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The only problem i found about "Thirteen Ghosts" is that it is not
scary. It has the elements to be a horror movie, the ghosts, the gore,
but it is not frightening at all.
So this film can be a real party pooper if you're watching it with the lights off at your girlfriend's house waiting for her to grab your arm through the hard scenes, or expect to enjoy having some nightmares about it. But, omitting that--yeah, i know it's hard to omit that a movie labeled as "horror" is not scary--, i judge it as a very interesting film. The production design is great; the glass house is a state of the art, away from your typical haunted house, looking both luxurious and somehow creepy at the same time. That innovation, carried out with such a splendid result, is worth my applause. So is the decision to make the ghosts be real actors in the set, not digital freaks. Human monsters, even if having to go through 4+ hours of make-up sessions, even if having to use a double amputee actor to play a particular ghost, are the film's best trump card. There are good ideas in this film, and they're very well developed. It doesn't deserve a bad score.
The movie was fun. It wasn't a horrible flick my any means. The acting didn't make me want to leave, which is a definite plus for a horror movie. I thought the computer graphics were impressive. The ghosts were definitely freaky, and yes, I jumped a few times. I rarely jump in horror films, but this one I did...more than once.There were times where it was predictable however. This didn't take away from the entertainment factor though. I mean, this film isn't going to win any Academy Awards for best picture or anything, but it was a fun film. If you're looking for something to do this Halloween, take your friends out to see it.
As I've said so many times before...people, this is just a movie. It is not
intended to make deep social comment; it is not meant to reflect reality;
the characters are not obligated to exercise good judgment; the fact that
this movie is supposed to be "based on" the earlier version is not really
relevant; and it ought to be possible to be entertained by a movie without
necessarily feeling genuinely scared.
I find this to be a very entertaining movie. Good special effects, decent acting, lots of action, neat props and mechanicals, and some unique ghosts make this a lot of fun. Was I scared? No. I was startled sometimes, but not scared.
So what IS wrong with this movie? Well, I'm back to my usual gripe about action movies. There's a point in the film where one character says to three other characters, "Stay right here until I get back. Don't touch anything." Without going into detail, let me simply state the obvious: the other characters don't obey him and the results are not good. This is always a big turn-off to me, because the people who disobey almost always end up getting out safely, while other people die for their mistakes. In another film, for example, a family in the Federal witness protection program is told not to contact their old friends. The daughter, however, can't live without calling her boyfriend at least once. The bad guys intercept the phone call, show up at the "safe house," and end up killing several US Marshals. Of course, the daughter is oblivious to the damage she has caused and goes on to live happily ever after. Just once I'd like to see the survivors turn to the person who was reckless and say, "That was all your fault!" and blow the person away in a hail of lead.
Now, back to THIS film. I recommend it if you enjoy over-the-top horror/action films, but not if you are looking for some sort of psychological thriller or a moody mystery. If you liked "Dog Soldiers" and "An American Werewolf in London," then you should like this movie.
*** out of ****
'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'.
I watched this movie last night, and I thought it was entertaining. Sure, it's a B-movie and has its flaws - it's a bit silly, it's not particularly horrifying (although I must admit no movie has scared me in 10-15 years, and I've watched quite a lot of horror flicks), it's a tad silly (Ghostbusters meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer?). But as B-horror movies go, this one is entertaining for those who like films with supernatural phenomena and people dying in "imaginative" ways. Actually, Thir13en Ghosts reminded me of one of my favourite films, The Cube. But that's just the reason I can't give a lot of points for this movie - there are better B-movies with which to entertain yourself. Cube-films sum up the better parts of the film and dispense with boring love-issues. But then again, there are heck of a lot more crappier films than this, and it was funny enough for me to even buy it for five or so euros in case I came across this in a store.
I saw the original 13 Ghosts when I was 12 years old and it scared me half to death. They gave you a viewer so when the ghosts appeared on screen you looked thru one color and could see them, but if you looked thru the other color you couldn't see them. Now that I see that movie again I wonder what I was scared of. But I loved all of William Castle's movies. He was the master of gimmicks and chills in his day. Now comes a new version of the old story, packed with gore and shocks galore in living color. No glasses or special optical device handed out at the theater this time. The film hits you with a punch to the senses in the opening scenes before settling down to a poor man struggling to make ends meet after the tragic death of his wife. He later learns that his dear wife's "ghost" has been captured by his eccentric uncle and is kept in a special cage in the basement. While vastly different from the original, this film can stand on its own. It is a complete retelling of the story with great action, special fx, acting and a few laughs thrown in as well as some references to the original. If you are just looking for some mindless supernatural fun and maybe even a moral (love is stronger than evil) this film is for you.
