Here we are again with yet another addition to our 2013 Horror-a-thon, and this time, we’ll be taking a look at the 2001-remake of the 1960-classis Thirteen Ghosts, with the same title of course (or Thir13en Ghosts as it’s stylized). Benjamin Carr and Richard D’Ovidio are the writers responsible for putting Robb White’s classic horror-story into a screenplay for the new millenia and with that, the director Steve Beck made one hell of a job with it. With a surprisingly low rating (5.3 on IMDB and 14% om Rotten Tomatoes) I still see this movie as one of my all-time favorite scary movies. Sure, it’s not one you’ll watch every week or nothing, but it’s worth atleast a once-a-year-look and when it comes to scary movies (that’s not Nighmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th), that’s a pretty damn good score by my standards.
The movie follows Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shalhoub), who is after loosing his wife now trying his best to take care of his children Kathy, (Shannon Elisabeth) and Bobby (Alec Roberts). When inheriting a mansion from a distant uncle (Cyrus Kriticos, played by F. Murray Abraham), he relocates his family and their nanny Maggie (Rah Digga) into what they think would be their new home. And this is when it all starts to come apart.
I may have left out how the movie started? Yeah, I did.. so, it starts out with Cyrus and his psychic assistant Dennis with a team of… I’m guessing mercenaries of sorts(?) on a mission to capture the spirit called the Juggernaut. Things go wrong (which is summed up pretty good in the trailer below), people die and we cut to Arthur and his family… that’s how the movie begins. They’ve done a pretty decent job of it, I have to say. It reels you in while setting up the premise of the movie, without leading you on with anything specific regarding the rest of the film. Job well done!
As always, I’m not going do dive in to any specifics, but I have to say, that the thing that carries this movie the most…. is the acting. They all (even Shannon, believe it or not) do a fantastic job with their performances. There is some overacting, of course, but that only adds to the film as a comic relief of sorts and you appreciate it every time you watch the movie. And I have to say, that Matthew Lillard (probably best known for his ‘Shaggy‘ at this point) delivers a Fantastic performance and to say that he does a better job than Tony Shalhoub… it’s pretty hard to say, but I’m saying it. He does!
Furthermore, I loved the ambiance of the film and the effects are amazing for the time. The first time I saw this movie, I was scared half to death. They utilize their ghosts perfectly with suspense, surprise-elements And some intense action-sequences (you know, like chasing, smashing, slashing and so on…) and after it’s all wrapped up in a climactic ending, you feel satisfied and content with with your horror-experience.
They’ve done a pretty decent job remaking this one and where movies nowadays (yeah, that includes 10+ years ago) rely a lot on the visuals of it all, this is one film that have managed to incorporate the suspense from the original and combining it with the more modern special effects, creating one magnificent piece of horror!
So in conclusion… If you love scary movies, this is most definitely one for you. (it’s currently sitting silently on my Top10 and continue to be there, I predict, for a whole bunch’a years to come). If you don’t love scary movies, watch this one, and I’m pretty sure your mind has been forever changed. And there you go… the horror of the day. Tomorrow is Sunday and as they say; Sunday bloody sunday. No I’m not reviewing Sunday Bloody Sunday ’cause that’s a drama, but I will, however, give you our look on something a little more bloody. So tune in again tomorrow for this weeks conclusion of the 2013 Horror-a-thon, right here on Tango’s Thoughts.