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Overall Rating
2.3

Awesome: 14.5%
Worth A Look: 12.21%
Average: 6.11%
Pretty Bad: 22.9%
Total Crap44.27%

4 reviews, 107 user ratings


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13 Ghosts (2001)
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by Scott Weinberg

"The original was crappy. This one is not an improvement."
1 stars

I can only assume that 13 Ghosts is the result of some profoundly twisted Hollywood wager. There's no other way to explain how such a moronic movie could ever get released.

So already I'm sick to death of these haunted house remakes. In terms of pure cinematic wretchedness, the sub-genre has now gone three for three. A few years back, moviegoers were subjected to a remake of The Haunting, a film so bad that it made my retinas go on strike. Not content with the sheer stink that permeated from that film, producers quickly released an update of The House on Haunted Hill. While not nearly as bad as The Haunting, this film was notable in that it also sucked. Really bad.

So since this idea has already belly-flopped twice, it's only logical that we now have another one. Inspired by William Castle's 1960 original film, 13 Ghosts tells the tale of...well, ghosts. Over a dozen of 'em. Now let's not mistake the original for anything of quality. Produced by "gimmick king" William Castle, the original 13 Ghosts suffers from dreary pacing and an uninteresting screenplay. It's not a good film. But at least it didn't star Matthew Lillard and Shannon Elizabeth.

Unfortunately, the remake does.

For those interested in plots that can be described in two words, here we go:

Haunted House.

Any other plot description would afford the screenwriters infinitely more credit than they deserve. On one hand, we have a handful of dumb human beings. On the other, we have a bunch of ghosts, mostly in cameo appearances. That's pretty much it. A few people die, but most (unfortunately) do not. Of course there's a whole lot of "plot pretense", which boils down to a bunch of actors spouting nonsense babble/plot exposition, but a 'cohesive story' is about as evident as Nell Carter's navel.

The humans running about the corridors are a sad-sack Dad, his teenage daughter, an annoying young tot, a rabid drooling ghost hunter, a sexy female ghost hunter...and the obligatory black servant-type. If someone were to ask you to finish the sequence A,B,C,_,_,_ , the resulting solution would be infinitely more surprising than any of this film's plot contrivances.

Of course the house was owned by a kooky old uncle. Of course the annoying ghost hunter and slimy lawyer are going to earn their gruesome fates, and of course most of the characters are going to survive. This is a Hollywood horror flick, after all. If you consider dry Saltines a "tasty treat", then you may find something new in this film.

The ghost attacks are directed in full-on MTV fashion, and the resulting sequences are more likely to cause massive migraines than anything resembling a good jolt. The apparitions are presented in split-second edits in an effort to make them seem more shocking. These attempts fail. The movie overall seems like it was edited with a broken weed-whacker, and the pacing can best be described as molasses-esque. Even considering that it's nothing more than a silly horror movie, 13 Ghosts is an unqualified disaster.

But then throw Matthew Lillard (The Curve) and Shannon Elizabeth (Tomcats) into the mix, and what you have is an unqualified mess that will be forever remembered as the World Series of Pathetic Actors. Lillard stomps around and froths at the mouth. You know, his standard "vein-in-the-forehead" delivery. Shannon Elizabeth prances about with a smug little grin, obviously content in the knowledge that adolescent boys consider her breasts the next Meryl Streep. I don't pick actors at random to bash. These are among the least entertaining "young actors" out there, and to cast them both in the same film is an offense on par with the pairing of Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze.

The remaining cast looks uniformly sheepish, as if they just wanna "say the words and cash the check". Tony Shalhoub (Quick Change) does the best he can with the role of "confused Dad who screams 'Bobby' a lot" and comely actress Embeth Davidtz (Army of Darkness) is a little fun as a no-nonsense ghost-smasher. F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus) proves once again that he'll appear in any movie, any time, no matter what. Abraham wisely chose the smallest role posible.

