Ghost Ship Blu-ray review

This Blu-ray spook-fest left us with a sinking feeling

Having started out with hit-and-miss remakes of William Castle flicks like House on Haunted Hill and Thir13en Ghosts, genre specialists Dark Castle Entertainment finally ventured into the uncharted world of original horror stories with this tale of a spooky ship haunting the Bering Sea. I say original, but while it's not actually a remake, this tepid scare film blows all of the good will it's bravura opening sequence generates by then proceeding to run a gauntlet of second-hand plot points and gore gags that any true genre fan will have tired of decades ago.

Spook-tacular AV
It's often been said that terrible films often get the best discs, and while Ghost Ship can only muster a rather flaccid set of extra features, it's safe to say that it looks and sounds pretty bloody terrific in high-definition. The VC-1 1.85:1 1080p encode is simply sensational - boasting pin-sharp detailing and excellent colour reproduction (particularly the vibrant red blood that is sparingly splashed around). And even if it does serve to draw attention to some rather naff CG shots of the haunted boat, you can't blame the hi-def imagery for that.

If the lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix isn't quite as thrilling as the imagery, that's simply because it lacks the same kind of immediate impact. However, the full soundstage is utilised brilliantly to realise the spooky atmosphere onboard the derelict boat, and both music and dialogue are picked out of the mix brilliantly.

Downright annoying
As alluded to above, one sticking point for fans of the film (should there be such a thing) is the dismal collection of bonus features. There's no commentary track, so to learn anything about the making of the film you'll have to make do with the rather dull 15min promo featurette Max on Set: Ghost Ship (made for HBO's Cinemax network TV channels) and a trio of 6min featurettes with the self-explanatory titles Visual Effects, A Closer Look at the Gore and Designing the Ghost Ship. Beyond these there's a Mudvayne music video, the theatrical trailer and the downright annoying Secrets of the Antonia Graza, an interactive puzzle that leads to four brief vignettes that pad out some character backstories. With the exception of that last feature, all of the extras are presented in 480p.

Warner Home Video, All-region Blu-ray, £18, On sale October 19