Sep 182020

Ghost Ship is the worst kind of horror movie. It’s pretty darn dull, nothing especially frightening although I’ll give it some props for a decent set design and gore effects, just not much else going for it.



Ghost Ship
— Collector’s Edition —

Genre(s): Horror, Supernatural
Shout Factory | R – 91 min. – $29.99 | September 29, 2020

Date Published: 09/18/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Director: Steve Beck
Writer(s): Mark Hanlon (story), Mark Hanlon and John Pogue (screenplay)
Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Margulies, Ron Eldard, Desmond Harrington, Isaiah Washington, Karl Urban, Emily Browning

Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Interviews, Music Video, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 33.11 GB
Total Bitrate: 38.86 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Shout Factory provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 2½/5

Plot Synopsis: In a remote region of the Bering Sea, a boat salvage crew — Sean Murphy (GABRIEL BYRNE), Maureen Epps (JULIANNA MARGULIES), Dodge (RON ELDARD), Greer (ISAIAH WASHINGTON), Santos (ALEX DIMITRIADES) and Munder (KARL URBAN) —, hired by pilot Jack Ferriman (DESMON HARRINGTON) discovers the eerie remains of a grand passenger liner thought lost for more than 40 years. But once onboard the eerie, cavernous ship, the crew of the Arctic Warrior discovers that the decaying vessel is anything but deserted. It’s home to something more deadly and horrific than anything they’ve encountered in all their years at sea.

Review: I had previously seen Ghost Ship back in 2009 and didn’t think much of it then and in my initial review, saying “There is something worse than a bad horror movie… a boring horror movie,” and that’s pretty much my thoughts this time around, although at times I did appreciate some of the cheesier moments, right from beginning as a wire slices people clean in half. However, scenes like that are sparse and if you know me, I’m not a fan of supernatural horror, rarely ever finding them scary let alone entertaining in general, mostly because movies within this horror subgenre don’t play by any rules and the writers seem to try anything to give the audience a jolt, basic logic be damned.

In the case of Ghost Ship, the “twist” is pretty lame and the motives of the revealed villain is plain laughable, having to do with capturing spirits to fulfill some sort of quota, and this salvage crew being led there to aid them in his quest. So dumb. But if it was just the stupid twist and we got a genuinely scary flick, I might’ve overlooked this, however despite what should’ve been a creepy atmosphere turns into a bit of a snooze fest, even with the lovely Julianna Margulies trying to damndest to be a lead feature film actress (who garnered some stardom with ER), but it’s easy to see why since she’s found successful career in television.

Everyone else in this ensemble don’t get a whole lot to do with some stilted dialogue and thinly layered character development. I like Gabriel Byrne but he doesn’t get a whole lot to do, same for Karl Urban in one of his earlier roles before finding better roles in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers/The Return of the King and Star Trek 2009, but it’s fun seeing these actors before they became big. Everyone else were pretty bland, not least of which Desmond Harrington who always reminded me a less charismatic Sam Worthington, and that’s saying something.

Ghost Ship was directed by Steve Beck who previously helmed another supernatural horror film, Thirteen Ghosts, another one I recently re-watched for a review and didn’t care a whole lot for, though like this movie, has a respectable production design, just not a great story behind it.



This “Collector’s Edition” release comes with a matted slip cover while the inside art is reversible.

Audio Commentary – Director Steve Beck sits down for another  commentary following Thirteen Ghosts breaking down the process of making the movie and giving some bits of information on the production, actors, etc.


  • This Isn’t Real (6:37) — Actor Isaiah Washington talks about how he became involved with the project and how his character initially was supposed to be the lead. Seems like Washington had a good time making the film.
  • Every Body on Board (6:29) — Makeup Effects Supervisor Jason Baird discusses his work on the film coming off of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and The Matrix sequels, and chats about the opening sequence.
  • Dark Castle at Sea (7:14) — Producer Gil Adler on bringing the project together.

Both Washington and Baird’s interviews were done over the Internet due to the pandemic and while the quality isn’t the best, it’s still great to get anything new.

Max on Set: Ghost Ship (15:06) is a promotional featurette that aired on Cinemax with on-set interviews with members of the cast and crew along with some behind-the-scenes footage.

Visual Effects (6:01) – Featurette breaking down some of the effects work.

A Closer Look at the Gore (5:32) is a behind-the-scenes look at the gore effects including prosthetics.

Designing the Ghost Ship (5:42) breaks down the set design for the haunted cruise liner.

Secrets of the Atonia Graza (6:12) – This is a tour of the boat with voice-overs. Pointless.

Last up is a Music Video (3:10) for “Not Falling” by Mudvayne, plus the Theatrical Trailer (2:14).


VIDEO – 4/5

Shout Factory releases Ghost Ship onto Blu-ray presented in its original 1.85 theatrical aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. Should be noted, this is the second time the movie has been released on Blu-ray, previously by Warner Bros. in 2009 which I own. Early WB Blu-rays, at least up until a few years ago, that had 1.85 aspect ratios tended to be open matted and shown at 1.78 so I guess this is one slight upgrade. Now the picture itself, I didn’t really discern much of a difference; colors, black levels, detail, etc both seemed nearly identical, perhaps a minor variation here and there.

AUDIO – 3¾/5

The Blu-ray comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track (2009 BD was TrueHD) and looking at my original review (unfortunately, or fortunately, no longer available), I wasn’t all that thrilled and kind of similarly, I found this one to be a tad underwhelming mostly for the action-packed sequences with explosions, gunfire, and such. Dialogue does come through the center speaker with clarity and there is some modest depth for the creaking sounds of the ship, however the LFE channel only mildly kicks on to provide a soft boost.



Ghost Ship is the worst kind of horror movie. It’s pretty darn dull, nothing especially frightening although I’ll give it some props for a decent set design and gore effects, just not much else going for it. This “Collector’s Edition” Blu-ray from Shout Factory pairs well with Thirteen Ghosts and includes a few new features along with porting over the featurettes from the original Warner home video releases.




Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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