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"THIRTEEN GHOSTS"
(2001) (Tony Shalhoub, Matthew Lillard) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Extreme Heavy Extreme Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Mild Extreme None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Moderate Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: After inheriting a unique mansion, a family discovers that its basement is filled with various dangerous ghosts.
PLOT:
Ever since the tragic death of his beloved wife, Jean (KATHRYN ANDERSON), Arthur Kriticos (TONY SHALHOUB) is a widower who's just been trying to get by and raise his kids, Kathy (SHANNON ELIZABETH) and Bobby (ALEC ROBERTS), with the aid of Maggie (RAH DIGGA), the nanny. Thus, when attorney Ben Moss (JR BOURNE) arrives at his door and informs him that he's inherited the mansion of his now late Uncle Cyrus (F. MURRAY ABRAHAM), Arthur can't believe his luck.

Nor can he or the rest of the family believe the immense abode, comprised almost entirely of glass walls with Latin phrases on them. Upon their arrival to look around the place, they also meet Dennis Rafkin (MATTHEW LILLARD) who claims to work for the power company, but in reality is a psychic who worked with Cyrus in capturing ghosts that are now stored in the mansion's basement.

It seems that Cyrus had copied ancient plans and built a machine designed by the Devil and powered by the dead that would give him ultimate power. Once the twelve ghosts of the Black Zodiac were assembled, their spirits would fuel the machine and start the process of unleashing that power.

Although Arthur and the others don't believe any of the ghost stories, after a few encounters and visions of them through special glasses that allow one to see the menacing spirits, they do. Unfortunately, the mansion, which keeps changing shape due to the machine opening and closing doors and hallways, is now locked and Kathy and Bobby are missing.

From that point on, and with the help of ghost liberator Kalina (EMBETH DAVITZ), Arthur and others set out to find the kids, all while attempting to avoid the various ghastly ghouls who are let loose one by one and are now after them.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into scary horror film or are fans of someone in the cast, they just might, with teens looking for a scary picture being the likeliest audience among kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For horror violence/gore, nudity and some language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • TONY SHALHOUB is a widower who's just trying to get by in life and raise his family as best as he can. After inheriting the mansion and then learning that it's haunted, he does what he must to rescue his kids and escape. He also cusses some.
  • SHANNON ELIZABETH and ALEC ROBERTS play his kids who wander off in the mansion and find themselves in harm's way.
  • MATTHEW LILLARD plays a psychic hired by Cyrus to find and capture ghosts, who then sets out to help Arthur and his family survive the attacks and escape.
  • F. MURRAY ABRAHAM plays Arthur's megalomaniacal uncle who captured and enslaved ghosts to be used in his attempt to harness supernatural powers.
  • KATHRYN ANDERSON plays Arthur's deceased wife.
  • RAH DIGGA plays the family's nanny who reacts to the events around her by making sarcastic remarks and using some strong profanity.
  • EMBETH DAVITZ plays a ghost activist who seems determined to free the ghosts from Cyrus' basement.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated horror film. Violence is listed as extreme due to various grotesque and occasionally quite bloody/gory deaths. Various ghostly figures are bloody or disfigured and show the results of their own violent deaths. The sight of all of that and other blood, the supernatural material, as well as the standard haunted house type moments where the various menacing-looking ghouls chase after and attack the humans could be quite unsettling, suspenseful and scary to viewers.

    Profanity consists of at least 3 uses of the "f" word and other expletives, while various colorful phrases are also uttered. One brief sexually related bit of dialogue occurs, while one of the ghosts is a nude, female suicide victim. Accordingly, we see her bare breasts on various occasions, as well as brief views of full frontal and rear nudity.

