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31 Days of Horror Day 13: "Did I say there's a petting zoo downstairs? NO! There are ghosts downstairs Arthur!"

Title of Movie: Thirteen Ghosts

Actors: Tony Shalhoub, Embeth Davidtz, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth, Raa Diggah, and F. Murray Abraham

Director: Steve Beck

Released: 2001

The Skinny: 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.

The Good: Good special effects, decent acting, lots of creepy ghosts, neat props and mechanicals, and some unique make up for each ghost make this a lot of fun. Some of the deaths in this movie are very inspired and really gross which made up for the poor decisions of the filmmakers.

The Bad: There's a point in the film where one character says to three other characters, "Stay right here until I get back. Don't touch anything." Without going into detail, let me simply state the obvious: the other characters don't obey him and the results are not good. This movie is full of those moments. Also the actor who plays the little brother is probably the most annoying kid in a movie since Jake Lloyd in Star Wars Episode 1. Also I had the opportunity to catch a preview presentation at a convention with some of the actors of this movie and the effects guys and they talked about the elaborate backstory for each individual ghost. Virtually none of that is in this movie. Which is a shame because the ghosts were actually more interesting than the living characters. Needless to say, this is a guilty pleasure movie for me if nothing else for the ghosts and Shannon Elizabeth.

The Ugly: Plate glass sliding in and...

My final verdict:  Put it like this, I fully acknowledge that this movie is flawed all to hell.  It's decent, but it's not great.  It could have been but it just was not.   3 pairs of those neat ghost seeing glasses out of 5. 


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