This is one of those movies that you cannot hate fully, but you cannot
fully either. Something is missing, I can't point a finger to EXACTLY what
it is, but I know if "it" were included, this movie would have been a
It's a great Halloween "popcorn" film. It's entertaining. It's a nice attempt at an update of a movie that wasn't that hot to begin with. I liked the actors, I just wish they had more to work with. I really liked the Ghosts, I wished they were developed more, had more exposure/time onscreen and were a little bit more gruesome. Only a few ghosts out of the 12 got featured, I felt shortchanged.
Maybe there was too much about the family for me..then again, maybe too little. Maybe the family didn't have enough goose-bumpy peril for me. I REALLY liked the daughter washing her face in the new bathroom scene. Maybe there should have been ALOT more of that kind of suspense/horror. I loved what happened to the Lawyer. I HATED the ending, it just fell apart for me. But, I loved the Nanny's closing line at the end and I think it would have been more effective if the film was a whole lot scarier and gruesome. I have to wonder, is there stuff on the editing floor that didn't make it?
I watch this film everytime it comes on Cable-TV for it IS interesting, and there are parts that are good. Then there are parts that ruin it. Character development that has plot holes as big as the grand canyon. It was as if they wanted to make a horrific, scary ghost movie and just when they were about to let go, they pulled back. But ya know, you can still watch it and be entertained.
Thir13en Ghosts 2? Only if the makers, the scriptwriter, etc., are allowed to let go and its released with the sheer horror, fear, gruesome tale it looks like it was headed in.
I know it may offend alot of folks if Thir13en Ghosts went that "balls-out" route, but for what we're paying to get into movie houses now...do me a favor and scare the hell outa me!!! I can take it!!! Make me jump out of my seat ALOT...scream...grab onto my boyfriend and/or whomever else is sitting nearby! Trust me, I'll come back for more.
This film had all the elements in place and it just peter-ed out.
It doesn't rely on too much splatter and it doesn't try to startle you out of your seat every two minutes so that immediately makes it better than the average horror flick. The ghosts were unusual enough to be memorable and there was not a lot of familiarity to the plot. This was very nearly an excellent film with a solid cast and very good effects. Five or ten more minutes of scary interaction between the ghosts and the children(if you can call Shannon Elizabeth a child) would have made the movie much better. I call it a near miss which is as good as most horror fils can aspire to.
I see that most people aren't nearly as fond of this one as I am, so I
compelled to write why I *did* like it.
First, the visuals were really good. Many thrillers have to avoid showing detail about the villains because details end up being fake looking or difficult. This is one of several reasons why so many take place at night. Thir13en Ghosts works around that by giving the protagonists special glasses which allow them to see the ghosts. It's a lot less goofy than seeing it written in this review makes it sound and it means that the movie doesn't have to be shot in the depths of night.
Second, the story was up to the task and original. I'll not dwell on this too much as the story centers around the house and the house is one of the main characters in the movie, but suffice it to say I was pleased with the twists.
This one isn't going to win any awards, but it's a really solid film for it's genre.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For fans of nephew Arthur Kriticos(Tony Shaloub), you might find the
film interesting enough to watch, other than that , buyer beware.
Cyrus Kriticos(F. Murray Abraham), is the well renowned ghost hunter and collector. He needs a certain number and specific ghosts in order to fulfill his evil plan.
Arthur has met with a personal tragedy, his wife died in a home fire, and he has inherited another home from his Uncle Cyrus. He moves in with his family , daughter Kathy(Shannon Elizabeth) and son Bobby(Alec Roberts). Subplot of Dennis Rafkin(Mathew Lillard) as super-sensitive paranormal investigator, who worked for Cyrus, and now comes to the aid of the Kriticos family.Subplot # 2 Kalina Oretzia(Embeth Davidtz) as another ghost hunter, who may have her own agenda.
The direction is tawdry and pedantic. Jump cuts and abrupt scene changes only carry so far.The lack of emotional involvement dooms this film from the start. It fails to establish an emotional connection with the main characters, and the ghosts are shown as evil, rather than victims.So , there is little connection with them either. Certainly with such a talented cast, they could have made a better effort, but I suppose that most of the money was used for special effects,and as usual, that isn't enough to save this trick for Halloween, not much of a treat. 4 out of 10 on the boo meter, get your scares from "Fright Night" 1 or 2. A reel(pun intended) , disappointment.
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