With quality original ghost stories (such as The Others) being released these days, there's literally no reason for moviegoers to have interest in warmed-up slop like 13 Ghosts. If the idea of watching unappealing actors wander through empty glass hallways for 90 consecutive minutes sounds like fun to you, here's the year's best film.

If you're going to remake a weak old ghost movie, you could at LEAST find a way to improve upon it. Just because it's a remake, that doesn't mean the suckiness needs to be retained.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4749&reviewer=128
originally posted: 11/13/01 13:20:01
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Horror Remakes: For more in the Horror Remakes series, click here.

User Comments

4/19/12 Sheryl Granholm Vomit Fest. 2 stars
8/01/10 Elizabeth Perfect for late night tv! It was so bad that it was so good! 4 stars
12/26/09 Chad Dillon Cooper Hollywood vomits this out= teens eat it up. 1 stars
12/20/09 FrankNFurter Poor people have nannies? And that's just the mildest of the plot holes.Cool ghosts,though. 2 stars
9/20/09 Jakob Pure unadulterated CRAP! 1 stars
5/11/09 WhenDarknessFalls some nice visual effects, but otherwise a throwaway and pointless "scary" film 2 stars
3/28/09 Total Crap Bad, but passable. Not scary in the least but I liked the split in half scene. 3 stars
11/16/08 Chode Wanted to kill myself after 20 mins of watching this garbage. 1 stars
6/18/08 PAUL SHORTT A LOUD, STUPID AND INCOMPREHENSIBLE PIECE OF JUNK 1 stars
6/06/08 Jenn Passable late night entertainment but not worth any amount of money. Pretty disappointing. 2 stars
5/03/08 Karrie Millheim Scared me good, good plot and lots of scary action 5 stars
12/15/07 Shantyl Umm..this movie is great! So obviously you have no taste lol. 5 stars
11/12/07 ilove26forever this movie's a major letdown. the original was better, and that's really saying something!! 1 stars
10/27/07 Alex I think the movie is brilliant. And I loved Lillard's character. 5 stars
6/19/07 Jessiika i'ld like to take some of those ghosts for a ride 2 stars
5/03/07 Wesley I identify with the dead naked chick in this movie. I wanted to cut myself afterwards. 2 stars
1/07/07 Stephen Far too wierd 2 stars
10/23/06 WTF If anyone gave this movie a 5-star rating, your opinions for any other film are worthless. 1 stars
10/11/06 Pritchett Proof that, no matter how bad, there'll always be some cretin out there who likes it. 1 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist REMAKE+MEDIEOCRACY=LAME,BARELY WATCHABLE POPCORN FLICK!!!!! 2 stars
5/29/06 Anthony Feor The plot kept me watching 2 stars
3/07/06 Steven Lewis It's a little wacky but the I like Shalob and the suspense, i thought, was killer. 3 stars
1/03/06 cody a gory movie with good perf. by matthew lillard but the plot stunk and so did entertainment 2 stars
12/10/05 The Grinch The original was CRAP. This IS a guilty pleasure, but it's great compared to Castle 4 stars
10/25/05 chris fox (the god) dont bother watching this shite 1 stars
9/24/05 Jessica i think the movie was greate i dont know what these other peple are talking about. 5 stars
8/13/05 Mark Louis Baumgart Bad acting, story & characters. Awesome sets, editing & makeup. A true guilty pleasure. 4 stars
7/02/05 Indrid Cold Holds your interest enough to be watchable, but just barely. 2 stars
6/30/05 rachel hall good but not as good has the old one 5 stars
5/26/05 tony Very suspensful. But movie made no sense. This remake was a failure. 1 stars
5/11/05 Wolfrey Maxwel WHY DOESN'T ANY ONE KNOW THE ACTUAL NAMES OF ALL THE GHOSTS(in the book) 4 stars
