13 Ghosts. No spoilers, just comments

Last night, a friend and I were on our way to see “The Others”. Unfortunately, the movie theater pulled it before we got to the showing, so we hit another theater to see what was playing.
We debated for a few minutes, over “From Hell” or “13 Ghosts”. He said he was not really in the Johnny Depp mood, so we went with “13”. (I guess it’s a guy thing. I’m always in the mood for Johnny Depp.)

Now, I don’t know if I’ve just turned into a big horror-movie-wuss, but this movie scared the ever-livin’ hell out of me. The only thing I will say about it is that it is one of those “BOO!”-jump out and scare you movies. Usually I can watch these movies with no problem. But this movie, maybe due to the story line or the way the ghosts are portrayed, has put the fear of ghosts right back into me.

I think the worst part of it, in all actuality, is that I live alone, in a creaky, creepy old house in the middle of downtown. And of course, when I got home, the wind was howling outside, the cat was sitting in the corner of the room screaming towards the ceiling, and there are cold spots all over my house, due to bad insulation. I swear, if I had cable, I would have searched for something good and wholesome to watch, perhaps a “Full House” marathon. :smiley:

In any case, I love horror movies, and this one scared me to death. But, it was a good movie, with a good story, and I would highly recommend it to people who like horror movies. (And on a side note, it stars Matthew Lillard of “Scream” fame, F. Murray Abraham: creepy as ever, and Shannon Elizabeth from “American Pie”.)

Well, I actually haven’t seen 13G yet, but I have to admit House on Haunted Hill scared the willies out of me in parts. :slight_smile:

I expect that 13G will do the same, even though it seems to have been savaged in the few reviews I’ve read. :rolleyes:

I just saw this last night. I thought the House on
Haunted Hill (HOHH)was much scarier. The images were much more disturbing and it begane with a much better kick. 13 Ghosts was just not as good, there were much more “jump” moments, but I found my head buried in my hands much more often during the HOHH.

But again, I am a chicken and I was still a little leery getting in the tub last night.

I watched 13 Ghosts last week (I have it on DVD). Not very scary, but I did get a laugh at the Italian Chef ghost with his outrageous cardboard cut-out moustache. And it was cool to see Margaret Hamilton as the housekeeper. This thing scared the hell out of me when I saw it on teevee when I was a kid. (Remember the canopy bed scene? When I was five I slept on the lower bunk! :eek: )

Say, I hear there’s a remake coming out… :wink: :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

The movie didn’t scare me, but then again I have a high scare threshhold. Even the girl I took didn’t find it very scary, only “somewhat”. But, I did really like the ghosts. Very cool designs. And that house! I wanna move in!

So, who was your favorite ghost? I wanted to see even more of the Juggernaut, myself…

This is the remake that’s being discussed, right? Everyone buy Johnny anyway…

I don’t know if I want to see it or not. I did, until I saw the trailers(I mean, I heard about this coming out back in april, before there was any publicity). The glimpse they give of the ghosts makes them look more gory than ghost-like. I want to see something scary, but I have a pretty low gross-out factor. (Anything gorier than HOHH, I’m out.) So…should I see it or not?

HOHH was gorier, for sure. I would’ve liked to have heard more about the ghosts, what their stories were. I mean the princess was easy to figure out, but I would’ve liked to have heard more about the Jackal and the freaky mom and son.

To help you along with the movie (and to make it more fun), I am going to post the 13 ghosts backstories for your enjoyment. This is the ones that the studio provided for each ghost and actually ‘fleshes’ them out a bit more (rimshot). These were created Howard Berger, the make-up designer, concept artist Bernie Wrightson, and director Steve Beck.

Here ya go:

The Juggernaut - Breaker Mahoney was a massive, seven-foot tall serial killer. Horribly disfigured, he towed stranded motorists back to his junkyard and brutally murdered them - he would literally rip them apart with his bare hands and “break” them into as many pieces as possible. When the local authorities finally tracked him down, the immensely powerful man was impossible to subdue physically. But, as Breaker finally discovered, all men are “breakable” - and he bit the dust when the cops pumped him full of lead.

The Hammer - George Markley was a happy, honest blacksmith in the 1890s - until the local townspeople wrongfully accused him of stealing and drove him out of town. Enraged, George snapped and tracked down the ten people responsible and hammered them to death. The townspeople finally captured him and dragged him back to the blacksmith shop where he received a brutal form of frontier justice - they drove nails into his body and chopped off the blacksmith’s most prized possessions, his hands, and left him out for the crows to pick over his dying body.

