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31 Films # 16 – Thirteen Ghosts – 2001

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TRAILER Uploaded to Youtube by User: MOVIECLIPS Classic Trailers


This is a re-watch, My niece really wanted to see it. I actually saw this in the theatres with my now ex wife in 2001, which before this year was the worst year of my entire life. For basically the same issues as this year actually. I didn’t remember a lot about it, besides it was alright.

This of course, is the remake of the William Castle classic of the same name, sans gimmick. If you have not seen the original, by all means do so. It is a fun film and the DVD version includes the gimmick version and the ghost viewer. It is one of the most fun ghost films ever, and was reviewed on here several years ago.

As far as remakes go, this is in fact still a decent one to me. It’s very different in theme from the original version, but has some of the fun of it, and is surprisingly well done. Arthur, after losing his wife, receives a video message from an Uncle Cyrus – never trust anyone named Cyrus – whom has passed away and left his substantial home, to his remaining heir. Arthur and kin move in, to an odd, mechanical and glass walled house, only to find, within it’s walls, a sinister secret, and a battle for the fate of the world itself.

The effects are earlier CGI, which I am not a fan of, but for their sake are done well. The variety of ghosts, is different and interesting enough, although a little more explanation would have been made them more appealing. It is surprisngly gory in parts, with a lawyer being sliced in half, and various ghost related carnage, especially in a very strong opening. It tends to lag a little bit, and the twist is not so shocking, but the ending is beyond sappy. All in all, one of the better modern remakes, does respect it’s source and takes it in a unique direction. It’s worth a look.

RATING: B+ (77%)

PROS: Some unique character designs, some good gore moments, a decent plot line, doesn’t disrespect it’s source.

CONS: Annoying side characters, awful, over sentimental ending.

The ghost viewer gimmick, while a plot point in the movie, would have been a fun DVD add on.


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