Thir13en Ghosts (2001) - Steve Beck

Thir13en Ghosts (60)

A forgettable ghost story starring Monk!

Directed by
Steve Beck

Produced by
Robert Zemeckis
Joel Silver
Gilbert Adler

Screenplay by
Neal Marshall Stevens
Richard D'Ovidio

Story by
Robb White

Tony Shalhoub
Embeth Davidtz
Matthew Lillard
Shannon Elizabeth
Alec Roberts
Rah Digga
F. Murray Abraham

Dark Castle Entertainment
Warner Bros. Pictures
Columbia Pictures

Release date
October 26, 2001

Budget    $42 million
Box office    $68,467,960

Thir13en Ghosts is a horror movie from 2001. It was directed by Steve Beck and produced by Dark Castle Entertainment. It had all the makings of an early nineties horror movie. Complete with a heavy-metal soundtrack, predictable writing and music video editing. People watched it. The film had beaten the budget at the box office, but had gotten terrible reviews. I remember being intrigued by the trailers, and I even saw it in the theater, but I couldn’t come around to liking it.

Cyrus is an adventurer and ghost hunter, that dies while out on an assignment. He leaves his estate to his widower brother Arthur, and his children, Kathy and Bobby. The group takes a look at the property, but Arthur is very reprehensible. He is still grieving over the death of his wife. The compound is tremendous. It is staggeringly large, but is made completely of glass. That, and it has twelve angry spirits imprisoned deep in the home. The First Born Son, The Bound Woman, The Torso, The Withered Lover, The Torn Prince, The Angry Princess, The Pilgrimess, The Great Child and The Dire Mother, The Hammer, The Jackyl, The Juggernaut and The Broken Heart.

The twelve ghosts are the most intriguing part of the picture. I had found portions of the movie boring and the jump cuts annoying. But these twelve different ghosts had kept me going. Unfortunately, that’s the best it has. The worst part is the predictability. We’ve seen this kind of move a hundred times before. The cast doesn’t do much to remedy the mediocrity. Shannon Elizabeth acts like a cardboard cutout while Matthew Lillard teeters into Nicolas Cage territory. Tony Shalhoub isn’t a great lead actor in this film either. He doesn’t have that draw. I thought F. Murray Abraham did a fantastic job for being on screen for so little time. The whole crew did great, but it didn’t produce a good product.

I lost interest in the effects rapidly. Nothing changes. Everything comes at you in quick flashes with tons of jump cuts. Unfortunately, this negatively affects the way scares and kills are presented. It’s so hyper paced and it loses reality quickly. It becomes a music video. It kind of reminded me of Resident Evil with the editing. Some of the death scenes are brutal and I appreciated that effort. The first kill was the most horrendous, but they were all intense. At least this movie gets your blood pumping.