    Beyond that, various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some tense family material involves a family still dealing with the death of the matriarch who's then later seen by them several times in ghost form. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific examples of what's present and/or occurs during the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Rafkin tries to take some sort of unknown pills (saying he needs them to take the edge off), but Cyrus kicks them from his hand, saying he needs him clear-headed.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A ghost throws various people about in a car junkyard, killing some of them (we see blood splatter inside a car after a person is pulled inside and another person is doubled over backwards as they're pulled between stacked cars). A car is dropped on another person, others are tossed around, and a person ends up inside a ghost containment cube where something happens that bloodies him. After the ghost is captured, we see several more bloody people.
  • We see some blood on the inside of a glass wall.
  • The edges of two opposing glass doors close on a person caught between them, cutting him in half. We first see a bit of blood trickle down his face and then see the front half of him slide down the now closed glass door, leaving the bloody back half of him still standing. That half then slides down the door, leaving a bloody smear.
  • As Kathy checks her hair in a bathroom mirror, she doesn't see the ghost of a dead and bloody woman (that we see) standing next to her who and then slipping into a bathtub. Kathy then goes over to that (seeing an empty tub), and we see the dead girl (with bloody cuts on her face) lying in the bloody bath water, with blood splattered/smeared everywhere in the bathroom and eventually coming out of the faucet.
  • We see a ghost whose side of her face is all scarred from a fire.
  • We see various images of one ghost who has large nails/spikes nailed into his head.
  • We see a boy ghost with an arrow sticking through his head (with some blood around it).
  • Rafkin has some blood on the side of his head after a run-in with a ghost, and then has some on his hand as well.
  • A ghost attacks Arthur, shredding the back of his shirt as she repeatedly scratches him (leaving blood on his shirt).
  • Blood runs from a man's mouth after he's been killed.
  • Another man has blood on his neck and clothing.
  • A woman is crushed between two panels of glass (we see blood from her nose, but don't see the final squashing).
  • Arthur has a bit of blood from his nose after fighting someone.
  • Various ghosts grab a man and then toss him into some rapidly spinning blades that quickly tear his body apart (we see body parts flying out of them).
  • Kathy has some bloody scrapes on her face.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Cyrus has both for capturing and enslaving various ghosts to use them in his megalomaniacal plan, and Rafkin has both for helping him for pay.
  • Another person turns out to be working for Cyrus and has mislead the others.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may also be unsettling, suspenseful or frightening to some viewers, as might the many sights/viewings of the various ghastly looking ghosts.
  • Throughout the second half of the movie, if not listed here, there are many scenes where menacing and/or ghastly looking ghosts approach and/or attack the humans who try to get away from them.
  • Rafkin sees various split-second, psychic images of dead and/or bloody/mutilated people in an auto junkyard, and then has the same in Cyrus' mansion (as we see something/someone behind him and hear weird, distorted voices in the latter scene). These include a ghost trying to break through a glass wall with a large pipe.
  • Rafkin then has images of a burning woman - Jean - when Arthur touches him.
  • As various containment cells open, the various dangerous and/or spooky looking ghosts come out and approach the living.
  • As Kathy checks her hair in a bathroom mirror, she doesn't see the ghost of a dead and bloody woman (that we see) standing next to her who then slips into a bathtub. Kathy then goes over to that (seeing an empty tub), and we see the dead girl lying in the bloody bath water, with blood splattered/smeared everywhere in the bathroom. After watching her, the ghost then raises her knife to strike Kathy, but Arthur arrives and the ghost disappears.
  • While by himself somewhere in the house, Bobby hears ghostly voices telling him to come into the basement, and he slowly does (while another voice tells him not to follow the other one). We then see a ghostly figure back behind him and he tries to run from it, but runs into a glass wall, knocking himself unconscious.
  • Various characters then go into the basement to look for Bobby, all while we hear scary music and spooky voices.
  • Kathy, wearing the special glasses, sees a menacing ghost - with a crude, open metal box of some sort on her head - attacking her. Arthur then sees Kathy being attacked and dragged down a hallway (but not the ghost), lifted up a wall and then repeatedly scratched.
  • Rafkin gets Maggie to move just in time as a ghost with a knife nearly gets her.
  • Various characters have more close calls with various, menacing ghosts, including Arthur who's attacked by the ghost with the metal box cage over her head who repeatedly scratches his back.
