There's not much worse than a bad horror movie, and that means there's not much worse than 13 Ghosts.
Bad acting, bad directing, bad scripting, and a horrible story combine forces to deliver one of the cheesiest and most God-awful movie experiences ever to audiences ever, and the only thing scary about the picture is the thought that enough high level executives even considered 13 Ghosts good enough to be worth putting on film.
Tony Shalhoub should fire his agent. Somehow, this usually good actor from such films as The Siege and Life, or Something Like It wound up in an F-grade horror picture. Sure, everyone ends up in bad movies over the course of their career, but didn't he or his agent read the script - or the outline of a script in this case - before signing on? Directors can mess up good scripts, but as bad as the direction is in this movie, it can't all be blamed on Beck. The script is scattered and contrived, the complete opposite of entertaining, and absolutely insensible. And Shalhoub does just as bad as a job as the other "actors" in the film, namely Matthew Lillard and Shannon Elizabeth, who is barely in the picture, at least not enough to be even remotely sexy.
The story, about a struggling family who inherits a strange house storing thirteen deadly ghosts, is completely absurd, and completely unexplained. There is no logic in the film whatsoever, but that doesn't really matter; the plot "twists," meaning how 13 Ghosts gets from Point A to Point B, are not only generic, but utterly terrible.
The only redeeming elements of 13 Ghosts are the ghosts and the gore. The movie has one or two somewhat cool death scenes, like one where a man is cut in half from the sides, and his body slides down the glass (yes, gross, but pretty clever). The ghosts are also pretty creative and nasty, making the movie at least slightly creepy, although the director never leaves them on screen long enough to do any long term mental damage to the audience.
Come to think of it, 13 Ghosts doesn't have one scary part in the whole movie. You can tell that the movie is going to be bad from the opening scene, where a bunch of "ghostbusters" take on an invisible ghost who lays on the gore, but not the creeps, but you can't tell just how bad the movie is going to be.
13 Ghosts is crappy from beginning to end. Don't waste your time with this "movie" if your life depends on it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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