Projections - Movie Reviews

13 Ghosts

Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

In what can only be called a feeble attempt at horror, this remake of the William Castle's 1960’s 13 Ghosts fails to cash in on the mood of the Halloween season.

While providing a mostly “A” cast, this former “B” film tries like so many other remakes to rely on special effects and damn the script.  Most good horror movies really don't have a great script or actors, but deliver on a more primitive level - fear.  All that this 13 Ghosts delivers are odd attempts at humor and a little gore.

The story revolves around a house left to a math teacher (Tony Shalhoud of The Siege), his daughter (Shannon Elizabeth of American Pie) and his son (Alec Roberts) by his odd and obsessed uncle (F. Murray Abraham of Amadeus).  Add into the mix the house keeper (musical artist Rah Digga) the former associate of the odd uncle who happens to be empathic (Matthew Lillard of Hackers) and a “save the ghosts” activist (Embaet Davidtz - Army of Darkness) and you truly have a bizarre grouping.  Bizarre to the point of not working.

The thrust of the story is that this house of glass covered in writings of Latin spells is actually a machine designed to open the “eye of hell”.  This mystical “eye” will give to whomever opens it the power to see past, present and future.  To open the “eye” one needs twelve very specific ghosts and a hero to give his life for love to become the preverbal thirteenth ghost.

After being trapped in the house the twelve ghosts are released one by one and can only be seen by special glasses provided by the house's former master, the dead uncle.  Now the only option is to get out of the house alive.

There is no new ground covered here and the only performance worth mentioning is that of Matthew Lillard as the tortured empath.  While not of Oscar material, Lillard shows some depth I've not seen before from him.

Expect the expected from this film and if you want a movie in true Halloween spirit, visit your local video store as Hollywood has nothing to offer this year.

Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

Home | Search | Reviewer Bios | Links | Mail Us
Copyright © 2005 Projections