Thirteen Ghosts

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -3 1/2

Since his wife died in a house fire, Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shalhoub) and his children, Kathy (Shannon Elisabeth ) and Bobby (Alec Roberts) have struggled to make ends meet. But things start looking up when Arthur is told hes the sole inheritor of his eccentric Uncle Cyrus (F. Murray Abraham) estate. But when they visit Cyrus beautiful and strange glass house, they meet Dennis (Matthew Lillard), a former employee. Dennis warns them that the writing on the glass walls are spells to keep 12 malevolent ghosts trapped. The tour is further interrupted by Kalina (Embeth Davitz), who plans to release the tormented, trapped spirits. But she also tells them the house is really a machine that will open the all-seeing Eye of Hell and give the owner power to see the future. However, a living person must sacrifice himself as the thirteenth ghost. Will Arthur make the sacrifice to save his children from the house? Based on a classic horror film, this remake may attract fans of the stars, but its Halloween release is the main draw.

There is a certain thrill, particularly for young people, in the heart-thumping adreniline rush of a good scare. However, many horror films, this one included, substitute scenes of blood and gore for fright. Occultic elements, such as spells written on the walls and malevolent ghosts, add elements that supposedly play on our fear of the unknown. But the film spends so much time on tricks, it limits the treat of getting involved with the characters. The twelve grotesque spirits display the scars of their violent death. One ghost pulls nails from his body to kill others, while another’s head is trapped in a spiked cage. One female ghost is naked with deep cuts on her body, which adds a gratuitous nudity factor. Even without the numerous obscenities and God’s name in vain multiple times, THIRTEEN GHOSTS should be avoided.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (30) times - Mild 14, moderate 16

Obscene Language: Many (23) times - F-word 4, s-word 16, other 2, finger gesture

Profanity: Many (16) times - Regular 9 (GD 6, G 2, Csake); exclamatory 7 (OG, OMG)

Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (bodies thrown, blood sprays, man impaled by glass shard, grotesque ghosts, bloody bath, people attacked by spirits)

Sex: None

Nudity: Several times (Breast and rear of naked female ghost); Near Nudity - Once (attack tears girls blouse)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once - man makes comments about womans breasts

Drugs: Man takes pain pills for psychic headaches

Other: Occultic spells written and chanted, machine to open all-seeing eye in Hell, man loves family to point of sacrifice

Running Time: 91 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and young adults

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