"Yeah yeah, I know: 'A haunted oil rig?' But hey! It ain't half bad!"
Released in parts outside North America as "The Devil's Tattoo", "Ghost Rig" comes stateside with a new moniker and DVD packaging that begs comparison to last year's semi-hit "Ghost Ship". But while "Ghost Ship" was bankrolled by a major studio and offered precisely one good (OK, great) sequence in its entire 95 minutes, "Ghost Rig" is Brit-made, much less expensive - and a whole lot creepier.I wasn't expecting a whole lot from something called Ghost Rig, yet I wade through loads of low-budget horror movies because to me...horror movies are like crack. I just can't help myself. One would think that my admiration for the genre would make me a soft touch - when in fact just the opposite is true.
I know what most horror fans like and I strive to keep this perspective in mind when watching the worst of the worst. So perhaps it's just a case of lowered expectations, but I found myself quite surprised at how creepy and compelling Ghost Rig was...for the most part.
The plot sees a crew of well-intentioned (see: doomed) environmental activists (see: doomed immediately) who helicopter down onto an abandoned oil rig out in the middle of the ocean. Their goal is to simply inhabit the unwanted rig, thereby preventing its environmentally-unsound destruction. All that backstory simply to plunk a dozen new victims into what's essentially just another Haunted House movie.
Much like another recent British import called Deathwatch, Ghost Rig seems to take a whole lot of time to warm up. But while we're being presented with character development and plot exposition, the setting starts feeling a bit dank and dingy. Say it's a bit slow here and there, but the flick has its fair share of spooky atmosphere. (One suspects that the rather expensive Ghost Ship may have improved with such a gloomy pallor; oftentimes limited resources force filmmakers to focus on tone and mood and atmosphere.)
And I think Ghost Rig has that, and fairly consistently I'm glad to say. It's not too long before the bodies start piling up, yet it's intentionally unclear what sort of antagonist we're dealing with. A ghost? A lunatic murderer? Something even more fantastic and wacky? Heck, see the movie if you wanna know every little thing.Look, if (like me) you have a horror addiction that leads you to line up for a Ghost Ship and a 13 Ghosts and a Darkness Falls - then you're certainly one who could consider renting a Ghost Rig one cloudy weekend. Each of those made a pretty penny and each one makes this unknown import look like a bona-fide classic.