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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Wednesday August 14, 2019 


When single mum Jess (Melissa George) briefly leaves her autistic son Tommy (Joshua McIvor) behind for a break and sets sail on a yacht with a group of friends, she cannot shake the feeling that there is something wrong. Her suspicions are realized when the yacht hits a freak storm and overturns; the group is forced to board a passing ocean liner to get to safety. But the ship appears deserted, the clock on board has stopped, Jess is convinced she's been here before ... and they are not alone. Someone is hunting them down, one by one. And Jess unknowingly holds the key to ending the terror.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
It begins on a bright, sunny day in the Sunshine State when Jess (Melissa George) comforts her autistic toddler Tommy (Joshua McIvor) after a trauma we haven't seen. Clearly troubled, Jess heads off to meet some young friends for a yachting day at sea. It all goes smoothly enough until suddenly the wind dies and they're becalmed - but only until an equally sudden approaching storm lashes them and upturns the boat. The survivors hang on to the damaged boat - until they see a liner bearing down on them. Things get a little hazy here as we jump to the survivors walking up the access ladder, even though we haven't seen the ship slow or stop. Nor do we find out what happened to Heather (Emma Lung). But hey, this is a mystery ....

Once on board and no-one to see, they head for the bridge, but never get there. They walk up and down the decks calling out each other's names and often 'Hello!' 'Hello!' until we wish they'd stop. Strange things start to happen, especially to Jess, who is plagued by déjà vu ... and then a gun goes off and the hooded figure on the balcony of the ship's theatre begins to hunt them all down.

When Jess discovers that she is herself implicated in the mystery, her agitation increases and the supernatural takes a nasty turn as elements of Groundhog Day are ground into the mystery. Too loose and too contrived, the plot is left with lots of gaps and there is insufficient stuffing in the characters to make us care much about them. Glimmers of hope are dashed as the screenplay turns inside out on itself in an attempt to turn the spooky into something meaningful, throwing all sorts of elements at it.

With more work, the script could have finished up as a creepy entry in the ghost ship sub-genre, but as it stands it is less than satisfying.
First published in the Sun Herald

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(UK/Aust, 2009)

CAST: Melissa George, Liam Hemsworth, Michael Dorman, Rachael Carpani, Emma Lung, Henry Nixon, Joshua McIvor

PRODUCER: Chris Brown, Julie Baines, Jason Newmark

DIRECTOR: Christopher Smith

SCRIPT: Christopher Smith


EDITOR: Stuart Gazzard

MUSIC: Christian Henson


RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes



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