Review: Thirteen Ghosts

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If even one hundredth of the effort that was given to special effects was given to character development in Thirteen Ghosts, director Steve Beck could have really had something here. This is a rare example of a movie that gets into its story too quickly. We have barely been introduced to the characters when they are thrust into a fight for their lives. How can we feel sympathy when we don't even know them?

A family that has recently lost their mother receives notice that their distant Uncle Cyrus (F. Murray Abraham) has died, and left his houes to them. Thrilled to get out of the cramped apartment they have had to live in since mom's death, Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shaloud), his children, Bobby (Alec Roberts) and Kathy (Shannon Elizabeth), and their horrifically stereotyped nanny, Maggie (Rah Digga) head to their new home.

Upon their arrival, they meet the eccentric Dennis Rafkin (Matthew Lillard), who was a spirit hunter with Uncle Cyrus, and he soon teaches them the horrifying truth behind Cyrus's seemingly beautiful house. Unfortunately, by the time the Kriticos's believe Dennis, they are trapped, and fighting to stay alive as 12 ghosts stalk them. Yes, I said 12 ghosts... you'll have to see the film to understand!

It is the effects that make this movie. The ghosts are unbelievable (especially the angry princess) and are destined to be in the nightmares of any children who sneak into this film. The house itself is masterpiece, made almost entirely of glass, and changing shape continuously. This film is almost worth seeing for the effects alone. Good diaglogue and convincing acting are not something that is overly expected in a film like this, and there are no pleasant surprises on this front. However, there is one of the coolest death scenes ever. (I'm overly macabre, but this one HAS to be seen to be believed!)

Thirteen Ghosts does have a storyline that helps the film along to make it more than simply a "haunted house horror flick". However, I'm partial to any story with a mythological quality. While there are no parts that will have your heart in your throat, Thirteen Ghosts is a good movie to see, especially around Halloween. After all, there have been a lot worse!

Tags: 13 Ghosts, F. Murray Abraham, Tony Shalhoub, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth

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