Monday, July 2, 2007

Thirteen Ghosts

Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

Directed by: Steve Beck
Written by: Neal Marshall Stevens and Richard D'Ovidio, based on 13 Ghosts, written by Robb White
Starring: Tony Shalhoub, Shannon Elizabeth, Alec Roberts, Rah Digga, Matthew Lillard, Embeth Davidtz, F. Murray Abraham, JR Bourne, Mikhail Speidel, Daniel Wesley, Laura Mennell, Kathryn Anderson, Craig Olejnik, Shawna Loyer, Xantha Radley, C. Ernst Harth, Laurie Soper, Herbert Duncanson, Shayne Wyler, John De Santis

Remake, I guess, of the old William Castle movie from the '60s. I couldn't help but notice that this movie was produced by somebody named Terry Castle who, as it turns out, is William Castle's daughter. The gimmick from the original film had something to do with 3D glasses - something like you (the audience) had to wear the glasses in order to see the ghosts. In this movie, the characters in the film had to wear special glasses for the same reason. Cool.

The plot involves a family which has recently lost the mother/wife in a fire and then inherits a house from a rich and dead uncle. Unfortunately for them, the rich and dead uncle was a collector of ghosts and the house is stacked with them. After being there for only about half an hour, the house is sealed (much like in House on Haunted Hill and the ghosts (all of which seem to be psychotic, except for the ghost of the wife) are released.

Then there's this thing about this machine that opens the eye of hell or something, and Tony Shaloub is destined to be the Thirteenth Ghost or whatever. I don't know.

The plot didn't make a hell of a lot of sense - it did and it didn't. Stuff kept happening that was just weird. Like, was Fmurray dead, or wasn't he? I couldn't tell.

The movie was all about scare value and gore anyway, it didn't matter. And I have to give them some credit for that. I mean, it wasn't very scary at all, but they did kill some people in some pretty interesting ways. For instance, a guy gets cut in half lengthwise, which is something I haven't seen in a movie before. And actually, the ghosts were pretty cool. They were all archetypes, which was kind of interesting.

And another thing I thought was cool: At the end of the day, when everything is coming to it's furious, explosive climax, it is not Tony Shaloub who disables the big old machine and saves the day (he does rescue his children and throw the bad guy into a bunch of rotating blades, however). It's Rah Digga who messes with the turnies and slidies on that big sound board thing. I can't remember why that worked, but it was cool cause Rah Digga did it. Go Digga.


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