Arthur and his two children, Kathy and Bobby, inherit his Uncle Cyrus's estate: a glass house that serves as a prison to 12 ghosts. When the family, accompanied by Bobby's Nanny and an attorney, enter the house they find themselves trapped inside an evil machine "designed by the devil and powered by the dead" to open the Eye of Hell. Aided by Dennis, a ghost hunter, and his rival Kalina, a ghost rights activist out to set the ghosts free, the group must do what they can to get out of the house alive. Written by
'Thir13en Ghosts' is a movie with lots of flashing images and loud sounds. Most of the time that is a little annoying, although there are moments it adds something to the scary events that happen. I am not a big fan of the horror-genre, although I can appreciate it when it is done good. Here you have no real story, but there are some real scares. Since it is about ghosts those things can turn up anytime and anywhere. One of the characters even explains that "they like to do that".
To explain the story would be quite pointless. What I can say is that a family without a mother but including dad Arthur (Tony Shalhboub), daughter Kathy (Shannon Elizabeth), son Bobby (Alec Roberts) and nanny Maggie (Rah Digga) inherits a strange house, created by their uncle Cyrus (F. Murray Abraham). We learn that Cyrus was a ghost hunter, of course with a purpose and a thirteenth ghost as the answer to a mystery, and that twelve ghosts are locked in the basement of the house. Two other characters are in the house as well. Dennis (Matthew Lillard) who sees future and past when he touches people and who used to work with Cyrus, and an opponent of Cyrus named Kalina (Embeth Davidtz). When the ghosts are unleashed they have to save themselves.
I realize I actually have told you the story, but that is not what this movie is about. What makes it at least interesting is the visual style of the movie. The house looks great, the effects and art direction are very admirable. That there is hardly time to notice that is a shame. The scares might be stupid but they work enough to make this a real horror movie. Yes, there are many flaws and things go terribly wrong near the end, but if you normally like these kind of movies, you must be able to enjoy 'Thir13en Ghosts'.
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