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Thirteen Ghosts

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Thirteen Ghosts

Starring: Shannon Elizabeth, Tony Shalhoub
Director: Steve Beck
Rated: R
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: October 2001
Genre: Horror

*Also starring: F. Murray Abraham, Embeth Davidtz, John DeSantis, Rah Digga, Matthew Harrison

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie review
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie review
3.  Harvey Karten read the review ---

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

If the situation in the world has not been giving you enough nightmares lately, then Steve Beck's THIR13EEN GHOSTS, a remake of William Castle's 13 GHOSTS from 1960, may be just the movie for you. Filled with truly unsettling images, the movie is about as much fun as being trapped in a hall of mirrors with a convocation of serial killers. The ghoulish figures look like those horrible costumes that you refuse to let your kids wear for Halloween. Among the tamer ones is a 6-year-old boy with an arrow through his head that drips blood.

"It is my professional opinion that we should get the hell out of here now," Rafkin (Matthew Lillard) advises his diabolical boss, Cyrus (F. Murray Abraham), in the opening scene. I strongly suggest that you take these words of wisdom to heart and leave immediately if you find yourself watching this upsetting movie. Don't walk; run. Yes, the special effects aren't bad, and the house is imaginative, but do you need this?

The house, which Arthur (Tony Shalhoub) inherits when his Uncle Cyrus dies, is made all of glass, right down to the floors and ceilings, even in the bathrooms. It is an evil place powered by twelve unhappy spirits. "The house is not a house," explains Kalina (Embeth Davidtz). "It is a machine powered by the dead." If this sounds somewhat intriguing, it isn't. I guess that if you find horribly mutilated bodies fascinating and are willing to see any film that features them, then you are probably part of the target audience. Personally, I found the movie disgusting and disturbing, which, I suppose, may be the reaction that the filmmakers hoped for. After seeing it, I'm not looking forward to bedtime.

THIR13EEN GHOSTS runs a long 1:30. It is rated R for "horror violence/gore, nudity and some language" and would be acceptable for older teenagers with strong stomachs.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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