Thirteen Ghosts: The Devil’s Fun House

Written by Luke Barnes

Thirteen Ghosts is a horror film directed by Steve Beck. It serves as a remake of the sixties film of the same name, and sees a family move into a house they gain through inheritance, only to realise that the basement is housing angry spirits.

I love the creativity of this film. Each ghost feels unique and has an established backstory to go along with them, which creates this feeling of love towards the monsters of the film that really runs throughout. Likewise the creature design of each ghost is also terrific, not only is each distinct and memorable in its own way, but the look of these characters gives off a sense of personality without them even having to say anything which further enhances the world and the wider lore.

The performances are also fairly good, Matthew Lillard plays the rogue with a heart of gold well and has several moments that feel like peak early noughties gold. Similarly F. Murray Abraham, is milking the hell out of his role as the main villain, getting every single ounce of evil fun out of the character that he can.

In terms of horror I would not say this film is all that scary, yes there are some strong horror moments, but as a whole it feels a bit light. Maybe suggestive of tonal problems, as there are comedic moments and scary ones trying to compete against one another for our attention here.

Overall, a fun thrilling ride with an excellent performance from Matthew Lillard.

Pros.

Lillard

Abraham

Elizabeth

The care, love and strong design work that goes into the ghosts

Cons.

Slight tonal inconsistencies

4.5/5

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