By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:54 AM EDT
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Credit: Thirteen Ghosts: Alan Markfield
type
  • Movie

Thirteen Ghosts, the second over-the-top remake of an over-the-top William Castle mid-century horror flick (the first was ”House on Haunted Hill”), tries to update the innocent camp of the original with cheap post-”Scream” irony and lazy scattered racial jokes while dishing out a serving of technologically advanced spookiness, too. The result is a Halloween movie in horror limbo. The hapless modern family that inherits an elaborate haunted house from a nefarious uncle (F. Murray Abraham) includes dad (Tony Shalhoub), sis (Shannon Elizabeth), little brother (Alec Roberts), and the black put-up-with-no-bull housekeeper (Rah Digga) who doesn’t understand white folks, especially crazy white folks who would consider living in a house with so much glass. (She announces she doesn’t do windows.) Matthew Lillard bares his choppers and grimaces in pain as a psychic; Embeth Davidtz shows up as a self-described contractor in the ”spirit reclamation business” who declares that the house is a machine” designed by the devil and powered by the dead.” The drop-dead fact is, this ornate but eerily unspooky production is designed by Hollywood vampires and powered by demographics.

Thirteen Ghosts

type
  • Movie
mpaa
  • R
runtime
  • 89 minutes
director
  • Steve Beck

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