A genuinely spectacular waste of money -- and about as mind-numbing as you'd expect from a movie which brags in ads that its "R" rating is for violence, gore and nudity -- "Thirteen Ghosts" has nothing going for it beyond its wildly excessive production design.
The star of the movie is an all-glass haunted house, designed by a grandiose and evil ghostbuster (F. Murray Abraham) to be a combination phantasm prison and gateway to hell. The joint has thousands of Latin "containment spells" etched into its transparent walls -- walls which move and shift to reconfigure rooms, thus trapping screaming B-list actors in with half-decayed, psycho-killer apparitions. (In the only worthwhile nod to William Castle's "13 Ghosts" from 1960, the characters have to wear special glasses to see the spooks -- much like the audience did for the 3D-like original.)
The house also has at its center a huge clock-like mechanism of gears and gyro-gadgets, apparently powered by the psychic energy of 12 enslaved spirits, which will open the aforementioned gateway only if one live person is sacrificed to become a required 13th ghost.
Continue reading: Thir13en Ghosts Review
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The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.