REVIEW: MAGIC MAGIC

CAST

Juno Temple (Horns)
Emily Browning (Pompeii)
Michael Cera (Juno)
Catalina Sandino Moreno (Che)

Alicia (Juno Temple), making her first trip outside the United States, arrives in Chile where her cousin Sara (Emily Browning) is studying to accompany her on a road trip with Sara’s boyfriend Agustín (Agustín Silva), as well as his sister Bárbara (Catalina Sandino Moreno) and his friend Brink (Michael Cera). However, Sara soon receives a call which reminds her of an important exam that she cannot miss. Alicia is nervous about being left alone with a group of Sara’s friends, but is reassured that Sara will be back in only a day. She leaves, while the rest of the group continue on to the island where they are to stay.

Several unexpected events along the journey result in Alicia becoming concerned that Bárbara is irritated with her presence. They all finally reach the island, where Alicia grows increasingly isolated due to the lack of a phone signal in which to reach Sara and Brink, whom she finds self-centred and antagonizing. Having not had much sleep, Agustín invites her along for a walk the next morning, where she becomes upset after Brink kills a macaw with the air rifle he had brought along. She runs off into the hills and finds a phone signal to call Sara, who says that she’ll have to stay in the city for one more day. Alicia becomes exasperated, calling the group “sadists”, but the signal dies before Sara can respond. Alicia returns to Agustín and Brink, and also finds a wandering sheepdog, which she happily pets until she realizes that it is humping her leg. She recoils in disgust and Brink laughs as Agustín chases the dog away.

Later that night, Alicia continues to be mocked by Brink about the incident and begins to rough house with her until she becomes frightened and kicks him in the nose. Alicia becomes increasingly uncomfortable feeling unwelcomed and humiliated by the group. She tearfully manages to call Sara again, who arrives on the island the next day and speaks to Alicia in private. Alicia references the call from the previous night, but Sara says she did not get a call from her. In a whispered conversation Sara reveals she did not have to take a test but had an abortion. The group decides to cliff dive into the water later that day. Agustín, Brink and Sara all manage to perform the dive, yet Alicia becomes extremely fearful of the jump. Ultimately, she has an attack of vertigo and is brought back to the cabin. Sara is concerned that Alicia does not seem well due to a lack of sleep, but the group does not pay much attention. That night, Agustín demonstrates hypnosis on Alicia, who they think begins to loosen up when she performs the tasks Brink playfully orders her to do. However, she snaps out of her trance when he tells her to put her hand in the fireplace and she burns herself.

Sara puts Alicia to bed after the incident and leaves with Agustín. Alicia, however, begins to suffer hallucinations of Sara and Brink in the room. Later in the night, she wanders around the house and hears voices of the others talking about her disparagingly, but finds only Brink asleep when she investigates. In his room, she finds the air rifle and momentarily aims it at him, before pulling down her pants and waking him up by forcing his face into her crotch and leaving. When Sara returns to the cabin, she notices that Alicia has covered all of the mirrors. The next day, Brink angrily confronts Alicia, but she becomes distraught and denies that it ever happened. As Sara and Agustín attempt to calm the situation, Alicia runs off and breaks down in tears in front of Melda (Roxana Naranjo), another resident of the island. Melda takes her and the group to her home, where she treats Alicia’s burn with herbal remedies. They all then return Alicia to the cabin and put her to bed again. Sara suggests to the group that Alicia should be taken to a hospital, but is told that the nearest one is five hours away. They then discover that she has escaped her room under the cover of darkness and has consumed all of Bárbara’s sleeping pills; after intensively searching the island, the group discover Alicia back at the cliff face. They all attempt to talk her down, but she finally jumps in and is recovered.

