Ghost of Mars – Terror is the same on any planet

Directed by: John Carpenter

Starring: Natasha HenstridgeIce CubeJason StathamPam GrierClea DuVall

Synopsis: Officer Melanie and Sergeant Jericho travel to a mining outpost to transport a prisoner. On arriving, they realise that demons of an ancient Martian civilization have possessed the entire colony.

Carpenter takes the battle Mars

There is no sense of dread in John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars. It’s an action horror that doesn’t take itself too seriously and leaves the lead characters free to exchange one-liners while taking out hordes of killers. 

In many ways, Ghost of Mars is similar to Carpenter’s classics Assault on Precinct 13 and Escape from New York/LA. This action-horror is accompanied by a soundtrack comprised of a lot of Western influences. Carpenter does a great job at incorporating these elements into his music. 

In Ghosts of Mars, there are some exciting shootouts, explosions and over the top death scenes. Carpenter stated he wanted the movie to be an enjoyable over the top action flick. It went right over the heads of some who expected a serious horror movie. 

Top tier cast

With Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube and Jason Statham in addition to Pam Grier and Clea DuVall, the cast is fantastic. All of them deliver solid performances without taking themselves too seriously. Put your brain on hold and let this thrilling popcorn movie take you by surprise. 


Ghosts of Mars doesn’t have the fear factor or the suspense you would usually expect when watching a Carpenter movie. Carpenter opts for a more in your face blow-it-up or a spray some ammo vibe and it works really well, if you go in expecting this. 

Fans of Carpenter maybe slightly let down at this offering but I’m sure that action fans will have an absolute blast discovering this now cult classic movie or re-visiting an under-rated gem.

Rating: 3 out of 5.