3/29/05 craig varney "a sleeper" will cure your insomnia 1 stars
3/12/05 Cpt Crunch quite nice FX the rest sucks badly, and it's simply boring 2 stars
1/01/05 Joe England Yeah... I got SO sick of that damn psychic screaming and whining and gnashing his teeth. 2 stars
10/16/04 Don Eckert This defines the statement "Piece of Shit"! 1 stars
9/25/04 Lord Durvok 2 I actually knew some retarded blonde who liked this abomination... 2 stars
9/03/04 Jexxie It's not a good story but it's pretty damn scary 4 stars
8/07/04 ELI Well, I liked the makeup! The rest sucked. 1 stars
8/03/04 paul jonas this movie sux ass 1 stars
8/02/04 American Slasher Goddess Just horrible all away around 1 stars
7/23/04 Jannet Kwan Scary Scary I would never want to be in that house 3 stars
4/07/04 Sig Not a bad concept, Shannon Elizabeth is HOT! & the scene with the sliding glass door... WOW 5 stars
3/02/04 Whatevr If Moses saw this movie there would have been a 11'th commandment 1 stars
3/02/04 blue the ghosts were scary but the movie went straight to shit 2 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge The torso made the movie look promising, but then it died leaving a foul stench. Laughable. 1 stars
1/12/04 Scott An edge of your seat live action graphic novel- "A Lot of Fun" 5 stars
12/27/03 J The ghost could of been scary, but the writer and director were too slow! Retards! 1 stars
12/14/03 Morial Rose Kvasnikoff I think that the film was little bit of scary but more knowledge. 3 stars
12/10/03 Tommy A good movie... 3 stars
11/30/03 Jason Masterbating with a cheese grader is moe enkoyable then watching this crap!!! 1 stars
11/02/03 American Slasher Goddess Contains some of the most annoying characters in horror movie history. Avoid at all costs. 1 stars
7/25/03 Nicole The movie was pretty well done, but it was just pointless 2 stars
7/14/03 Samuel Justus Shaggy and Monk are the men and Jay's Girl friend is cool too lmao!!!!! 5 stars
7/07/03 Terrance Rogers B-o-r-i-n-g But that angry princess ghosts did really have nice tits 1 stars
7/03/03 Y2mckay Hey "Hottie" (dubious) - Fuck WHICH critic? We ALL hated it! 1 stars
6/24/03 Hottie this is my FAVORITE movie and matthew lillard is my fav. actor so fuck this critic 5 stars
6/14/03 Eschenennock Manville There ought to be a law against so egregiously wasting the fabulous Shannon Elizabeth! 2 stars
6/13/03 Sylvie Alice Borden Makes Lara Croft, Tomb Raider look like Lord Of The Rings. 2 stars
4/29/03 The Bint I couldnt get out the theatre, i had been fucking concussed by this mindless shit..... 1 stars
4/15/03 Jack Bourbon Suckiness, sure, but lots of fun suckiness. 4 stars
3/11/03 me GREAT 5 stars
3/03/03 Maurice " The Predator" this movie was good!! not the best I've ever seen but still good 4 stars
2/21/03 syrius a movie where shannon elizabeth doesn't take it off?! :gasp: and :sigh: 1 stars
1/21/03 Chase This one's going straight down the crapper. Oh yeah, and chug my love chowder, too. 1 stars
11/20/02 Jim Wasn't THAT bad, but then again I was pretty tired when I watched it ... 3 stars
9/28/02 katrin one of the worst movies i've ever seen 1 stars
8/18/02 mary gibbs it was a great movie 5 stars
8/15/02 Frances i'm a wuss with horror films so i find it scary, however its fucking shite 1 stars
7/31/02 STEVE UM, HOW ABOUT NO? 1 stars
7/22/02 the Grinch If you don't take it seriously (it's a CASTLE movie remake, 4 chrisakes) it's good fun 4 stars
6/15/02 Cat Weaker plot, but it was supported by good special fx, alright cast and was generally creepy 4 stars
6/12/02 Eloise I like it...... I like it alot! 5 stars
