Saturday, May 14, 2011


My Rating: 8/10

A young woman goes on an ocean cruise with friends, only to have their boat wrecked by a mysterious storm.  They believe they are saved when a cruise ship passes by, but investigating the ship proves it to be abandoned... Mostly.
I'll come right out and say this was one of the best movies I saw last year.  It isn't for everyone, though - It requires patience and a lot of mental machinations.  But you won't think that at the start because the plot sounds like half a dozen other "Ghost Ship" movies and when the action kicks in and the group find themselves stalked by a masked killer, it looks like you've simply stumbled into a generic slasher... Sort of a Friday the 13th on the Ghost Titanic.

This is not at all the case, however.

The problem with reviewing it is that I can't say ANYTHING about it - This is a movie review that is not a movie review, beyond saying, "Watch this". Do NOT look it up on IMDB or it will be totally spoilered for you. Also, don't even look up poster images for it. I like the poster above because it is extremely generic yet unsettling, and that's all the advance warning that anyone should have going into this.. Unfortunately, several of the movie's posters that turn up in Google searches totally spoiler the film....duh? Too many clearly show the central dichotomy that drives the concept, leaving no room for surprise.

And alas, that is literally the most that I can describe about this film, beyond saying that it is a marvelous exercise for the brain and that it will leave you wondering and talking about it long afterward as you debate with your friends the various meanings and symbols and interconnections within the story.

I can say this:

It is NOT "Ghost Ship" or any of the other "big empty haunted ship" movies.

If you liked Lost, you will like this.

If you liked Timecrimes, you will LOVE this, but it is NOT the same story. 

If you like movies that make you think, you will like this.

It is not a horror film. It is a mystery/thriller with horror elements. It is also a Chinese puzzle box of a movie. 

There are moments that will provoke an audible, "Oh, shit!" from you.  (One scene in particular created one of the strongest reactions of horror that I've had in a long time, probably since seeing [REC])

**  One addendum - I really found myself quite happy that this movie has no "twist", as shouted in some of the posters and promos. Ever since Shymalyalyan appeared, it's seemed as if Hollywood thinks all horror movies need a twist ending, where you find out the killer is really her brother or whatever. I've gotten very bored with that because twists have become formulaic, which blows the whole idea of the twist in the first place if you're sitting there waiting for the twist. Triangle is just one simple, powerful idea.

And finally, once you've viewed the movie, try this challenge.  Sit down and see if you can create a flowchart of events to explain how her keys got onto the Aeolus...

  Suggested Accompaniment: This is not a drinking movie because you'll need all your wits about you by the time you're at the 3/4 mark.  Pipes are encouraged, however, because we all know that smoking a pipe makes you smarter and thus better equipped to tackle some of the brain-stretching themes encapsulated in this story.