“Thirteen Ghosts” is like the Hollywood system that manufactured it – looks great, is set in a stunning locale and is filled with a variety of people – its also empty, vapid, full of backstabbing, hides itself in screeching sound and takes itself way too seriously.
Its odd that such a shoddy final script was used when by looking at it you can tell a lot of thought went into the backstory of each ghost, and certainly the production design is out of this world with the beautiful glass-walled house set. Shame as much thought wasn’t spent on the living beings that populate this flick including the likes of great actors like Abraham and Shaloub who have no hope of salvaging their flat characters from such convoluted material – only musician Rah Digga as the comic sidekick gets any good lines (the kid you just want to see get slaughtered) whilst Lillard for once is restrained.
The film does have its moments including a creepy Shining-esque bathtub scene as well as an interesting opening 360 degree tracking shot, but they’re played off the well-worn plot of ‘opening an eye into hell’ style explanation for the house’s existence and an increasingly silly last act. The result is a flick which looks great, sounds way too loud, has the odd scare and for the most part just seems inane and doesn’t even have camp value.