  • As Rafkin and Arthur set out to rescue the missing kids, Kalina and Maggie set out to distract the ghosts and return to the haunted basement and they all have more encounters with ghastly and dangerous ghosts.
  • Arthur discovers his kids trapped in the middle of many large, moving and rapidly spinning blades and must try to rescue them.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifle: Seen on display in Cyrus' office.
  • Knife: Carried by one of the ghosts and used in attempts to injure others.
  • Explosives: Readied by Kalina, but never used.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "No f*cking way," "You've got to be sh*tting me," "Sh*tload," "I wouldn't give a sh*t," "I don't give a sh*t," "Sh*t hits the fan," "We should get the hell out of here," "Slut," "Bitch," "Freaked," "What the hell /was that?" "Nuts" (crazy people), "Stop screwing around," "Bad ass," "Screw" (nonsexual), "Shut up," "Pissing them off," "Who the hell are you?" "Saving your ass" and "That would suck."
  • A man gives some locked up ghosts "the finger."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The sudden sight of various ghastly looking ghosts might startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous, suspenseful and scary music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 "f" words, 17 "s" words, 1 slang term for breasts ("t*ts"), 11 hells, 7 S.O.B.s, 5 asses, 2 damns, 9 uses of "G-damn," 6 of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "For God's sakes" and "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Maggie starts to explain that a slut is a girl who uses sex, but Arthur interrupts her before she finishes.
  • One of the ghosts is a nude (but obviously dead) woman, and on various occasions we see her bare breasts, as well as brief glimpses of full frontal and rear nudity.
  • SMOKING
  • We see Cyrus with a cigar in one scene.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear, but don't see, clips of a moment in the past where a fire breaks out in the family's house and Jean is killed. We then see them living in a much smaller house, trying to get by and still suffering from their loss. Later, they have various encounters with her as a ghost.
  • The family learns that their uncle had died, but there's no grieving since they didn't know him.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Ghosts and whether they exist or not.
  • How scary films are sometimes better when kept simple rather than trying to include some elaborate and detailed diabolical plot to rule the world.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A large truck drives through a locked chain link fence.
  • Cyrus kicks some pills from Rafkin's hand.
  • A ghost throws various people about in a car junkyard, killing some of them (we see blood splatter inside a car after a person is pulled inside and another person is doubled over backwards as they're pulled between stacked cars). A car is dropped on another person, others are tossed around, and a person ends up inside a ghost containment cube where something happens that bloodies him. After the ghost is captured, we see several bloody and/or dead people.
  • We hear, but don't see, clips of a moment in the past where a fire breaks out in the family's house and Jean is killed.
  • A ghost tries to break a window with a large pipe to get at another person, but the glass doesn't break.
  • The edges of two opposing glass doors close on a person caught between them, cutting him in half. We first see a bit of blood trickle down his face and then see the front half of him slide down the now closed glass door, leaving the bloody back half of him still standing. That half then slides down the door, leaving a bloody smear.
  • Arthur tries smashing a window with a chair, but the latter simply breaks upon impact.
  • Bobby accidentally runs into a glass wall, knocking himself out.
  • Kathy, wearing the special glasses, sees a menacing ghost - with a crude, open metal box of some sort on her head - attacking her. Arthur then sees Kathy being attacked and dragged down a hallway (but not the ghost), lifted up a wall and then repeatedly scratched.
  • A ghost repeatedly tries to hit Rafkin with a pipe.
  • A ghost attacks Arthur, shredding the back of his shirt as she repeatedly scratches him (leaving blood on his shirt).
  • Arthur punches Rafkin when he learns that the psychic helped capture his dead wife's ghost.
  • A person knocks out another person.
  • Two ghosts attack (repeatedly hitting, etc.) and ultimately kill a person (lifting and then slamming him against a pole, breaking his back - with blood then running from his mouth).
  • A woman is crushed between two panels of glass (we see blood from her nose, but don't see the final squashing).
  • Arthur attacks a man, punching him, who then turns the tables, and kicks and then hits him with his cane. He then holds a sharp object to Arthur's chest, but Arthur kicks him backwards.
  • Various ghosts grab a man and then toss him into some rapidly spinning blades that quickly tear his body apart (we see body parts flying out of them).
  • A huge mechanism tears itself apart, with pieces of it flying everywhere and various glass panels throughout the house then exploding/shattering.



  • Reviewed October 23, 2001 / Posted October 26, 2001

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