This movie starts almost like an episode of Love Boat. The music is light and nearly romantic as you zoom into the Antonia Graza cruising the high seas with well-dressed crew and passengers. However, no sooner do you zoom onto the ship with dancing passengers than a really bad thing happens, and there is blood and horrible death.
We fast forward 40 years and meet a salvage ship crewed by a variety of nearly stereotypical characters. After a brief introduction showing how dedicated the crew members are, the salvage ship heads out to sea. During a storm the salvage ship runs into, literally, the Antonia Graza. Naturally the crew members see a huge salvage opportunity and the money to be made from that opportunity. Thus the plot of the movie is reasonably simple: return the Graza to running condition and take her to port to be able to make a fortune. Of course, a variety of eerie events occur that let you know that the Graza is not just a derelict ship waiting to be salvaged.
As the movie progresses, the wonderfully spooky atmosphere enhances what would otherwise be a run-of-the-mill ghost story. There are portions of the movie that are terribly predictable, always an annoyance in any movie, but fortunately there are nearly as many unpredictable scenes that overcome the predictable ones. Perhaps the most interesting part of the movie is the last 15 or 20 minutes, when the fate of the ship and crew 40 years earlier is revealed in great and gory detail. Furthermore, I was not expecting what happened at the very end of the movie.
This movie is not likely to win any awards. However, the sets, the cinematography and portions of the plot made this movie worthy of a bowl of popcorn and a future re-watch. There are probably no points in the movie where I jumped or my heart leapt, but I was intrigued by the periodic hints of what happened to the ship 40 years earlier, and during the time from 40 years ago to today. I recommend this movie for a dark and stormy night with the wind howling and rain pouring.
Tags: Ghost Ship