Fails To Conjure Up Any Scares Despite Some Promising Ideas
When it comes to B-Movies in the horror genre, Thir13en Ghosts has all the elements to be a great film but fails to really nail the most important aspect – the horror. Imaginative ghost designs coupled with an authentic yet surprisingly creepy glass house do a good job injecting some originality into the film but this supernatural flick fails to really inject the right level of scares needed to put off its promising premise.
The film revolves around Arthur (Tony Shalhoub) and his two children Kathy (Shannon Elizabeth) and Bobby (Alec Roberts) who inherit their Uncle’s wealth and estate, including the aforementioned glass house. Despite the questionable decision to start living in a completely see-through house complete with no curtains or blinds, the family move in and immediately realize things are not what they seem. Lurking beneath the house lies a deadly secret – or 13 to be precise – as all manner of creepy ghost remain trapped inside glass cages waiting to be set free.
What inevitably follows is the usual array of thrills and chills as the family soon realize the house is powered by the ghosts themselves and they become trapped inside, trying in vain to outwit and escape the ghosts. There’s a fair amount of thriller content here, with much of the film taken up by the introduction and subsequent nastiness of the ghosts as they terrorise the family. It’s here where Thir13en Ghost’s originality shines and whether it be a menacing, muscly ghost with nails through its face to a maniacal lady covered in deep gashes, the ghosts are imaginatively designed and genuinely make it exciting to see which will be released next into the house.
Unfortunately the rest of the film fails to inspire the same originality, falling back on the usual B movie tropes you’d expect from a film like this including questionable acting and a story rife with the usual horror conventions. To be fair to Thir13en Ghosts, there is a profound lack of gore and gruesome deaths which is a bonus with the exception of one particularly outrageous fatality early on.
Thir13en Ghosts is one of those films that’s unlikely to inspire many to rewatch again after finishing. Whilst the film has its fair share of fun moments and the showcase of each of the ghosts is easily the highlight here, a profound lack of horror does make the film less memorable than it perhaps should be. With a little more polish and more time with the children to build up the scares early on, Thir13en Ghosts could be one of the more memorable B movies out there but unfortunately the film falters, failing to conjure up anything but mediocrity despite some promising ideas.