11.5 million in ticket sales as Jackass: The Movie dominated the cinema releases. The film grossed over $30 million in North America and had an international gross of over $38 million, earning a total of $68 million worldwide.
Critical response 
The film received mainly negative reviews on its theatrical release. Review aggregate website, Rotten Tomatoes, rates the film at 13% based on 122 reviews. The consensus states that "With a plot as creaky as the boat, Ghost Ship fails to deliver the scares". Similarly, Metacritic gives the film a score of 28/100 based on 25 reviews and rates the film as "generally unfavorable".
Roger Ebert stated "It's better than you expect but not as good as you hope." Website Bloody Disgusting listed Ghost Ship's opening massacre as #13 in their list of "The Top 13 Kills in Horror Movie History". The film has since garnered somewhat of a cult following, with many fans especially praising the soundtrack and the flashback scene which depicts how the original crew killed the passengers.
|Ghost Ship Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Film score by John Frizzell|
|Released||5 November 2002|
A soundtrack, including original music composed by John Frizzell, was released on the Varèse Sarabande label on 5 November 2002. The song "Not Falling" by Mudvayne is featured in the movie. Though not included in the official soundtrack, "Senza Fine" is sung in the film by Monica Mancini.
Gabriel Mann's track, "My Little Box," heard during the slaughter scene is a frequent request on discussion boards and YouTube.
|3.||"The Arctic Warrior"||1:37|
|5.||"The Antonia Graza"||3:18|
|7.||"How's It Going Up There?"||0:56|
|9.||"Touring The Ship"||2:14|
|10.||"The Marie Celeste"||1:36|
|11.||"I Saw A Little Girl"||1:45|
|12.||"No Unexpected Guests"||2:12|
|14.||"Cabina Di Capitano"||0:57|
|16.||"Meeting The Captain"||2:44|
|21.||"Work To Do"||1:53|
|23.||"My Little Box"||4:09|
|24.||"Go To Hell"||1:55|
|27.||"The Ballroom Reverts"||1:37|
|29.||"Epps Meets Katie"||1:44|
|37.||"I Guess It's Over"||5:33|
|38.||"The Graza Explodes"||0:39|
|39.||"The Souls Ascend"||3:24|
- "Ghost Ship (2002) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- "Ghost Ship - by Mark Hanlon - First Draft". Dailyscript.com. 29 January 1953. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- First draft screenplay of "Ghost Ship" (formerly "Chimera" ).
- "Ghost Ship - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- "Ghost Ship Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- "Ghost Ship - by Roger Ebert". Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- "The Top 13 Kills in Horror Movie History!". Bloody Disgusting. 14 November 2004.
- "Ghost Ship Soundtrack (complete album tracklisting)". SoundtrackINFO. 5 November 2002. Retrieved 24 September 2011.