Directed by Steve Beck starring Tony Shalhoub, F Murray Abraham, Embeth Davidtz, Shannon Elizabeth, Rah Digga and Alec Roberts.
Horror fans are constantly short-changed by the studios but although only three-months-old, 2002 is fast shaping up to be one of the worst years in living memory. First, there was the 'Hollyoaks' meets 'The Exorcist' blunder 'Long Time Dead', then 'Soul Survivors', a back from the afterlife farce which never managed to bring you back from your nap, and now 'Thir13en Ghosts' a remake of a 60's screamer with doses of thunder, lightning, evil faces and eh, F Murray Abraham.
Shalhoub plays Arthur, a widower trying to make ends meet as he struggles to look after his children (Elizabeth, Roberts) and their ditsy nanny (Digga). Things brighten up (but not for you) when Arthur finds that he has inherited a mansion from his long lost loaded Uncle Cyrus (Abraham). Problem is, Cyrus used the house to indulge his passion as an immortality chasing ghost hunter and the basement has some of his finest quarries waiting for the hapless Arthur.
It would be one thing if 'Thir13en Ghosts' was populated with chisel jawed or pneumatic hopefuls dreaming of a Hollywood career or, failing that, a speaking part in an Aerosmith video. But when you look at the talent involved, it makes watching the film all the more sickening. Shalhoub was great in 'The Man Who Wasn't There', F Murray Abraham can do the stuck up schemer better than most and - while never building on her 'Schindler's List' performance - Davidtz is usually watchable.
How the three of them signed up for a film with dialogue that would have Scooby Doo giving back his Equity card in disgust and a plot which rushes towards the ending in the hope that no-one sees how bad it was along the way is a mystery. Director Beck can't inject one ounce of terror over 90 minutes and while he might claim his film is both comedy and horror you'll sit there stone faced and unshaken throughout this disasterpiece.
Both Beck and the production crew deserve a lot of credit for coming up with an amazing set where walls and rooms move and interlock as the characters negotiate the maze that is Cyrus' house. But if millions were spent getting the perfect look, you'll leave thinking that only $5 was put aside for the script.
Not even the wettest of Sundays should make you want to see this film.