Michael Bay is notorious for his superficial approach to filmmaking -- it is all about looks. Give him a World War II epic, a catastrophic event, or a terrorist plot for destruction and he just skims the surface of the human condition. Give him jacked up, directionless, simple-minded body builders, and he gives you characters you can't help but be invested in.
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.