The Jackal- In 1908, Ryan Kuhn was a deeply disturbed psycho patient of Borehamwood Asylum. He was locked up for his insatiable appetite for women – to attack and bite them! After years of unrelenting imprisonment with his arms stretched back in a straightjacket and his body twisted grotesquely, his limbs grew horrid in shape. He hated any kind of human contact and was horrified if anyone came near. When a fire broke out in his wing of the Asylum, everyone but Ryan escaped. People still talk about how he ran away from rescuers yelling “keep away!!” - preferring to face a fiery uncertainty than to let anyone touch him.

The Torn Prince- In 1953, Royce Clayton was Valley High’s baseball superstar, wearing his letterman jacket everywhere he went. Everything was handed to Royce on a silver platter, and he felt untouchable. But this cocky James Dean wannabe went too far one night. He challenged the local greaser to a drag race and thought he had it in the bag. But he didn’t brake in time and ended up the star in a fiery wreck instead - never to crack a bat again.

The Angry Princess- Dana Newman was a psychotic beauty that never believed she was beautiful, always searching for perfection, not a single strand of hair could ever be out of place. Famous for her insane tantrums, they called her “Beauty the Beast”. Finally giving up on achieving perfection, she took her last beauty bath and slashed her own wrists. When they found her, they all said that she remained as gorgeous in death as she did in her wasted life - even covered in hundreds of self-mutilating slash marks.

The First Born Son - Little Billy Michaels loved to dress up like his heroes, the cowboys on TV. The seven-year-old never listened to his mother, and his father dubbed him “Billy the Brat”. But his parents never disciplined him, and little Billy always just did what he wanted. And now Billy’s sorry that he never listened to his mom who suggested that he not play Cowboys and Indians with a real bow and arrow - and that he not shoot the arrow straight up into the air the way that his buddy little Danny did.

Dire Mother - Margaret Shelburne was a shy woman who could never stand up for herself - probably because she was only three-feet tall. She was imprisoned by a band of gypsy lumberjacks – forced to live in a cage as their freak show version of entertainment. But her secret union with Jimbo, the man they said had the “iron swing” with his mighty axe, produced her pride and joy - her giant three hundred pound son who she raised to reap revenge on the gypsy lumberjack camp that imprisoned her.

The Great Child - Margaret Shelburne’s giant son, Harold, was spoiled and smothered from infancy by his mother, who raised him to be her protector and to carry out vengeance on those who imprisoned her. Harold took to Jimbo’s iron axe with a passion and was soon felling rows upon rows of giant redwoods. But, he soon graduated to human lumber, yelling “Timber!” every time he chopped a gypsy lumberjack at the roots. After slicing his way through the camp, both mother and son were finally killed by a torch-waving mob that wanted to put Harold through the wood-chipper, but despite repeated attempts they couldn’t manage to stuff his giant body into the chute

The Withered Lover - She was a loving mother and wife. Outgoing and smart, everybody’s favorite PTA mom, she devoted all of her time to her family. Her husband loved her and her kids adored her, although her daughter grew up too fast, she wanted her son to remain a child forever. When the freak accident occurred, she died while racing to save her kids - her dreams of a happy home snuffed forever.

The Bound Woman - Susan LeGrow was the prom queen and cheerleader, the envy of every girl in school. She won an academic scholarship to state college but decided to stay in town and marry Chet, her high school sweetheart. But the after-prom party turned bad, when Chet caught Susan in Billy Bob’s arms. No one really knows what happened that night, but they found her a week later, buried beneath the football field’s fifty-yard line, strangled to death.

The Pilgrimess - Miss Isabella Smith was a young lady without family who decided to take the journey from England to the new colonies across the Atlantic in 1675. But once she settled in a small New England town, her separatist ways isolated her from the tight-knit townsfolk. When the town’s preacher accused her of witchcraft, she denied it as a matter of course. But the town turned against her - much livestock had mysteriously died that month and only a witch could work such magic - so Isabella was sentenced to death in the stocks.

