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13 Ghosts Movie Review

There aren’t too many who may know this, but “13 GHOSTS” is a really good, fun, and incredibly scary movie.  I am of course talking about the original, 1960 black and white version.  The 2001 version is just massively terrible.  It’s excessively loud, harshly edited, and annoyingly chaotic.

The movie loosely follows the plot of the original.  Arthur has recently inherited the house of his estranged uncle Cyrus.  When he, his two children, and the nanny arrive at their newly acquired property, they find that it’s quite an unusual house.  Inside is filled with massive gears that you would find in a machine like Big Ben, glass walls with strange, ancient engravings, and very unusual chambers.  Yes, the inside of the mansion is a set piece to be wowed by, that’s as far as it goes.

The new owners discover that the house holds twelve fiendish ghosts who have all been captured by the uncle.  They can only be seen by these specially made glasses but that doesn’t seem to mean much.  Whenever we get a look at the ghosts (which have some very nice detail of sinister spirits), they’re visible for about 0.8 seconds at a time and are so manic that they become annoying and rabid rather than scary.

Added to the mix are the plucky comic relief in the form of a ghost hunter (Matthew Millard) and the movie’s explanation for every weird thing who is a ghost and netherworld expert (Embeth Davidtz).  They’re there to deliver those lines like “you don’t know what you’re dealing with” and “what a rush”.

Yeah, the entire movie is basically all formula with nice scenery, lame acting, and stupid story telling.  If there’s any reason to see this movie is to compare it to the original and be reminded of why classic ghost movie are still the scariest.

* Star

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