Thir13en Ghosts (USA/Canada, 2001) - Color, Director(s): Steve Beck
MPAA Rating: R
Approx. 91 min.
Z-rating: 4 out of 5 stars for a good ghost story
Cheese Factor: 2 out of 5 stars for a weak plot for the movie
A rich and obsessed occultist travels the world collecting artifacts and ghosts. He has a psychic (Matthew Lillard) follow him around and help track down specific spirits but his plan is not revealed before he meets his end during one of the nights that they capture one of the more violent spirits. Cut to Tony Shalhoub, who is the nephew of the rich and eccentric occultist, getting a visit from his uncle's lawyer to leave him a huge house. They are shown the enormous house, which is entirely made of glass walls, before the greedy lawyer activates a trap that locks them all in the house. Luckily, Matthew Lillard's character happens to get locked inside as well to explain his past with the uncle and the dark past of the house. Apparently the uncle was collecting 12 specific spirits to power a machine that would open a portal to Hell. The device that he built was actually the house and the spirits are being released from their prisons one after another.
I know this movie gets a lot of crap and I can see why. There aren't many reasons for what's happening on the screen other than the fact that it's happening. I'm not here to praise any qualities that the movie doesn't have, I do think that this is a pretty damn entertaining movie though. Sure, if you over think the movie, you can find a ton of plot holes in the story. The grand scheme of the evil uncle was really stupid but it provided a reason to talk about a variety of ghosts. That's what's interesting about this movie, most of its best writing is focused on what the different types of ghosts are. Once they're all released from their prisons, it's like okay, what now? These bad ass killing machines are on the loose but there's no one to kill in particular. Matthew Lillard does some damn fine acting as a tortured psychic that's haunted by visions of death and evil spirits. There are some genuinely creepy moments, and if not for the damn CGI at the end of the movie, this movie is actually pretty sweet. Alright, so maybe a more solid script would've helped too but I think people would complain less about the script if "the darkness" looked better.
Nudity: Not enough. Shannon Elizabeth of American Pie fame is in this movie, I thought for sure we'd got some T&A. One of the 13 ghosts is a naked girl who cut herself but she's also very dead and gross looking. She's a creepy one.
Gore: Enough. I wouldn't say that there was an overwhelming amount of gore. I wouldn't even say there was a lot of it. There was blood wherever needed and I didn't feel like it was a tame movie by any means.
Awesome: Very entertaining. I wouldn't say this is one of those movies that changed the game but it was definitely lots of fun to watch and pretty easy to follow. I loved how each of the ghosts had distinct personalities, I just wish they went even deeper into the backstory of each ghost. Overall, a very entertaining film.