WEIRDO’WEEN #01: THIR13EN GHOSTS [2001]

Sometimes, life throws us for a spin. Whether that’s because we are changing our lifestyles, or in Arthur‘s case: we inherit a house [and many other riches] from our late Uncle’s estate – it just so happens that for Arthur, this house has someone – or something – else living inside as well, and not just one but: Thir13en Ghosts!

That’s right, for the first episode of weirdo’ween I’m going to review a movie that isn’t terrible, but I used to be so afraid of; I watched it with the lights on. seriously. Even if it is a lackluster film, I do have it on my movie shelf, but that’s purely for nostalgic reasons: I mean, this movie isn’t the scariest movie you’ll ever watch, meaning don’t watch it with your new girlfriend hoping she’ll latch on to you and you’ll get cuddles all night, cause chances are; she’ll be looking at you with a raised eyebrow the rest of the night wondering why this was the movie you chose for your first date..moving on. If I were to explain the story, it’d feel kind of pointless, because it’s fairly generic [and a remake!] but this is a review – which means I’m going to tell you all about it anyway. Are you ready to walk into The House? Come on, it’ll be fun! Let’s start by talking about:

weirdo'ween-#1

Our story follows a family without a mother, including Dad – Arthur [played brilliantly by Tony Shalhboub], Daughter – Kathy, Son – Bobby and the Nanny – Maggie, who all inherits a strange house, created by Arthur‘s Uncle Cyrus. We learn that Cyrus was a ghost hunter – because of course he is – with not one, but twelve ghosts who are all locked in the basement of the house. I should also mention that there is two other characters in the movie as well: Dennis – who can see future [and past] whenever he touches people. He worked with Cyrus during his ghost hunting days and Cyrus rival – Kalina. Naturally, even with Dennis by their side, it’s when the ghosts are unleashed, that these people have no choice but to save themselves.. However, as we learn from Kalina, this ‘house’ that was inherited isn’t even a house, but a highly complex machine built by Cyrus, which he called the “Ocularis Infernum [or in English: “Eye Of Hell“. that sounds promising..] which supposedly was created by/for The Devil and powered by the dead! Once it’s completed, this demonic device apparently could allow its user to see into the future. It isn’t until we discover that one of the ghosts is powering this machine is the spirit of his dead wife, Jean [hence the mother-less family] that things get..a little weird.

It becomes clear both to the characters, and the audience, that Arthur should take place as the house’s 13th ghost, because if he does; his sacrifice of pure love would combat all of the evil contained within the machine: therefore shutting it down – for good. I mean, I’m sorry.. pure love is the answer for demonic ghosts who are terrorizing a demon machine? I don’t know if I like that idea [morals are good, children..] or if I think it’s dumb. Does that realistically mean that the movie should be called Twelve Ghosts? I’m just saying; if there’s already 12 ghosts in this house, and Arthur has to “become” the 13th; wouldn’t that mean there’s only 12 at this exact moment in the film? Anyway. Let’s move away from that tidbit. Also, in case you haven’t seen the film, Cyrus is also revealed to be alive, having faked his death in order to lure Arthur to the house; and Kalina turns out to be his secret partner-in-crime! [and lover] It turns out that Cyrus has planned this whole thing, just so that Arthur will become the 13th ghost of the house. But wait! This isn’t going to stop the machine, but rather – to trigger it. Naturally, like all good villains, Cyrus ends up turning against his lover and has her crushed between two glass walls, [in all it’s bloody glory] claiming “greatness requires sacrifice.” Because, as we are learning today, to be “pure evil”; one of the prerequisites is being an asshole to your loved ones.

Aesthetically, The house looks great, spectacular even, and the art direction are very admirable for what they had. It’s just the fact that at times, that there is hardly any time to notice what’s going on in the background. But where the movie truly shines – at least in my opinion – is the ghosts themselves!

It’s not often you get a haunted house movie where the ones haunting are so diverse! From The Angry Princess to The Great Child, I just love that they’re all so differentOn the movie’s wiki page, there’s actual descriptions of each ghost; and how they became how they are. I also found myself to enjoy the idea of the glasses being the item that allows you to see the ghosts. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a new concept [cough – They Live – cough] but it gave the movie a more eerie feel; showing that without these “special glasses”, the ghosts could potentially be anywhere. Unfortunately, other than this and some of the casting choices, the movie isn’t that memorable. By the end of the movie, we see Arthur, who is visited by Jean‘s ghost. When all the ghosts disappear from the basement, [they responded to a tape-recorded summons played by Cyrus] Kathy and Bobby have been placed at the center of a set of spinning razor-sharp rings. Arthur and his Uncle are seen having a confrontation, which is interrupted by the sound of Maggie, who is seen trying to destroy the machine. She seems to do a fairly good job though, because the ghosts are seen released from their trance. All the ghosts except Jean immediately grab Cyrus, and toss him into the spinning rings. Dennis‘ ghost then appears, telling Arthur to go to his kids. Waiting for a break in the razor rings, Arthur jumps to save his children, making the leap without dying. wait, what? The house’s glass walls instantly shatter, releasing the spirits from their captivity. Finally, a peaceful-looking Jean lingers briefly to say her final goodbyes to her family, only to then depart with the all the other ghosts.

Of course, this is the part where I say whether or not I recommend the movie – and I do suggest this movie if you’re looking for a quick [and easy] horror movie; just don’t expect to be that terrified. There’s many better Haunted House films than Thir13en Ghosts out there. This one though, is a fun watch –  and best of all: you don’t really need to follow the story, because it doesn’t really have a good one. [a good number of plot holes!] If you do watch this movie, go in with a open mind, remember – it isn’t bad, but it really isn’t great.

So, with all this in mind; do you plan on seeing Thir13en Ghosts? If you already have seen it, what did you think about it? Worthwhile? Or completely a waste of time? Let me know in a comment or two! Also, even if I have the first few film reviews planned already, please let me know which movie[s] you want to see reviewed next! If you found yourself to enjoy review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow when I post weirdo’ween #02STAY TUNED!

just one of the many ghosts inside! Do you dare enter?

THANKS FOR READING.

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