The Torso - Jimmy “The Gambler” Gambino never learned his lesson. The constant scammer and gambler, he always had a knack for landing on his feet. Larry “Three-Times” always warned Jimmy not to get in over his head, his head, his head. But The Gambler didn’t listen and he lost his shirt in a big poker game with a made guy. He would have bet his wife and kids if he had any, but, since he didn’t, he ran off - welching on the bet. The mob caught up with Jimmy and made an example of him. Actually, several small examples, each wrapped in cellophane.
Nice eh?

Wow, thanks, Heath! [sub]Can I call you Heath?[/sub] I wish they’d taken the time to go over those histories in the movie.

Thirteen Ghosts (I refuse to do the stupid numbers-in-the-word title thing) was better than Jeepers Creepers, but HOHH was scarier.

I’d probably think less of TG if there had actually been any good horror movies in the last few years. Sadly, I can’t think of the last good horror/monster movie I saw.

I’m glad to read these reviews, because I loved the House on Haunted Hill despite itself. (Awful movie, scared the hell out of me, that kind of thing.)

I was reluctant to see Thirteen Ghosts because of that Matthew Lillard guy. Is he as obnoxious and annoying in this movie as every single other movie he’s in, or is he more palatable without Freddie Prinze, Jr. around? If he is his usual obnoxious self, does he at least meet with a horrible gory death I can enjoy?

Wish I could answer your questions, SolomonGrundy, but Skerri asked for no spoilers, so I’ll post no spoilers.

Feel free to e-mail me if you really want to know.

I liked Matthew Lillard in this role. I think he is generally going to be typecast as the goofball/crazy guy, but I think he’s fun to watch.

Personally, I thought the Jackal was the scariest of the ghosts. I think it was mostly due to the fact that I couldn’t really figure out why he looked the way he did.

Thanks for the ghost update, though, Heath. It definitely explained the ghosts without giving away anything, really.

I still get the Heebie Jeebies walking down the hall of my house. (But I guess that made it worth the $7!)

Geez, there is a real major league baseball player named Royce Clayton. What a terrible choice of name.

I’m trying to remember…which one was the ghost with the cage-thing on his/her? head? That one scared me the most…

Oreo, that was the Jackal.

Heath Doolin, thank you for the back stories (though I agree with AudreyK that it would have been interesting to see those stories in the movie.) When I walked out of the theatre I told my wife “They should have told us who all these ghosts were.” What did the Pilgrimess look like? I don’t remember her at all.

I didn’t find the movie that scary, but the house was a thing of beauty.

I think she was in a tattered white dress and her neck and wrists were bound in a pillory. They showed her maybe three times, and those were all pretty brief shots.

No problem guys…I know I for one wanted to know more about them myself and asked a few pals who pointed me in the right direction
As to my opinion, I thought it was a tie between the Breaker and the Hammer for scary. The Hammer had the best screen time but I thought the first shots of the Breaker manacing the ghost catchers looked great.

I watched the remake of 13 Ghosts yesterday. I was surprised to see Tony Shaloub as the lead actor. I haven’t seen him in anything since he was the Middle Eastern guy on Wings. (Not that he hasn’t been in anything else; I just haven’t seen him since then.)

The premise of the original film was that a poor archaeology professor has just received a call from his wife. As they speak, their furniture is being reposessed. When he gets home they have to have his son’s birthday party on the floor. The son makes a wish and wind comes through the window to blow out the candles. A strange man delivers a telegram. The professor has inherited his Uncle’s house, which apparently is haunted by ghosts the uncle “collected”. It turns out that there is a fortune hidden somewhere in the house. I won’t spoil it to say who’s looking for it or who finds it.

The remake casts Shaloub as a math teacher whose wife had died in a fire. The character of the wife is taken over by the nanny. The rest of the film has very little to do with the original. (Incidentally, the original was one of William Castle’s “gimmick” films. 3-D glasses were handed out so the ghosts could be seen, or not seen if the viewer is “too scared”.) Unlike the original, there is something more sinister going on in the house than just restless spirits.

The set design was great. I really liked the house. The special makeup effects were also well done. I enjoyed the film up until the ending, which I thought was a bit conventional. Having spent so much on the film, I would have liked something better than… well, I won’t spoil it.

“Thumbs up” for set design and makeup; marginal “thumbs down” for the film itself, with the ending leaving me a bit disappointed. I’d say it’s worth a look, but no loss if you wait for it to come out on DVD.

Is it a spoiler to note that The Onion review describes Shannon Elizabeth as “cast against type as a fully clothed woman in 13G”?