The group desperately bring Alicia back to Melda, where she finally suffers a complete mental breakdown. Melda brings her to the island’s only healer, who begins an ancient ritual that involves the body of a lamb and ritualistic music. Sara begins to panic as Alicia becomes calm and is convinced that she has died; the healer insists that Alicia’s soul has only left her body temporarily for purification. The film ends as the group brings Alicia to the mainland on a motorboat, as Sara desperately tries to revive her cousin.If you like your thrillers dark and intriguing, without the usual clichés and predictable plot lines you will consider it a real gem; it is bold in attempting to tackle psychological disorder and paranoia, and should be congratulated in not pandering to audience gratification for simple action sequences or easy closure. The claustrophobic atmosphere, eerie settings, beautiful backdrops and convincing performances combine to great effect.

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REVIEW: DARKNESS FALLS

CAST

Chaney Kley (Legally Blonde)
Emma Caulfield (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Lee Cormie (December Boys)
Grant Piro (The Condemned)
Sullivan Stapleton (Blindspot)
Steve Mouzakis (Where The Wild Things Are)
Emily Browning (Sucker Punch)

In the town of Darkness Falls, widow Matilda Dixon was adored by the town’s children. She gave them gifts and gold coins when they lost teeth, earning her the nickname Tooth Fairy. A fire in her home left her face disfigured and sensitive to light; she wore a white porcelain mask and only left her house at night. The town’s adults were suspicious of Matilda; they blamed her when two children went missing. They hanged her and exposed her face to light. Dying, Matilda swore vengeance. When the two missing children returned home unharmed, the townsfolk realized their mistake and quickly buried Matilda’s body. The story of Matilda, the Tooth Fairy, became a legend; her dark spirit visits children on the night they lose their last baby tooth. If anyone sees her when she visits, they are marked for her vengeance.

Kyle Walsh, an antisocial teenager befriended by Caitlin Greene (Emily Browning), loses his last baby tooth. That night he sees Matilda and realizes the story is true. Knowing light is her weakness, he shines a flashlight into her face and hides in the brightly-lit bathroom. His mother is killed after seeing Matilda. The next morning, police arrive and Kyle is taken to a mental hospital after mistaken speculations that he killed his mother. Twelve years later, Caitlin (Emma Caulfield) telephones Kyle (Chaney Kley) to ask for his help with her younger brother Michael (Lee Cormie), who refuses to sleep in the dark. Kyle still suffers fear and paranoia from his encounter with Matilda; he has dozens of flashlights and medications for anxiety and depression. Kyle visits Michael at the hospital but denies any relation to his condition and walks away from Caitlin, who believes his story.

Kyle tries to warn others of Matilda but faces ridicule and skepticism, which leads to the death of many townspeople. A lightning storm blacks out the whole town; realizing Michael and Caitlin are in danger, Kyle rushes to the hospital. He rescues them and gains allies as others realize his story is true. Kyle, Michael, and Caitlin hide in the local lighthouse. They are helped by several medical personnel, all of whom are killed by Matilda. During the struggle, Matilda tries to kill Kyle, but before she can do so, the lighthouse lights up. The sudden exposure to light causes her pain; she drops her mask. Kyle sees her disfigured face and realizes she is now vulnerable. She resumes her attack, during which Kyle’s right sleeve catches fire and he kills Matilda by striking her face with it. As the film ends, a boy is being tucked into bed by his parents. He is scared because he has just lost his last baby tooth. He finds his mother replaced the tooth with a gold coin, showing that Matilda and her curse are gone.I cannot believe how bad the ratings are for this film. All this film is, ( And it does’nt pretend to be anything else ) is a simple scary old fashioned horror film with a simple plot. And that is exactly what it is! Except that I would add that the Tooth Fairy I think is brilliantly scary and definately creepy.

 

REVIEW: SLEEPING BEAUTY (2011)

 

CAST

Emily Browning (Sucker Punch)
Rachael Blake (Gods of Egypt)
Ewen Leslie (The Mule)
Michael Dorman (Triangle)
Eden Falk (The Great Gatsby)
Mirrah Foulkes (The Gift)
Joel Tobeck (Ash vs Evil Dead)

Lucy (Emily Browning) is a university student who holds a number of odd jobs: she volunteers as a test subject at the university medical research lab, works at a coffee shop, and makes photocopies at an office. Her roommates dislike her, and she spends her time visiting Birdmann (Ewen Leslie), who is attracted to her, but very respectful. Although she does not appear to return his affection, she appears to be happier when with him.

