There are 12 good reasons to see this one - and all of them go "Boo!"
Well, the accents are different, and there are different timbres and pitches, and finally they all come together for the crescendo. Don't be misled by that promising thirteen. There are only twelve ghosts here, but that doesn't take anything away from the sheer scare-power.
Right from the word go, where the most powerful ghost is trapped, the movie takes off on one scary ride. And if you got on, then you'd better hang on! Not many laughs here, as ghosts don't spend time disintegrating into mushy pulp eaten by others and nor do their bites and scratches mutate you into one of their kind. Ghosts remain ghosts and humans, humans, as the director makes sure he doesn't get the etymology all mixed up. Now let's get right to the flesh of the story (couldn't resist that!).
Scene one: adventurer-millionaire Cyrus Kritikos (Murray Abraham) is after ghosts,
and he's serious enough to make the Ghostbusters seem like cheap spoofs (not that
they aren't, but that's besides the point). Serious is right, as the twelfth ghost
he is after gives him a trachea exposing shave. Result: ghost ends up in a box,
and so does Cyrus (different boxes of course - millionaire privileges!).
Next scene: relatives of Cyrus. Arthur Kritikos (Tony Shalhoub) is a loser cum math teacher, brooding over the loss of house and wife in a fire (and neither covered by insurance). In tow, daughter (pretty!), son (brat!) and nanny (loud!). Enter lawyer, and guess what? Old Cyrus left the Kritikos his house.
Well, the house takes the focus for the rest of the movie as the Kritikos blunder in, let the ghosts out of their claustrophobic boxes, and eeks, do I need to say more? Well, the roller-coaster goes haywire hereon with lawyers getting cut in half rather innovatively, psychics having seizures, and millionaires being cut in proportion with the number of millions put away.
The movie tries to be doomsday-ish and ends with a whimper, but no complaints
here. You have all the blood and gore you need, and some really cool ghosts, too
- just the kind you would invite on Halloween. The ambience is spooky without
being funny, and the music could have been composed by the specters of Bach and
Stravinsky as it fits right in. And the house! A glass house with Latin curses
and counter-curses inscribed all over, ghosts in the basement and machinery in
the attic, and bathrooms with naked girls bathing in blood! Whoa! Could you ask
for more from a horror flick?