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2001

Tony Shaloub as Arthur

Shannon Elizabeth as Kathy

Matthew Lillard as Dennis

F. Murray Abraham as Cyrus

 

Synopsis:  Cyrus is a crazy old man who likes to collect stuff.  Unbeknownst to his remaining family, Arthur and Co., he ended his life collecting a series of ghosts to do something wacky.  When Arthur moves his kids into the newly inherited home, courtesy of crazy dead uncle Cyrus, all the wackiness comes to a head as the family fights to stay alive and keep the thirteenth ghost from proving a Black Zodiac prophecy true.

Cheesy story, right?  And the script?  Oh man!  But the effects have to be worth something.  The concept of the Black Zodiac and the ghosts who embody the signs is pretty cool, and the design of the house is very artistic.  Matthew Lillard is sarcastic enough to give the movie a little credit at not taking itself too seriously, which is good, because the sound effects are actually more stressful than the fight for survival.

Good scenes:

  1. Matthew Lillard explaining what Cyrus has been up to.  Then getting his ass outta the big glass house.
  2. Matthew Lillard responding to Ms. Maggie about not getting her killed.
  3. Matthew Lillard talking.

For real.  Any scene in this movie that doesn’t have Matthew Lillard in it isn’t worth watching.  You’d think that Abraham, Davidtz and Shaloub would be able to put together performances to save the movie, but they suck just like the script.

Scream Meter:  5/10       I still jump when I watch this movie.  Why I’m watching it now, at 930 pm, is beyond me…oh yeah…I’ll be taking some cold medicine to knock my ass out later on.  Hopefully I won’t have this stuck in my subconscious.

Buddy Meter:    4/10       The first time, definitely.  Very much a jump-inducing movie.

Overall Rating: 5/10       Matthew Lillard and the sound effects save this from being a sub-.500 season.  Sarcasm is my favorite antidote for scary movies.  And alcohol, but I’m sick and can’t take meds if I drink.  Sarcasm it is.

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