Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Big Dave (Tamer Hassan; Louis Leterrier’s Danny the Dog and David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises) and Suze (Kerry Fox; Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave and Po-Chih Leong‘s The Wisdom of Crocodiles) are taking two couples on their yacht Dionysus for a six day cruise to Fiji. But when a distress signal is intercepted, they must enter a strange, massive fogbank to see if they can be of assistance. What they find there will turn their holiday into a violent and bloody nightmare.

A New Zealand/UK co-production, The Ferryman is a nasty little number that capitalizes on the terror on the high seas scenario of films like Dead Calm and Knife in the Water, with an added supernatural twist to make things more interesting.
Directed by Chris Graham, The Ferryman takes just enough time to establish character (Tate, played by Sally Stockwell, is the spoiled, shallow, and screwed-up American; Julian—dude, it’s Apoc from The Matrix!—Arahanga’s Zane, the capable and confident Kiwi) before the proceedings quickly go to Hell in a handbasket with the introduction of the Greek (genre heavyweight John Rhys Davies) into the closed ecosystem of the Dionysus.

Once that takes place, the narrative takes a definite turn towards some very dark territories, the tension and anxiety magnified by the claustrophobic setting. What was so bungled in Masters of Horror’s “Dream Cruise” fires on most of its cylinders here, and with a grim, blackly disturbing end, The Ferryman is definitely worth a look-see.
Granted, some performances are better than others, but over-all, this is a cruise horror geeks will probably enjoy.
Unless you’ve already got a thing against traveling by sea, in which case, you should avoid this one like the plague.

Notable Musical Track: Split Enz’s “Dirty Creature”; a welcome blast from the past…

Parting shot: Reviews of Danny The Dog and Masters of Horror’s “Dream Cruise” can be found in the Archive.

(The Ferryman OS courtesy of impawards.com; DVD cover art courtesy of amazon.com.)

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