Main cast: Tony Shalhoub (Arthur Kriticos), Embeth Davidtz (Kalina Seyler), Matthew Lillard (Dennis Rafkin), Shannon Elizabeth (Kathy Kriticos), Rah Digga (Maggie Jones), F Murray Abraham (Cyrus Kriticos), Alec Roberts (Bobby Kriticos), Kathryn Anderson (Jean Kriticos), and JR Bourne (Benjamin Moss)
Director: Steve Beck
Thir13en Ghosts boasts a spectacular set. The house where this movie is set in is truly an amazing sight: a maze of glass panels inscribed with Latin runes of ghost warding, and a floor of gold-covered panels. It must be seen to be believed. How much does this house cost, or is it all computer generated? Whatever the cost, it has to be a lot, and the film folks must have dipped into the script doctor budget to pay for the set.
Maybe that’s why this movie is really, really crap.
The story is pretty interesting. Cyrus Kriticos, with the help by psychic ghost hunter Dennis Rafkin, is hunting for 13 ghosts. He has built the amazing house, according to rules set out by the Devil himself, to allow him to control some portal thing called the Eye of Hell. Whoever controls the Eye can see the past and future and hence be very powerful indeed.
Cyrus needs thirteen ghosts. He already has twelve, and he has them held captive in the basement of his amazing house. Let’s see, there’s the ghost of a firstborn son, a boy with an arrow through his skull. There’s the torn prince (a James Dean-like mangled young man holding a baseball bat), an angry princess (naked, pouty, and sullen teenage girl who killed herself in the bath), the pilgrimess (ugly), the torso (self-explanatory), the bound woman (ugly), the hammer (ugly), the jackal (uglier), the juggernaut (holy mother of all ugly), the dire mother and great child couple (very ugly), and lastly, the withered lover (Jean Kriticos, who died in a fire).
Jean Kriticos left behind a grieving husband, Arthur, and two brats, Kathy and Bobby. The family has a nanny, Maggie, who sounds like a tough soul sistah fresh from a sitcom. When Cyrus dies and leaves them the house, Arthur and company soon find themselves trapped in the house with the ghosts free inside to unleash mayhem, violence, and murder. Fortunately, Dennis is there too, as is the good spirit-reclaimer Kalina, to help the family go free. Right?
It’s a nice plot. But the script is beyond pathetic, especially when the human cast are not only stupid, they irritate me so much that I want to so badly to smack them black and blue. The brat, Bobby, is the braindead boy who walks right into the dark basement, thinking that the voices are his family members’ – the same family members he left behind just upstairs. Stupid or what? I am shrieking for the ghosts to kill that stupid dingbat. Likewise, Arthur Kriticos, the hero? What a loser. He is the kind of loser that stands there, right in the middle of a dash where they are all escaping a ghost, and demands to know what the heck is going on because there’s no such thing as ghosts. And when he needs to be strong, he breaks down and whimpers. Loser.
And guys, Shannon Elizabeth disappears for the most of the time. No, she doesn’t get naked. Sorry.
And the grand finale is beyond pathetic. The juggernaut, which is the ghost of a really mad, bad serial killer, turns out to be much ado about nothing.
The only person who fits into the movie is Matthew Lillard, whose acting, right out of the manic school, makes him the only memorable character, a freak who learns the meaning of nobility and sacrifice too late.
The house is nice, but the movie is drek. A waste of time.