Hangover Theater: 'Thirteen Ghosts'
It’s been a while since I’ve had a hangover and since we’ve run something for Hangover Theater. Only one of those two things are back, and you have three guesses as to which one.
Hangovers require lots of water, rest, pain medication, and brainless entertainment to keep you prone on the couch for hours while you recover. That’s where we come in. We know which movies will softly whisper inane plot points and dialogue into your partied out ear while your eyes absorb the pretty nonsense on screen. Thirteen Ghosts (aka Thir13en Ghosts) qualifies as one of those movies.
Thirteen Ghosts is a loose remake of the 1960 feature of the same name. Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shaloub) is a widower living with his two kids Kathy and Bobby (Shannon Elizabeth and Alec Roberts) in a tiny apartment they share with a live-in…caregiver? Housekeeper? named Maggie and played by Rah Digga. They’re super poor since their matriarch passed away, but how they pay Maggie isn’t a concern of ours.
Prior to meeting the Kriticos family, we are treated to Dennis (Matthew Lillard) chasing down a really pissed off ghost for Cyrus (F. Murray Abraham). Dennis gets terrible headaches when ghosts are near, much like Movie Buffy got menstrual cramps whenever a vamp was near. Cyrus is using Dennis to capture the ghost known as The Juggernaut.
While capturing the ghost, Cyrus has a run-in with Kalina (Embeth Davitz) who opposes his capture of the spirits of the dearly departed. In a fit of karmic retribution, Cyrus is mortally wounded in his attempt to collect The Juggernaut. Cyrus’s smarmy lawyer then pays a visit to the super sad Arthur and company to deliver the good news: your Uncle Cyrus has left everything to you, including a creepy all-glass house and lots of eccentric money. The family make their way to the glass house only to find that it isn’t really a house, it is a machine, they are locked inside, and the captured ghosts are inside with them.
Joining the family in escaping the house is Dennis, entering with needed exposition and the re-introduction of the Ghost Seeing Glasses from earlier. Ghosts are invisible, but they can kill your ass. So it is best to wear the glasses and keep away from them once the ghost prisons in the basement open and everyone comes out to play.
Thirteen Ghosts is a simple story that can be followed by a person the day after they drank enough Wild Turkey to make invincibility seem like a real possibility. The only downside for some people might be the gore and the terrifying ghost designs. Some of them are boring, like the sliced up and nude Angry Princess. Others are the stuff of nightmares, like The Jackal The Juggernaut, and The Hammer.
There are some funny bits, some idiotic puns, and an insane finale that will leave you feeling like someone was dared to direct this flick. I’d say those are all of the ingredients for a decent hangover cure, wouldn’t you?