Lost Voyage (2001)

Lost Voyage (2001)

After 30 years in the Bermuda Triangle … a GHOST SHIP returns

Twenty-five years ago, the SS Corona Queen disappeared in the region known as the Bermuda Triangle. When it suddenly re-appears, a team of investigators head on board with a salvage team to find out what happened. But the ship didn’t return from the Bermuda Triangle alone.

 

Ghost Ship anyone? Incorrectly speaking to class it a rip-off, Lost Voyage was actually made first and manages to be better than the previously mentioned horror flick, opting not to go for the visual jugular with gore and special effects but instead trying to craft a more traditional and scary ghost flick. Actually Lost Voyage has more in common with 1997’s sci-fi horror Event Horizon. Comparing it to both bigger budget films is decent praise to kick off the review and Christian McIntire’s ambitious shocker is certainly punching above its own weight.

For a TV movie, Lost Voyage does relatively well for its budgetary limitations. The first thing that will strike you is how pedestrian it all looks though. There’s little life and energy to the cinematography and everything is glossed over with that typical TV-movie low budget sheen. This is a shame as the ship itself looks pretty spooky at times and the sets are quite atmospheric. But they lack that extra enhancement which the cinematography could have given them. Even though the film is set solely at night, the ship itself is too well lit. Dimming the lights a little to create dark and shadowy backgrounds is what the film should have done.

There are a couple of strong performances from Janet Gunn as the reporter and Judd Nelson as the researcher – they could have been just any other stereotypical cannon fodder characters but at least they bring a bit of depth and likeability to their roles. Nelson could have cut out his mumbling though as he sometimes drifts through his dialogue. Lance Henriksen pops up and manages to completely outshine his previous six or seven roles in low budget films to remind us that he was once a decent character actor before he was reduced to starring in trash such as Mangler 2: Graduation Day.

The characters are well-written for a change and it is refreshing to see. They do (for the most part) sensible things – Henriksen’s character tells the rest of the group that they have to get off the ship as soon as the first person is killed. He’s not bothered about the money on board and just wants to save his life. Characters do things that give them believability, not just provide opportunities to put them into set pieces.

Sadly little else makes sense in the film. The ghosts themselves are mean spirited in some occasions but are quite happy to let characters walk past other times without even batting an eyelid at them. There are a few small plot threads that aren’t explained very well (if at all) such as the ghosts using people’s fears against them. And of course, when you’re watching a ‘haunted place’ film you should expect to feel one or two shivers which this film greatly fails to produce. The special effects for the ghosts aren’t bad for CGI but you won’t actually care because they look quite graceful when floating around the ship. For once CGI has its appropriate uses and the ghosts aren’t overdone. They’re not scary though!

 

Lost Voyage is an ambitious film held down by its budget and lack of creativity. For a TV movie it’s impressive and looks and sounds good throughout. But it lacks the finishing touch and without any real chills or scares throughout, the film suffers from being too familiar with any other ghost ship film.

 

 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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