Lucy responds to an ad and is invited to meet Clara (Rachael Blake), who offers her a job: freelance silver service in lingerie. Lucy agrees, and Clara tells her that she will never be penetrated during these encounters. Clara and Thomas inspect her body. Clara says she will call Lucy by the name Sarah. Lucy gets beauty treatments before arriving for the event. She is the only girl dressed in white lingerie; the other women seem to be much older, wear severe makeup, and have black lingerie designed to reveal much more than to conceal. The event is a formal dinner party at an elegant home. Lucy serves drinks for the party and goes home with the money she made from it.

After one other session as a serving girl, Lucy gets a call from Clara’s assistant Thomas (Eden Falk) for a different request. Lucy is driven to a country mansion, where Clara offers Lucy a new role with the clients, wherein she will drink some tea and then fall into a deep sleep. Lucy is seen lying in a large bed, sedated, as Clara leads in the man who hosted the first dinner party. After Clara reminds the man of the no-penetration rule, he tells Clara about a book his brother gave him on his thirtieth birthday, and she leaves. He strips, caresses Lucy’s body, and cuddles up next to her.

Lucy is evicted from her apartment by her roommates. She instead rents a much more expensive apartment. After two more sleeping sessions at Clara’s house, Birdmann calls her. He has overdosed on painkillers, and she visits him as he dies. She takes off her shirt and gets in bed with him, sobbing but making no effort to help him. At Birdmann’s funeral service, Lucy asks a former acquaintance if he will marry her. Dumbfounded, he refuses, citing his new relationship, and several character flaws in Lucy.

Lucy is fired from her office job and buys a small, concealable camera. She takes drugs with a co-worker, goes night-swimming with him, and wakes up naked in her apartment with him. The next morning, she is hung over and late for her assignment with Clara. Once Lucy arrives, she asks Clara if she can see what happens during the sessions while she is asleep. Clara refuses, saying it will put her clients at risk of blackmail. Right after being placed on the bed for the session, however, Lucy awakes and removes the small camera which she had concealed in her mouth. She is able to set the camera and return to bed before being discovered. The client is once again the first man, but this time, he also drinks the tea with a much larger dose of the drug.

The morning after, Clara comes in and checks the man’s pulse, showing no surprise when he cannot be awakened. She then tries to wake Lucy but is at first unable to do so, eventually having to use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Lucy awakes and, discovering that the naked man lying beside her is dead, screams. Throughout the whole film, Lucy was quiet, passive, and stoic, now when she sees the situation, she finally releases emotions—the sleeping beauty, now awake. The film ends with the scene captured by the camera that Lucy had installed: the dead old man and the sleeping girl both lying on the bed.

Sleeping Beauty is a well-made film, and is artistically brilliant. It has a distinctly Australian ‘feel’ to it (especially the sarcasm and humour). It’s a complex film, with multiple layers, and it slowly gains pace – until its climactic finale

 

REVIEW: THE HOST (2013)

CAST

Saoirse Ronan (Hanna)
Jake Abel (I Am Number Four)
Max Irons (Red Riding Hood)
Frances Fisher (The Roommate)
Chandler Canterbury (Knowing)
Diane Kruger (Troy)
William Hurt (A.I.)
Rachel Roberts (Simone)
Stephen Rider (Safe House)
Bokeem Woodbine (Total Recall)
Emily Browning (Sucker Punch)

The Host 11 still (WTF Watch the Film Saint Pauly)

