13 Ghosts

Bomb Rating: 

Idiot-director Steve Beck is another one of those guys who's gone so overboard delivering style over substance that after "13 Ghosts" ends, one is stunned that Beck deigned to show any of the ghosts at all. How exactly could Beck not realize that the only thing people would want to see in "13 Ghosts" would be the ghosts?

Beck seems to think the movie is about him and all the neat stuff he and the editor can do to make it difficult for us to see what the ghosts look like. Can you imagine being a makeup artist on this movie? After seeing it you'd want to cut Beck's balls off and roll them onto the Los Angeles Freeway during rush hour.

The movie is essentially a haunted house film. Cyrus (F. Murray Abraham) is a ghost hunter who leaves a glass house to his poor nephew, Arthur (Tony Shalhoub), who's really excited to inherit such an expensive house. His kids, including Kathy (Shannon Elizabeth) and her younger brother (whose name is irrelevant), are also really excited. Even their black maid, Maggie (Rah Digga), is excited. Apparently, Arthur isn't so poor that he can't afford to employ a maid.

Rafkin (Matthew Lillard) shows up to tell everyone that the house's basement is full of ghosts who are hell-bent on killing everyone. Eventually the ghosts are let loose and the live people are locked in the house. In order to see the ghosts, everyone has to wear the special "ghost seeing" glasses, which gives Beck the opportunity to use his favorite filming technique, the "now you see it, now you don't" special effect. One ghost has spikes through his entire body. Another has its head in a cage. Do we get to look at these ghosts for more than a second? No. Can we cite this movie as further proof that just about everybody in Hollywood is a coke-addled mutant? Definitely. The editing in "13 Ghosts" is a horror in itself.

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