Thirteen Ghosts (2001)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Haunted House Film  |   Release Date - Oct 26, 2001 (USA)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Canada , United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Jason Buchanan

The epitome of style over substance despite some interesting concepts left over from the original, this loose remake of the William Castle classic exists for no other reason than to get the characters in an admittedly awe-inspiring haunted house and unleash a baker's dozen of supernatural baddies. This in itself may not be a bad thing when it comes to horror films over-test-marketed for maximum public consumption, though the addition of some of the sappiest sentiment ever committed to celluloid and an embarrassing performance by the usually reliable Tony Shalhoub render this spectral fiasco especially laughable. As with The Haunting and The House on Haunted Hill (both 1999) remakes, this version of 13 Ghosts gives new meaning to the concept of CG-overkill. The house itself and production design are truly inspired; like the glass that forms its foundation, though, the film is ultimately rendered a transparent practice in forced fear. Internalizing the gimmick that Castle used to promote the original, characters flee from ghosts which, while often striking in appearance, seem to exist solely for the sake of ever-exhausting "jump-scare" cues that become increasingly tiring as the film wears on. The all-out auditory battering of the viewers induces more pain than fear, rendering the film at times physically painful.