The human race has been taken over by small parasitic aliens called “Souls”. They travel to planets inserting themselves into a host body of that planet’s dominant species while suppressing the host’s consciousness. They access the host’s memories, and occupied hosts are identifiable by silver rings in the hosts’ eyes. A human on the run, Melanie Stryder, is captured and infused with a soul called “Wanderer.” Wanderer is asked by Seeker to access Melanie’s memories in order to discover the location of a pocket of unassimilated humans. Melanie’s consciousness, however, has not been completely eliminated, and it struggles to regain control of her body. Melanie and Wanderer carry out an internal conversation and debate with each other, forming a friendship.
The Host 05 still (WTF Watch the Film Saint Pauly)
Wanderer shares with Seeker that Melanie was traveling with her brother, Jamie, and her boyfriend, Jared Howe, to find Melanie’s uncle Jeb in the desert. Wanderer admits that Melanie is still present, so Seeker decides to be transferred into Melanie’s body to get the information herself. With the help of Melanie, Wanderer escapes and makes her way to the desert, where she is found by Jeb, who takes her to a series of caves hidden inside a mountain where the humans (including Jared and Jamie) are hiding.
The Host 06 still (WTF Watch the Film Saint Pauly)
Wanderer’s presence is met with hostility by all but Jeb and Jamie. Melanie instructs Wanderer not to tell anyone she is still alive, since it would provoke them, though she later allows her to tell Jamie. Wanderer begins interacting with the humans and slowly begins to gain their trust, forming a bond with Ian O’Shea. Seeker leads a search party into the desert to find Wanderer. They intercept one of the shelter’s supply teams, and in the ensuing chase, Aaron and Brandt commit suicide to avoid capture. During the chase, Seeker accidentally kills another Soul, leading her superiors to call off the search.
The Host 09 still (WTF Watch the Film Saint Pauly)
Returning to the caves, Jared and Kyle move to kill Wanderer, causing Jamie to reveal that Melanie’s consciousness is alive. Jeb and Ian accept this, but Jared refuses to believe it until he attempts to determine the truth by kissing Wanderer, provoking Melanie to take back control and slap him. Kyle tries to kill Wanderer but endangers his own life and ends up being saved by Wanderer. Ian believes that Kyle attacked Wanderer and tells her that he loves her. Wanderer admits that, while occupying Melanie’s body, she must love Jared, but she has feelings of her own, and the two kiss. Wanderer enters the community’s medical facility and discovers that Doc has been experimenting with ways to remove Souls and allow the host’s mind to regain control, resulting in the deaths of many Souls and Hosts from his failed experiments. After isolating herself for several days, Wanderer learns that Jamie is critically ill with an infection in his leg. She infiltrates a Soul medical facility to steal some of their alien medicine, saving Jamie’s life.
The Host 10 still (WTF Watch the Film Saint Pauly)
Seeker has continued looking for Wanderer on her own, but Jeb captures her and imprisons her in the caves. Wanderer offers to show Doc the proper method of removing Souls, on the condition that he remove her from Melanie’s body and let her die. Doc uses the technique to remove Seeker from her host, with both Host and Soul surviving. Wanderer takes the Seeker alien to a Soul space-travel site, where she sends it far enough from Earth that it can not return for numerous generations. Wanderer makes Doc promise to let her die when she is removed and not tell anyone. Their friends intervene with Doc, who then inserts Wanderer into Pet, a human who was .

The Host 18 still (WTF Watch the Film Saint Pauly)

This film caught me by surprise. It’s rare to see such a well-done SF film with good ideas where everything else also comes together – plot development, characters and action. It’s a sign of a good film to have many good characters, and this film does, but Saoirse Ronan stands out in what could be a difficult role to pull off without confusing (essentially playing 2 x characters in one). There are points where there is true humour when the characters in her head are at odds with each other.  an Excellent Film.

