Ghost Ship I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.
Ghost Ship

dir. Beck

Opens Fri Oct 25

Various Theaters

Some people don't have any respect for the dead, and Ghost Ship, a new spook-o-rama starring Gabriel Byrne and Julianna Margulies, is no exception. However, the really disappointing thing about this flick is that it has one of the more clever and hilarious mass-murder scenes I've ever seen, and then swirls down a toilet of cliches.

Ghost Ship tells the story of a luxury ocean liner, the Antonia Graza which, thanks to the side-splitting mass-murder scene previously mentioned, has been floating around virtually unnoticed for 40 years. Naturally, if a rough-and-tumble salvage company were to find this bobbing treasure, it would mean beaucoup bucks for all.

Enter Margulies and Byrne who, along with their cohorts, literally bump into the ship drifting around in the Bering Strait. As in most horror flicks, the cast wanders around the ship "making with the funny"--until creepy little girl ghosts show up, and blood starts pouring from the walls. But who gives a crap about them, when there's 100 million dollars worth of stolen gold on board? I'll tell you who gives a crap--the GHOSTS!

So the movie starts off with this truly grisly and great mass-murder sequence, right? Which is then followed by a fast-paced action scene of Margulies and company patching up a sinking ship. And so you're thinking, "Well, well, well. We have a page-turning pot-boiler on our hands." Well, well, well, you're wrong. What you have from that point forward is a slow downward spiral into lazy direction and screenwriting. Instead of providing the audience with a classic horror tale of a crew being trapped by macabre denizens of the spirit world, you get a bunch of pansy ghosts who only want to get to heaven.

Well, SCREW THEM! I'm not paying $7.75 to see some washed-up actor from E.R. holding hands with Casper the Friendly Ghost! I want action! I want scares! I want to wet my seat as well as the person's sitting next to me! Ghosts are people, too. It's their job to be horrifying, and if I were a ghost in this film? I'd die from embarrassment.