13 Ghosts (2001)

 
(i)

 

Brutally violent horror remake is a huge waste.
  • Review Date: May 18, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 91 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Positive role models

Includes old stereotype of a "sassy black maid."

Violence

Extreme peril and gore.

Sex

Nudity.

Language

Strong language throughout.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Mild

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the violence is extreme and very gory, with lots of blood and many graphic injuries. There is strong language throughout and one of the ghosts appears as a nude woman.

What's the story?

In this remake of the cheesy William Castle movie (which required special glasses to enable the audience to see the ghosts),

Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham plays Cyrus, a wild-eyed ghostbuster type. We see him barking orders in an incoherent prologue, and then, following the credits, we see a happy family that falls on hard times after the mother is killed in a fire. The next thing you know, math teacher dad, Arthur (Tony Shalhoub), daughter Kathy (Shannon Elizabeth), death-obsessed son Bobby (Alex Roberts) and nanny Maggie (Rah Digga) find out that their rich uncle Cyrus has died and left them his home. The house is all made of glass etched with mysterious inscriptions. At first, the family is delighted. But then, with the help of psychic Daniel Rafkin (Matthew Lillard) and special glasses (a nod to the earlier version), they see that terrifying ghosts are in the basement.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This big-budget remake is a huge waste of time and talent. Basically this is a "boo!" movie. People get surprised by ghosts and get attacked by them. They run away and get chased by ghosts. They say a lot of cornball lines like, "Who are you to play God?" and "Wait right here!" And then they get chased and attacked again. No one seems to have paid much attention to the script. They mention that Arthur is a math professor, but then show him counting on his fingers. And a scene that requires Kathy to stay in the bathroom for quite a while leaves Shannon Elizabeth with nothing to do but stroke her hair and splash water on her face. The original had a dumb script, but it was unpretentious enough that it was more fun to watch than this mess. The remake steals from classics like The Shining, Poltergeist, and The Uninvited and still manages to be more tedious than scary. F. Murray Abraham should hock his Oscar before he ever agrees to do something like this again. The Maggie character is particularly offensive. The "sassy black maid" stereotype went out of style more than 50 years ago.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about if the extreme level of violence is really necessary. Can you think of other movies that scared you without excessive gore? Families who see this movie should also talk about whether they believe in the supernatural and what makes some people want to control everyone around them.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 26, 2001
DVD release date:April 2, 2002
Cast:F. Murray Abraham, Shannon Elizabeth, Tony Shalhoub
Director:Steve Beck
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Thriller
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:extreme violence and gore, nudity, and language

This review of 13 Ghosts (2001) was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 16 years old Written bymoviemogul 2.0;... April 9, 2008
 

I cannot stress enough how bad and dumb this movie is

Just about every single facet of this omvie is broken and does nothing right. It's plot is way too predictable, and any of the points in it are presented ina horrible way that doesn't add anything at all, and multiple cliches run rampant through the movie. The acting is pretty horrible, there are no scary parts in the, and the use flashing lights is more than excessive. Again, I cannot stress how simply horrible this movie is. I honestly consider this move the worst movie I have ever seen in my life, excluding all those dumb B movies my friend made me watch (aka the Evil Dead triology). STAY AWAY IF YOU WANT YOUR BRAIN CELLS PRESERVED!!!!
Teen, 13 years old Written byThedude68683 November 2, 2013
 

What I think

This is a guilty pleasure but it's terrible the cool stuff is the ghosts though like the juggernaut or the hammer and il ove Matthew lillard
Teen, 14 years old Written byCharlietheunicorn99 July 25, 2012
 

GIVE IT A CHANCE

There is one ghost where you see her breasts through-out the movie, but this is actually a very good movie, has good suspense, and the language isn't as bad as the other movie Matthew Lillard was in 5 years ago.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass