Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

Cyrus Kriticos is an avid collector of many strange things. When he dies suddenly, his estranged nephew Arthur (Tony Shalhoub) inherits his belongings, which include a strange glass house.  Arthur’s wife was killed a few years ago in a fire, so now it is just his young son, daughter (Shannon Elizabeth) and a sassy black nanny.  As the group approached their new digs with the lawyer, they notice a power guy trying to get in.  Everyone is impressed by the house and as the power guy goes to check on the basement, we see that he is actually a physic medium who used to work for Cyrus who helped him complete one of his collections – ghosts.  G-g-g-g-g-ghosts?

Arthur’s crazy ass uncle has trapped 12 ghosts in containment boxes in the basement.  Each ghost represents on of the 12 signs of the black zodiac, and all of the ghosts except for one would take pleasure is killing everyone on the house.  That one nice ghost?  That would be the spirit of Arthur’s dead wife.  Cyrus is actually still alive, and has lured them there to put the kids in danger and to have Arthur kill himself to save them, because he needs the house to create a ghost out of love.  Once that happens, Cyrus will have the power to see the future. Yeah, we thought that was dumb too.  The lawyer accidentally sets the house-machine in motion, releasing one creepy ghost at a time.  The group must evade these horrible ghouls and destroy the machine that runs the house in order to escape.

Alex’s Thoughts: This could have been a really good/scary movie if it was done right.  If it had been re-cast with good actors (I’m looking at you Matthew Lillard, you hack), and the tone was darker, there would be some real possibilities for something great.  Instead we get a movie that is neither scary nor good, it’s just sort of there and provides nothing enjoyable.  Really the only fun thing is one of the extras on the DVD gives you background stories on all of the ghosts in their human form (this is also on IMDB and worth a read).  Sadly this is the most enjoyable thing on the disc.  It was a missed opportunity, but maybe someday someone will come along and do it right.  Alex Rates This Movie 5/10

Tim’s Thoughts: Lame to the 13th power, this is such a wasted opportunity. None of the cast is any good, the only thing interesting about this movie is the ghosts themselves, but the story is so awful and absurd that even that loses traction quickly.  I saw this in the theater and hated it, my feelings have not changed watching it again at home. These kind of movies piss me off, as they aren’t even fun, just drivel. Tim Rates This Movie 1/10

 “This house isn’t a house. It is a machine designed by the Devil, and powered by the dead.”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here, or add it to your Netflix queue

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