The reason I watched this film in the first place was because one of my favorite actors Martin Milner is in it, but now it's one of my favorites. I don't generally like horror films, but this one is great. It has everything: ghosts, spooky little people, screaming women, weird special affects, and people who are more than they seem. I actually laid awake that night listening to noises in my house! Plus the little boy in this movie is a pretty good actor. The one complaint I have is that the ghosts are hard to see. I'd like to see this released either on DVD or again on video, <more>
but this time with the special illusion affects William Castle put in it in tact, and special glasses could come with the DVD/video. This may look to some like a typical cheesy 50's & early 60's horror film, but it's one of the best.
Ghost movies are among my favorite horror movies even over vampire pictures because you can't screw up a ghost movie while so many vampire movies rewrite vampire legends to fit their plots. William Castle knew how to make really good "haunted house" pictures. "House on Haunted Hill" is a classic, even with it's so-so remake, but I think "Thirteen Ghosts" deserves to be counted as Castle's best. In this movie he sets up a family nearing financial destitution despite the father's white collar job. This family with its knock-out daughter and flighty <more>
son I shouldn't complain, that boy acts and talks the same way I was at his age loses everything except their private belongings and then discovers a forgotten rich relative has left them his house and fortune. Wouldn't you want that to happen to you ? Before you say 'yes,' the house turns out to be haunted by the eccentric relative's ghost collection this was years before "Ghostbusters" . The family has to decide to give up the house which may be hiding the relative's missing fortune or give it all up. It's a great plot, but the "Illusio" used at the time to create the ghosts with special glasses doesn't translate well to the black and white of today's tv screens, not even if you try to substitute 3-D glasses.Still, for what you see of them, the ghosts are chilling in a surreal sort of way as they go about their business and scare the family on the side. Some of the acting is campy, particularly De Camp's reactions to the ghosts in the kitchen. The boy, Buck, can be particularly chilling in the way Haley Joel Osment was for "The Sixth Sense." The daughter, Medea, played by obscure Jo Morrow, overdoes some of the stern sister's acting, but the father is played somewhat wooden. "Adam-12's" Martin Milner looks out of his element as the family lawyer, but he was near the start of his acting career. Kudos have to go to the casting of Margaret Hamilton from "The Wizard of Oz" as the housekeeper who may or may not be a witch in this movie too. Can you imagine what this movie would have been like with Ann B. Davis ?
Great movie! Its a REAL ghost and horror movie in my opinion. (by Movie Nuttball)
13 Ghosts is a classic! The whole movie is just great! Good music,acting and everything! Its excellent and it feels good to watch it too! There is just something about this film that makes it so good! Its really a good film to watch around Halloween!
another great old classic (by seaview29)
Thirteen Ghosts is one of those great 'classic' horror films,that relied more on atmosphere and acting, then on 'gory' special f/x. I saw the re-make' and did not enjoy it at all; being a classic horror film fan, I was very disappointed. This movie features some pretty good actings; Donald Woods, Rosemary DeCamp, and Martin Milner of the classic "Route 66" TV show, Donald Woods as know to classic horror fans, appeared in the Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, and John VanDreelan in "The Leech Woman" so it was goods for us old 'classiclovers' to see <more>
them, and lets not forget Miss Margaret Hamilton, the 'Wicked "Witch of the West" from the great "Wizard of 0z' all in all an entertaining, fun family film It has its scary moments, but none of the 'gore' so prevalent in today's films.
13 Ghosts was pretty scary, especially for lack of special effects. The movie is about a family who move into their deceased uncle's house. The one thing they don't know is that the house is inhabited by 13 ghosts. I didn't see the original with the glasses and stuff. It was pretty scary, especially the sound effects. Yes the movie was a little bit cheesy but hey, it's a low-budget horror film. I truly recommend this movie to all.9/10
Very scary (by jacobjohntaylor1)
This is a great horror film. A family i.n.h.e.r.e.n.t.s a house from when the father's uncle passes away. The house is haunted. This is one of the scariest movie made before 2001. The remake from 2001 is better. But still this a very scary movie. It has a great story line. It also had great acting. It also has great special effects. If you like really scary movies. Then you need to see this movie. Charles Herbert is a great actor. He was also in The Fly witch is a great movie. This one is better. Jo Morrow is a great actress. Donald Woods was a great actor. Rosemary D.e.C.a.m.p was a <more>
great actress. Margaret H.a.m.i.t.o.n was great actress. This is a great movie. See it.
