ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

It was a both a critical and commercial flop... so why is 13 Ghosts routinely one of the most adored fan favorites in the horror movie canon? Maybe the 2001 horror Thirteen Ghosts was too "trashy," too "silly," too much goddamn FUN for people to take it seriously, but, years later, it's become something of a favorite.

Any movie with great, hand-wrought special effects, nods to Vincent Price-era horror and a tagline as outlandish as "The Only Thing Worse Than Being Trapped in a House with a Ghost... Is Being Trapped in a House With 13 Ghosts!" has already won my heart.

Here's the trailer for Thirteen Ghosts. Warning: may induce memories of 2001.

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Some movies only find their place in the public's affections years after its release. Thirteen Ghosts didn't go big at the box office: it barely made back its $42 million budget domestically, with a global total of around $68.5 million.

The biggest movie critic sites were fairly damning of Thirteen Ghosts:

  • Rotten Tomatoes: 14 %
  • IMDb 5.5 / 10
  • Metacritic 30%
Some amazing horror make-up in 'Thirteen Ghosts' [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
Some amazing horror make-up in 'Thirteen Ghosts' [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

There's one man who hated Thirteen Ghosts above all others, however: the late, renowned film critic Roger Ebert, who gave the movie one star and a scathing review:

"You can see the ghosts with special glasses, which the cast is issued; when they see them, we see them, usually in shots so maddeningly brief we don't get a good look. Our consolation, I guess, is that the cast has the glasses but we will have the pause button when ''13 Ghosts'' comes out on DVD. The only button this movie needs more than pause is delete... The screenplay is dead on arrival. The noise level is torture."

Ah, well. You can't please everyone all the time. I'll happily admit that I love Thirteen Ghosts and have probably seen it about eight times. What do you guys think of Thirteen Ghosts?


How do you feel about 'Thirteen Ghosts'?

(Source: Box Office Mojo, Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb, Metacritic, Roger Ebert. All images: Warner Bros. Pictures)


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