6/11/02 crush I thought Matthew Lillard did better than they say!! 5 stars
5/26/02 Charles Tatum Nice effects and set, terrible script 2 stars
5/25/02 darkjosh@hotmail.com What's next? Rah Digga and Martin Lawrence in 13 Black Knights? 1 stars
5/21/02 othree great casting none the less, loved the ghosts! house was cool & it had tha guy from Hackers 4 stars
5/15/02 Blake This movie rocks the screen 5 stars
4/15/02 Vitality1 Had a lot of potential but drops the ball at the ending - wraps up so damn quickly! 4 stars
4/08/02 Spyguy2 13 pieces of undigested corn in a turd "breather". Flush it before it stinks up the room 1 stars
4/08/02 Daniel one of the worst, boring..... movies ever made 1 stars
4/06/02 Danielle Ophelia If it were set to continuous Marylin Manson, it would be my all time favorite music video. 2 stars
4/05/02 Edfink Lombardo A splendid horror film...It's fun (no revelations here) and that's all it's meant to be 5 stars
1/27/02 Monday Morning Whoever edited this piece of mierda should be castrated, unless it was a girl. 1 stars
1/14/02 Anus You have to be retarded to enjoy this. Good thing I saw the bootleg version 1 stars
12/27/01 Lexus Lopeman Great movie. My friend Ev and I loved every minute of it 5 stars
12/26/01 Roy Smith MTV horror, pretty but stupid. Real stupid. 2 stars
12/17/01 Andrew Carden Shannon Elizabeth Gives A Good Performance, The Plot Is Pretty Good. 4 stars
12/04/01 auroradae in a time when new horror movies suck ass, this remake shines a severed head above the rest 5 stars
12/03/01 The Boy In The Designer Bubble Eat some beans, go see this movie, fart through out it. Then it'll be an entertaining flick 1 stars
11/22/01 Richard Connehey House was really cool, but that was about it. Did anyone hear that one girl say "Tommoree" 1 stars
11/19/01 malcolm better than i expected. a topless Shannon Elizabeth would've gotten it a 4 from me. 3 stars
11/16/01 Baphomet Goddamn what an aweful movie! It was unsettling tho, yet also idiotic & dumb 1 stars
11/13/01 SeeGreg The best part was: The flashing lights and choppy scenes threw me into a fit of seizures 1 stars
11/13/01 jenn looks really cool, i like the character of dennis, he's cool 5 stars
11/12/01 Kevin Really not that bad... for what it is... worth seeing, just dont expect a great storyline. 4 stars
11/08/01 WeirdArchives Obvious remaking a turkey doesn't always make sense. Leave dumb movie classics alone! 1 stars
11/06/01 RazorDog Love the glass house! 4 stars
11/04/01 E-Funk Visually cool. But it's not very frightening and it goddamn well should be. See the old one 2 stars
11/04/01 Matt Gill you think u have it bad? i wasted 8$ 1 stars
11/03/01 ender what do cockboats expect? it's like The Cell, only more pointless 2 stars
11/02/01 7th Guest Watch Matthew Lillard overact like a motherfucker. He kicks ass. Movie is a mess, but fun 4 stars
11/02/01 G-Man It's better than any other horror movie to come out lately. 4 stars
11/01/01 Caiphn Could someone please shoot Shannon Elizabeth in the face? Static, horrible actress. 3 stars
11/01/01 Janine Lay, RN I thought it was really scary, great effects, don't read too much into it! 5 stars
10/28/01 Greyjack It's not the $5 I miss, it's the memory capacity wasted on this movie that pains me. 1 stars
10/27/01 forger Had potential, but the end really sank it...also no naked Shannon E. 2 stars
10/27/01 Jamie Madrox Why did I waste 4.75 and 90 minutes of my life on this piece of shit?! 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  26-Oct-2001 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  13-Dec-2001




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