Ahoy all ye buccaneers and scalawags! Grab yer grog an’ get yer sealegs on because we’re ’bout to set sail on the haunted high seas!
I mean, hey guys! On this episode of VPL we are bringing you two ghastly, ghostly maritime tales: 2002’s trip to a haunted oceanliner, Ghost Ship, and 2002’s WWII submarine adventure, Below.
At first glance, Ghost Ship doesn’t seem like much of a movie. But, it’s a little bit of the Saturday-afternoon-throwaway variety, a studio horror film with not too much substance. Nevertheless, it does have a smidge to dive into, and in this episode, we discuss its hits and misses – including its disappointing use of character stereotypes (especially as that pertains to black men). And although there’s a succession of story beats that are seemingly taken right out of Event Horizon, it’s still not a wholly terrible film.
We also discuss some “what if” scenarios posed by production notes that may or may not make Ghost Ship a better movie. Can you imagine Brian Cox in Gabriel Byrne’s role?
If you really had to compare these two films, Below emerges as the one that is most thoughtful and interesting in concept. That’s due in large part to the fact that Darren Aronofsky wrote the script. He was actually set to direct the film as well, but ultimately passed when given the opportunity to start work on his infamously disturbing art-house flick, Requiem For A Dream. We discuss what kind of film Aronofsky would have made in this episode, along with broader topics such as women in the military, how submarines work, and superstition.
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