- Complete Monster: Jack Ferriman, aka the "Ferryman", is a self-described "salvage expert" who collects souls to send to Hell, only given the job as a demon for having lived an immoral life. Requiring his victims to damn themselves first before killing them, he goads the crew on the Italian cruise liner the Antonia Graza to butcher everyone on board with the promise of getting their hands on a crate of gold bars. Passengers are attacked all over the ship in the ensuing massacre, getting cut open, poisoned, or gunned to death, including a child being hanged. The instigators turn on each other after killing the passengers, and he kills the last one himself with a meat hook before trapping the ghosts on the ship in fear and torment. He also repeatedly lures salvage crews to the derelict cruise liner under the guise of fixing the ship, then tricks them into staying to get the gold, before killing them all one by one. Worse yet, the end of the film shows him taking the gold onto another ship to restart the cycle anew.
- Genius Bonus:
- The ghost captain tells Murphy how the Antonia Graza rescued a ship called the Lorelei before everyone was killed. Die Lorelei is a German poem about a woman who lures ships and sailors to their demise.
- The painting featured in the great hall was inspired by Michelangelos depiction of Charon in the last Judgement. This foreshadows that Jack is scavenging souls.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- Karl Urban and Ron Eldard both appearing this film, as both actors would later work on projects by J. J. Abrams. Urban would play The McCoy on Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness and as Det. John Kennex on the TV series Almost Human, while Eldard would play tragic town drunk Louis Dainard in Abrams' love letter to Steven Spielberg, Super 8.
- The part where the men eat maggots instead of rice gets funnier when Flushed Away did the same thing Played for Laughs 4-5 years later.
- Nausea Fuel: Two men eat some seemingly innocuous tins of beans and rice from the kitchen of a derelict, adrift, haunted ocean liner. Then they realize that they're actually wolfing down... maggots.
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: The second game has been rebalanced to be less frustrating; enemy speed has been rebalanced so that killing them before they can reach you is easier, and dying no longer causes the game to delete your save file.
- Signature Scene: The dance scene in the opening, which ends with everyone at the dance being bisected by razor wire flying across the deck. Even people who disliked the film cite it as a great opening.
- The surprise "maggot-in-a-can" also counts, as it's reused as a stock scary or disgusting Show Within a Show scene in other films of the era.
- Tear Jerker: Epps discovering Murphy's body floating in a tank of water. The music certainly doesn't help.
- The Woobie: Katie. Poor, poor Katie. She was a young girl who was brutally murdered by several men, and her soul was bound to Ferriman; however, because she had committed no sin, Ferriman couldn't control her.
YMMV / Ghost Ship