 

 

REVIEW: POMPEII

CAST
Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones)
Emily Browning (Sucker Punch)
Kiefer Sutherland (Phone Booth)
Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost)
Jessica Lucas (Gotham)
Jared Harris (Lincoln)
Currie Graham (Agent Carter)
Sasha Roiz (Caprica)
In Britannia, 62 AD, a tribe of Celtic horsemen are brutally wiped out by Romans led by Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland). The only survivor is a boy named Milo, whose mother Corvus killed personally. The boy is captured by slave traders. Seventeen years later, a slave owner named Graecus (Joe Pingue) watches a class of gladiators battle. He is unimpressed until he sees the grown Milo (Kit Harington), a talented gladiator the crowds call “the Celt”. Milo is soon brought to Pompeii with his fellow slaves. On the road, they see a horse fall while leading a carriage carrying Cassia (Emily Browning), returning after a year in Rome, and her servant Ariadne (Jessica Lucas). Milo kills the horse to end its suffering and Cassia is drawn to him. Cassia is the daughter of the city ruler Severus (Jared Harris) and his wife Aurelia (Carrie-Anne Moss). Severus is hoping to have the new Emperor Titus invest in plans to rebuild Pompeii but Cassia warns him of Rome becoming more corrupt. A servant named Felix (Dalmar Abuzeid) takes Cassia’s horse for a ride only to be swallowed up when a quake from Mount Vesuvius opens up the ground under him.
In Pompeii, Milo soon develops a rivalry with Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a champion gladiator who, by Roman law, will be given his freedom after he earns one more victory. The gladiators are shown off at a party where Corvus, now a Senator, tells Severus the Emperor will not invest in his plans but he himself will. It is revealed Cassia left Rome to escape Corvus’s advances. When an earthquake causes some horses to become anxious, Milo helps calm one down. He then takes Cassia on a ride, telling her that they cannot be together. Returning to the villa, Corvus is ready to kill Milo (not recognizing him from the village massacre) but Cassia pleads for his life. Milo is lashed for his actions and Atticus admits respect for his rival as they prepare to face each other at the upcoming festival.
In the Amphitheatre of Pompeii, to punish Milo, Corvus orders him killed in the first battle and wicked trainer Bellator (Currie Graham) convinces Graecus to sacrifice Atticus as well. The two men, and other gladiators, are chained to rocks as other gladiators come out as Roman soldiers, to recreate Corvus’s victory over the Celts. Working together, Milo and Atticus survive the battle; Atticus realizes the Romans will never honor his freedom. During the battle, Corvus forces Cassia to agree to marry him by threatening to have her family killed for supposed treason against the Emperor. When Milo and Atticus win, Cassia defies Corvus by holding a “thumbs-up” for them to live and he has her taken to the villa to be locked up. Claiming an earthquake is a sign from Vulcan, Corvus has his officer Proculus (Sasha Roiz) fight Milo one-on-one. Their battle is interrupted when Mount Vesuvius erupts, creating massive tremors that causes the arena to collapse, sending Milo and Proculus crashing to the jail levels. Milo opens up the gates to allow his fellow gladiators a chance to attack; Proculus escapes while the gladiators kill Bellator. Seeing Corvus fallen under a collapsed beam, Severus tries to kill him, but Corvus stabs him and escapes.
The eruption causes flaming debris to rain down upon the city as the populace tries to flee to the harbor. One fireball destroys a ship, killing the escaping Graecus. Aurelia tells Milo that Cassia is at the villa before dying. Milo races to the villa and manages to save Cassia, but Ariadne is killed when the villa collapses into the sea. Corvus and Proculus kill civilians blocking their path to safety. Atticus tries to reach the harbor, but a tsunami created by the volcano smashes into the city, destroying the outer walls and smashing several ships. In the ensuing chaos, Atticus saves a mother and her young daughter, the trio running safely into the inner city as a ship brought in by the tsunami blocks the water from flooding the inner walls. Reuniting with Atticus, Milo suggests searching the arena for horses to escape. As the gladiators face Roman soldiers at the arena, Cassia sees to the bodies of her parents, only to be abducted by Corvus. Atticus has Milo chase after the chariot carrying the two while he faces off against Proculus. In the following duel, Atticus is mortally wounded, but he manages to break the blade and uses it to kill Proculus.
Milo chases Corvus across the city, both barely avoiding fireballs and collapsing roads and buildings. Cassia manages to free herself before the chariot crashes into the Temple of Apollo. Milo and Corvus duel as a fireball destroys the temple. Cassia chains Corvus to a building as Milo declares that his gods are coming to punish the Senator. Milo and Cassia ride off as a pyroclastic surge races down the volcano’s slopes and into the city, incinerating Corvus. At the arena, Atticus, seeing the flow approaching, proudly meets his fate, proclaiming that he dies a free man. At the city outskirts, the horse throws off Milo and Cassia. Milo tells Cassia to leave alone, as the horse isn’t fast enough to carry them both. Instead, she sends the horse off, not wanting to spend her last moments running as she knows that they will not survive. Milo kisses Cassia as the pyroclastic surge engulfs them. The last shot is of the duo’s petrified bodies, locked in an eternal embrace.
The acting was very good and I’m very pleased with the casting choice. I also like the opening scene set in Britannia, showing the origins of the main male protagonist Milo. The story line was a bit predictable, but over all still enjoyable.

