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
The budget, opening weekend box office gross, and box office gross overall of this film are all virtually identical (within one million dollars) to that of House on Haunted Hill (1999), which opened almost exactly two years earlier. Both films were adapted from stories written by Robb White and originally directed by William Castle. See more »
After Arthur punches Rafkin and they fall to the floor you can see the reflection of a crew member behind Arthur on the desk. See more »
Oh. Oh, boy.
Uh, that's the symbol of the Jackal.
What's the Jackal?
The Jackal is the Charlie Manson of ghosts. And if the Jackal's out, screw the kid! We gotta get out of this basement!
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The opening credits cast shadows on the scenery behind them. See more »
The Region 1 DVD release includes extensive background information on each of the ghosts as a bonus feature, including footage not used in the final movie, and newly recorded narration by F. Murray Abraham. See more »
Again, like House On Haunted Hill, I came away from 13 Ghosts with a sad feeling of what might have been.
I don't know, maybe I'm old fashioned, but I would have liked this remake to have been made around the time of the original; they made films for adults then, you know. Putting in lots of gore does not an adult film make.
Apart from some shock tactics, and you will jump, the film is devoid of any tension and feeling of being trapped within a machine. I would have liked the emphasis placed more on how the characters get from A to B within the glass machine. For a much superior example of this go and see Cube.
The glass walls were a nice feature, but I get the feeling the design was different for different's sake. There were lots of narrow corridors, however, I missed the big spooky rooms of a more traditional haunted house.
The ghosts were designed for cheap shock value and lacked any genuine creepiness. They looked more like the ghosts of WWF wrestlers!
For me, the film failed to define the characters well at all. This was not neccessarily the fault of the actors. The greiving father character had to communicate the loss of his wife, his home and the protectiveness of his kids in a movie that quickly resorted to the rapid editing of a pop video.
The protective parent under adverse conditions was not covered particularly well here; for a better example one only has to see Ripley and Newt in Aliens.
13 Ghosts is not a terrible movie. Anyone who enjoyed House On Haunted Hill, (and I did), and has the DVD on their shelves, (and I do), will find this an adequate stablemate, (I probably will), but if you're looking for a serious ghost adventure film with fully rounded characters, like Aliens with ghosts, then we still have a bit of a wait until filmakers stop making films for teenagers.
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