Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2009
Considering this is a remake of the William Castle "gimmick" b-movie, "Thirteen Ghosts" is more entertaining than it should be, but not a good as it could have been.

What I mean to say is that while I love the William Castle original film, Castle's version was more of a comedy with a nifty 3-D gimmick thrown in. The basic story of a family inheriting a haunted mansion was pure sitcom at best. And while there are some chills sprinkled through the original film, the humor is what I remember most about the film.

The remake does away with all of the humor and attempts to go for the jugular as a pure horror film. The basic storyline remains the same in that a family inherits a haunted house from a ghost hunting uncle. And like the original, 12 spirits inhabit the house...so who is the thirteenth ghost? You have to watch to find out.

Tony Shalhoub turns in a solid performance as Arthur Kriticos, the widower and family man who inherits the haunted home from his uncle. Shalhoub was only 1 year away from striking gold with his TV show "Monk" when this film came out, and I find it difficult watching "Thirteen Ghosts" now, and not thinking of the Monk character obsessing about fingerprints all over the glass house?!?! The rest of the cast is solid as well, with F. Murray Abraham chewing up scenes as the ghost hunting uncle and Matthew Lillard still hunting ghosts here in his pre-Shaggy days.

The special effects are pretty good, and the make-up for the various ghosts looks great. The glass house featured in the film is pretty inventive, and adds a nice touch of atmosphere. There are a few bumps and jumps that will jolt you out of your seat sprinkled throughout the film, but there is nothing in the movie that will stick with you past the end credits.

If you enjoyed the remake of "The House on Haunted Hill", then you will probably enjoy this film as well. If you are looking for a spooky ghost story along the lines of "The Changeling", you will probably be disappointed.
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