Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Ferryman (2007)

The Ferryman (2007) Dir. by Chris Graham

There are movies out there that have such an amazing story with such potential, and they ruin it with poor execution. This is one of those movies. It makes me even more angry when someone takes a great story from Greek Mythology and murders it.

The story starts as three couples have charted a yacht to take them from New Zealand to Fiji. This start to get all crazy after they pick up a drifter (John Rhys-Davies).

The story is loosely following the Greek Mythology of The Ferryman, or Charon. In Greek mythology, Charon or Kharon (pronounced /ˈkərɒn/; Greek Χάρων) was the ferryman of Hades who carried souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead. A coin to pay Charon for passage, usually an obolus or danake, was sometimes placed in or on the mouth of a dead person.[1] Some authors say that those who could not pay the fee, or those whose bodies were left unburied, had to wander the shores for one hundred years.- wikipedia

In this story however, someone has found a loophole in the Ferryman's plan. He has managed to escape death for hundreds of years through the use of a body switching dagger. I know Greek Mythology pretty well, and nowhere do I recall seeing anything about the dagger. So the title, and small amount of the plot is where the similarities end. I do feel this is a great concept for a movie, but just not this one.

The first thirty minutes of the movie are dull, and filled with overwhelming unnecessary character development shoved down my throat. Don't get me wrong, character development is important, just gradual. Despite being a bit misplaced, the dagger is actually a pretty cool idea. The kills take place off screen, so no gore, and when you return to the two people involved they start convulsing like epileptics at a rave party. The whole body transfer concept is introduced way to early into the movie. It doesn't matter if the action happened behind closed doors. You know who the possessed killer is when they exit the room. This leaves no room for a tension build up, or anything scary for that matter. The other thing is how many times can you watch the same stabbing body switch situation before losing interest in it. You get to see the Ferryman once at the beginning and once at the end, which is lame as well, but his look is rather unimpressive.

The acting in this movie was horrendous, and I can't believe these people got paid to make this movie. The veteran John Rhys-Davies, and New Zealand native Amber Sainsbury are the only two people who give a worthwhile performance.

With everything I have said, there are some positives to come out of this heap of trash. The scenery shots, real or fake, boat on the water, fog filled sky, definitely added to whatever tension was there. It had a Dead Calm sort of feel for most of it. The epilogue for the film was pretty good as well, but I really hope they don't plan on turning it into a sequel. I hope someone decides to do their own version of the story, without the knife or other crap. Unless you still enjoy making macaroni art, finger painting turkeys, or licking windows, this is probably a skip for almost everyone.

Entertainment Value: 2/10 Danakes
Cinematic Value: 3/10 Danakes

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