Directed by Steve Beck, starring Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Marguiles, Isaiah Washington, Ron Eldard, Desmond Harrington, Alex Dimitriades, Karl Urban, Emily Browning.

Using a ship as a setting for this haunted house horror might be a departure from the norm but unfortunately that is one of the few points of interest in the collection of recycled clichés that is 'Ghost Ship'.

After a grand and very gory opening on an opulent 1960s cruise liner called the Antonia Graza the film rapidly runs aground with a sudden jump to modern day salvage on the high seas. Tugboat captain Sean Murphy (Byrne) is approached by mysterious stranger Jack Ferriman (Harrington) who believes that he has seen a ship adrift in the Bering Sea off Alaska. Murphy, together with a crew headed up by tomboyish teamleader Epps (Margulies) go in search of the wandering ship and discover a deserted Antonia Graza, forty years after its disappearance. Despite all the omens - sightings of a ghostly child, swimming pools full of blood, mysterious music from the past, walkie talkies not working and dead bodies in the hold - the salvage crew stubbornly remain on board to be picked off in a variety of unimaginative ways.

In case we weren't sure what was happening, the ghost girl (Browning) takes some time out of her haunting to sit down with Epps and tell her the story of the Antonia Graza, giving director Steve Beck a second opportunity to show the bloody set piece that opened the film. Handy if you were too busy getting popcorn to catch the start of the film but not so good if you've already watched the only good 10 minutes of the whole enterprise.

Beck has a lot of ground to make up after last year's shameful 'Thir13en Ghosts' but 'Ghost Ship' isn't going to win him any brownie points and might in fact kill his career as dead as most of the passengers on board the Antonia Graza.

Caroline Hennessy