REVIEW: LEMONY SNICKET’S: A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

CAST

Jim Carrey (Kick-Ass 2)
Emily Browning (Sucker Punch)
Jude Law (Spy)
Liam Aiken (Road To Perdition)
Timothy Spall (Enchanted)
Catherine O’ Hara (Beetlejuice)
Billy Connolly (The Man Who Sued God)
Meryl Streep (Into The Woods)
Luis Guzman (Waiting)
Jamie Harris (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Jennifer Coolidge (2 Broke Girls)
Helena Bonham Carter (Sweneey Todd)
Dustin Hoffman (Hook)

Lemony Snicket (Jude Law) is documenting the whereabouts of the Baudelaire children from inside a clock tower. Violet Baudelaire (Emily Browning), her intelligent brother Klaus (Liam Aiken), and their baby sister Sunny (Kara and Shelby Hoffman) are orphaned when a mysterious fire destroys their house. Mr. Poe (Timothy Spall), in charge of the Baudelaire fortune, entrusts them to their closest relative, Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), who only wants their money and makes them do harsh chores.

On the day Olaf receives full custody, he drives to a gas station and claims that he is buying soda, but it turns out Olaf parked the car directly on railroad tracks in hopes of it getting hit by a train. Thankfully, Violet and Klaus are able to turn the direction of the train so it doesn’t hit them. Mr. Poe then arrives at the scene and mistakes Sunny for driving the car. He then takes the children away, but Olaf promises he will find them. The orphans are then taken to stay with Dr. Montgomery Montgomery (Billy Connolly), a kind, caring, and rather lonely (until the children came along) herpetologist planning to take the children with on a study in Peru. However, Olaf arrives in disguise as an Italian scientist named Stephano. Violet tries to tell Monty the truth, but he thinks Stephano is after a snake called The Incredibly Deadly Viper. Monty is found dead the following morning and authorities have been tricked into thinking the viper was responsible, but Sunny is able to prove it is actually a gentle creature.

Mr. Poe again takes the children to live with their Aunt Josephine (Meryl Streep), an irrationally afraid woman who is obsessed with proper grammar. While shopping at a market, Violet and Klaus encounter Olaf, disguised as a sailor named Captain Sham who pretends to be romantically interested in Josephine. When the Baudelaires get home after shopping, Josephine is gone and a hurricane is approaching. Klaus decodes a note Josephine had left and discovers she is in Curdled Cave. During the hurricane it is discovered in a secret room there were people investigating fires. The children escape the house before it falls to the lake. After sailing Lake Lachrymose the children find Josephine, but before they reach civilization their boat is attacked by leeches, and Olaf appears, and kills Josephine by pushing her into the waters after she corrects his grammar.

The Baudelaires are then placed back in Olaf’s custody. Olaf and Violet are then immediately involved in a play called The Marvelous Marriage, which involves their characters being married. However Olaf has set up the performance to be an actual legal marriage because the law states if relatives are married they are entitled to their spouses’ money. Olaf enlists the help of his neighbor Justice Strauss (Catherine O’Hara) to perform in the “play” and unwittingly officiate the marriage. Olaf explains to Violet that Sunny is being held hostage in a cage and if Violet does not say her “lines” or finds a loophole, Sunny will fall to her death. The ceremony goes as Olaf planned and he reveals that the marriage is legal, to the horror of the judge and audience.

