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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Thirteen Ghosts (2001)



Reviews and Comments

What starts as a promising if terribly written ghost romp ultimately burdens itself with so many gaping plot holes that we gradually lose all sense of what is going on and why. We resign ourselves to the fact that the movie is on a forced mechanical course and therefore lose all interest how the story unfolds.

Just off the top of my head, here is what this movie apparently figures its viewers will not wonder: they will not wonder why a villain goes to such lengths to set the hero up in a trap of deception, only to expose it to him before it has a chance to come to fruition. They will not wonder why a character in league with the villain first claims not to have something key to the plan, then has it after all. They will not wonder why the hero makes one last desperate act of brave foolishness when there is nothing to gain by it. They will wonder why said hero is given cryptic warnings such as "it's not over" when, in fact, it is. They will not wonder why a character who has faked his death reappears later, still in bloody makeup, long after it would make sense to wash it off.

It is possible that some of the above questions have answers. It's hard to tell, so incompetent is the narrative aspect of the film. But there is, at least, an interesting visual style to the movie, primarily in its set design. If as much work had gone into the script, this might have been something.

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