Thirteen Ghosts

Starring: Tony Shalhoub, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth, Embeth Davidtz and F. Murray Abraham
RRP: £5.99
C820 8819
Certificate: 15
Available now

When the Kriticos family inherits a spectacular old house from an eccentric uncle they know nothing of its dark secret. In the basement are 12 trapped ghosts. Trapped in their new home by shifting walls, the Kriticos are soon running for their lives as the powerful and vengeful ghosts are released one by one. But the family are not trapped alone. They are joined by an offbeat ghost hunter who helped trap the ghosts in the first place. Caught in a frantic race to save themselves before it is too late, the human inhabitants realise the house is a riddle which contains the key to their imminent salvation... or destruction...

Tony Shalhoub (Men in Black II) stars as the father of the Kriticos family in this movie that never really received the critical praise it rightfully deserved. A horror movie with a twist, Thirteen Ghosts is good fun.

Matthew Lillard (Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo movie) is perfect as the slightly unhinged ghost hunter who turns up at the house to get the money that is owed to him by the dead owner. Why is he owed money? For tracking down and imprisoning the 12 ghosts in the first place.

Unfortunately the Kriticos uncle was killed before he could trap all 13 ghosts (hence there only being 12 in the house) for his mysterious project - but what was that project?

The special effects and the main set - the house - are all spectacular, as are the ghosts themselves. Although, sadly, the majority of them are not on screen for very long. The producers pay homage to the Hellraiser movies by basing a character on Pinhead - only this one has huge nails whacked in his head.

There is a great little homage to Scooby-Doo as the group split up to look for clues. I also loved the idea of the use of special glasses to allow the humans to see the ghosts. But why oh why didn't someone refer to them as "spooktacles"? A crap joke opportunity lost if ever I saw one.

The conclusion has a twist, obviously, and not one that is that easy to see coming. A spooktacular movie that is well worth getting hold of.

Nick Smithson

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