Klaus escapes and finds a secret part of Olaf’s estate. After adjusting an eye-shaped window Klaus realizes that it was Olaf that caused their family mansion to catch fire. Klaus uses the window to burn the marriage certificate, foiling the Count’s plans. Olaf is tried for his action and sentenced to be put through the hardships he had caused the children, and a life sentence in prison. However, when a jury of his peers overturn his sentence, Olaf escapes. Violet, Klaus and Sunny are allowed to visit their old home one last time. A letter lost in the mail finally arrives, and inside is a spyglass announcing their family’s secret society. Snicket recounts that despite the children’s misfortune, they still had each other thus making them “Very Fortunate Indeed”.

Difficult to take-in first time around because of the uncomfortable implications of the plot, this is a film that deserves and rewards repeat viewing so that the incredible richness of what’s on offer can be fully appreciated. File under: “bizarrely brilliant gothic masterpiece”.

REVIEW: GHOST SHIP

CAST

Gabriel Byrne (End of Days)
Julianna Margulies (City Island)
Ron Eldard (Scent of A Woman)
Desmond Harrington (Wrong Turn)
Isaiah Washington (Bionic Woman)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Emily Browning (Sucker Punch)
Alex Dimitriades (The Principal)
Francesca Rettondini (The Nymph)

To start things off, recent “Sucker Punch” fans can find an early performance by actress Emily Browning who plays the little ghost girl in the film. The movie has actor Gabriel Byrne playing the salvage captain Murphy. Him and his team head out to sea to bring back salvaged equipment and metal parts for resell. When the group is approached by an anxious researcher (Desmond Harrington), he offers them a chance to salvage a long forgotten abandoned ship lost to the Bering Sea. The potential to earn a hefty return from the deal is too big to pass up and the crew heads immediately back out to sea. The crew consists of (Julianna Margulies) Epps, (Ron Eldard) Dodge, (Isaiah Washington) Greer, (Karl Urban) Munder and (Alex Dimitriades) Santos.

Upon locating the lost ship “Antonia Graza” (which at first appears off the radar), the team climbs aboard to claim salvage loot. Though it’s pretty evident early on that the ship is not “quite” what it seems with the weird appearances of ghosts, objects, and the occasional manifestation of the ship’s decor before it was inflicted in tragedy.

To get us engaged right from the get-go, we are taken back in the films intro to the time when the ship was in full swing (1962). In one of my favorite horror film moments, a cable breaks free slicing entirely thru the occupants who are in mid-celebration (aka the Captains Ball). This is fantastically done as each of the ship’s guests begin to fall into pieces (after an uneasy pause). If you don’t end up liking the film, you have to at least acknowledge this great intro opener.

Getting back to the story in progress, the crew happens upon a large shipment of gold bricks. This find signals instant riches for the team as they prepare to gather their claim and call it a day. However, the ship seems to have its own agenda for stranding them causing their own ship “the Arctic Warrior” to burst into flames.

Celebration turns to terror and tragedy as each slowly becomes victims to the ships dark forces. We learn a bit more about what happened with a few surprises waiting down the road about what is “really” going on. While the movie flows rather nicely with plenty of great shots, we seem to be missing much of what we came for…….the scares. I believe perhaps that the production focused more on trying to kill off some of the crew members moreso, that they forgot to really focus more on the needed tension. The actors and cast all gel pretty well which didn’t surprise me with “Ghost Ship’s” worthy cast behind it. What I did like is that as mentioned before it has a “few” reveals in its storyline to throw at us. I think with the base of the film itself, most didn’t really see these coming. The final ending is a nice extra roundup which despite not being scary is a great rule of thumb in filmmaking…..end the movie on a strong finale.