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A young couple buys a yacht and scoffs at the rumors that it is haunted. After a few incidents that ends their scoff they summon a professional ghost-tracker from the Institute for Investigation of Psychic Phenomena. He brings along a medium to assist him they learn, from her mumblings while in a trance, that the last owner of the ship---in its pre-haunted days---killed his unfaithful wife and her lover before they could do as much for him, and that their bodies are still concealed below the floor boards. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This forgotten British "B" picture isn't the greatest film out there but it's unique enough to make it worth viewing by those who enjoy stories dealing with ghosts. Guy and Margaret Thornton (Dermot Walsh, Hazel Court) buy an old ship that has the reputation of being haunted because years earlier three people went missing aboard it. The duo don't pay any attention to the stories until one day the husband actually sees the spirit of a man and soon they call in a paranormal expert. GHOST SHIP has pretty much been forgotten by everyone over the last several decades except for fans of Court who will search out everything the cult actress has appeared in. While the movie isn't a complete success it does feature enough interesting moments and a rather nice story to make it worth viewing. With that said, there are still some major problems in the film including one very big one. The film runs just 71-minutes but it actually feels a tad bit longer due to some pacing issues. I think part of the problem could have been avoided how two very bad scenes been left on the cutting room floor. One sequence involves a party on the boat where we get a rather long sequence dealing with a drunk. I'm going to guess this was meant to be comic relief but it's just really bad. Another horrible sequence is when the couple invite the paranormal expert on the boat and we get a long sequence where the man tries to explain various "sounds" that we can't hear. I believe this entire sequence is meant to make the viewer believe in ghosts but I think this could have been achieved in a much better way. I do think the best thing going for its film is the actual backstory to the hauntings. Early on we get a sequence showing the court hearings, which explain what happened to the ship and how it was discovered after being thought to have sunk. Another sequence happens at the end when we learn what actually took place on the ship and the twist in the story is actually pretty effective. Another major plus is that both Walsh and Court are very good in their parts as they're easy to believe and both are effective. The actual hauntings in the picture are kept quite low and I will admit that the first time we see the ghost it's rather unspectacular and it really doesn't stand out. However, it almost seems as if director Vernon Sewell has no intention on building up any type of atmosphere instead it seems as if he just wants to tell a good story, get it on the screen and do very little else. GHOST SHIP isn't a masterpiece and it's easy to see why it has been forgotten but fans of the genre should enjoy it.
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