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Ghost Rig (2001)

The Devil’s Tattoo

Evil has found a new home.

Directed by:

Julian Kean

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 90 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom

Jaason Simmons as Vincent and Noel Fitzpatrick as wheelchair-bound ex-oilman Crawford are the leaders of a group of environmental activists who have boarded a North Sea oil rig in protest at plans to sink it to the bottom of the sea. Having arrived by helicopter, they begin setting up to broadcast to the outside world, and start looking for the maintenance crew who they plan to send away with their aircraft. They are a little puzzled to find that no crew seems to be there, but they are soon distracted when one of their number is found dead, apparently from natural causes.

Their nervousness increases when Tom (Jamie Bamber) is discovered to be a spy who has infiltrated their group, and suspicions mount that he may have killed their friend. Tom is placed under guard, but is soon released when the radio is damaged and another more sinister death takes place. Trying to find out more about what they are facing, they discover that the rig's last workforce had been dabbling in the occult. They also learn that those oilmen met their deaths in much the same way as the current victims, and that a mysterious quarantine was in place over the rig.

This is the first feature from the new independent UK production company, KCD films. Originally to be titled "The Devil's Tattoo", it was made mostly in Scotland in association with Scottish Screen with the help of funding from the National Lottery. That being said, it actually stands up extremely well in comparison with horror thrillers from much more experienced and better-funded sources. The entire ensemble cast work well together, the abandoned rig rivals any expensive set, and its humble origins are really not overly apparent.

It's Got: The ability to make you forget that this is a low-budget film.

It Needs: To reach a wider market.

DVD Extras A few extras have been included with this basic release. Extras: Trailer, Gallery. DVD Extras Rating: 2/10

Alternatives:

Deep Rising, The Thing., Virus

Summary

This first-attempt British film is a commendable effort at a horror thriller – it shows plenty of potential and stands up very well in comparison with its better-funded American cousins.

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