A man bringing modern transportation to the ancient jungles of Africa discovers one of man's oldest enemies lays in wait for him in this period adventure drama. John Beaumont (Tom Wilkinson) is the owner of a British railroad firm who is building a rail line through Uganda. A bridge is needed so that the tracks may cross a large river, and engineer John Henry Patterson (Val Kilmer) is summoned to the African nation to supervise construction. While Beaumont has placed Patterson under a strict deadline, the bridge designer is certain that with his guidance, the local laborers will be able to complete the job in time. However, when several workers are killed in an attack by a lion, Patterson is forced to deal with the animal; while he bags a lion who invades the work site one evening, it soon becomes obvious that there's more than one predator in the nearby jungle. The lion attacks continue, eventually claiming the lives of 130 men, and Patterson and Beaumont finally agree to call in Charles Remmington (Michael Douglas), an expert hunter who understands the nature of the man-eaters and knows how to lure them into his trap. The Ghost and the Darkness is based on a true story, which was previously brought to the screen in 1953, in Arch Oboler's pioneering 3-D adventure Bwana Devil.
by Mark Deming synopsis