Great B-movie - a good time for all! (by The_Void)
13 Ghosts is a real classic haunted house style ghost story. Films like this wouldn't do very well these days hence the reason the remake is so different as the chills mostly come in the form of wind whistling through windows and pots being thrown off kitchen shelves; things which wouldn't scare people anymore. However, it's delightful to see a film like this - especially one directed by one of the kings of horror entertainment; William Castle. 13 Ghosts works from the assumption that its audience wants to believe in ghosts; and the result is a cheerful little flick that Castle <more>
manages to steer away from patronisation and keep firmly within the realms of the fun horror film. The story is halfway between a tale of ghosts and a story about mad science, and we follow a family who find themselves between a rock and a hard place when the repossession men take their furniture and the father's uncle dies, leaving them his house. However, he dabbled in the occult; and the house that he's left his nephew's family is filled with ghosts! Hot on the heels of his successes with Vincent Price starring films, The Tingler and House on Haunted Hill; 13 Ghosts is another gimmicky film with over the top special effects, and once again Castle does a great job of entertaining the audience. The plot doesn't have a lot of originality, but it doesn't matter because it's successful where it counts. The family are shown as the classic American set up of a father, mother, daughter and son; and they're all very easy to get on with, which makes both of the 'evil' subplots easy to buy into. The special effects are one of the most notable things about this film. William Castle clearly doesn't subscribe to the idea of 'less is more', and 13 Ghosts shows that quite clearly. The ghosts here leave nothing to the imagination, and I was very happy with that as the main reason I don't usually like ghost stories is that they take too long to get going. This one doesn't suffer from that, and although it's a bit silly at times - 13 Ghosts is a real good time, and comes highly recommended to all!
A hugely enjoyable William Castle horror classic (by Woodyanders)
An impoverished family -- decent, but broke dad Cyrus solid Donald Woods , loyal, worried mom Hilda the equally fine Rosemary De Camp , spunky, pretty daughter Medea the adorable Jo Morrow and precocious son Buck cute Charles Herbert -- inherit a large rundown house from a flaky uncle. Said abode not only turns out to be haunted, but also has a sizable fortune hidden inside of it. Capably directed by legendary huckster William Castle, with a clever script by Robb White, an elegant spooky'n'shuddery score by Von Dexter, crisp black and white cinematography by Joseph F. Biroc the <more>
use of dissolves and split screen is especially nice , charmingly crude special effects, game acting from a sturdy cast, and a suitably eerie tone, this picture provides a good deal of infectiously sincere ooga-booga scary fun. The ghosts themselves are a really nifty bunch; my favorites are the flaming skeleton, an axe-brandishing executioner, a murderous angry Italian chef, and a headless lion tamer. Excellent supporting performances by Martin Milner as amiable lawyer Ben Rush and Margaret Hamilton as creepy housekeeper Elaine. What makes this film a complete joy to watch is its endearingly good-natured sense of pure give-the-audience-what-they-want-to-see gusto and enthusiasm. A total treat.
Believe it or not, I still have my "Ghost Viewer" from when 13 Ghosts first came out it theaters. I bought the video and was disappointed when the option to view the ghosts or not wasn't offered. A little technology, some cardboard and red and blue cellophane could have brought back a real classic. I grew up with the B pictures of the 50's. Thirteen Ghosts was always one of my favorites. I never would have imagined Martin Milner as the "bad guy." I was just a kid at the time--a kid with a canopy bed. The scene where Milner gets squashed by the descending canopy <more>
gave me something to think about. When I spotted the video it was a must have. Great memories.