ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth though you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Thir13en Ghosts (2001), R
Analysis Date: October 26, 2001
CAP Score: 15
CAP Influence Density: 4.98

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

THIR13EN GHOSTS (R) -- you can be assured the scoring distribution shown is too lenient.

Distributed by: Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International, Warner Bros.
Director(s): Steve Beck
Producer(s): Steve Richards (I), (exec) , Joel Silver, (exec) , Robert Zemeckis, (exec), Gilbert Adler, (prod), Dan Cracchiolo, (prod), Terry Castle (co)
Screenplay: Neal Stevens, Richard D'Ovidio, Robb White (story)
Cinematography/Camera: Gale Tattersall
Music: John Frizzell
Production Design: Sean Hargreaves
Art Direction: Tim Beach, Don Macaulay
Set Decoration: Dominique Fauquet-Lemaitre
Costume Design: Jenni Gullett
Makeup Department: Howard Berger

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I am not going to attempt a summary in commentary format for this movie. Please incorporate into your assessment of the "entertainment" value of this "entertainment" the listing in the Findings/Scoring section. I will tell you that you can be assured the scoring distribution shown is too lenient. Items of filth and ignominy came so fast and frequent in pockets and bursts that conducting analysis without a staff and better inspection tools and methodology afforded through staff operations, I am completely certain I missed many. Also, though I sat through the whole show, I took about a five minute break to witness with a couple theater employees.

*Thir13en Ghosts* earned a CAP Final Score of 15. The *only* reason it did not earn a Final Score of zero was a Drugs/Alcohol investigation area score of 88 with the only issues noted being one instance of smoking and a request for illegal drugs. All CAP investigation area scores except Drugs/Alcohol for *Thir13en Ghosts* earned a score of zero. Well, Paul did not avoid the extremes in Corinth as he brought the Word to the Corinthians. Neither will we (except for NC-17/X -- we won't do them). Maybe if the moms and dads in the audience with their kids had waited to read this report, they would have changed their minds. [Ps. 101:3] There is hope. [Ps. 33:17 - 20]

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A description of the attendance to *Thir13en Ghosts* when I saw it -- many under 17, many under 13, some under 7. Clearly. And every one of them clearly watched the evil and horror and the completely nude woman prance around and heard the vulgar language [Luke 17:2]. And I am sure they and their parents watched it with the "That don't affect me" attitude. Some people react quite adamantly, threatening violence by my asking if they would have come if they had known. Sure such "entertainment" doesn't affect them. [Ps. 12:8]

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A technological marvel indeed. The intricacy of the house was unparalleled. And the artistry in it was magnificent but in a dark sense ... intimidating. Make-up and costuming were exemplary. This is why I wanted to provide an extra detailed list of credits above. And evil was rampant. All those in the credits above had a hand in it. If I hadn't seen with my own eyes the mother and father pair bring their toddler daughter (who was noted to be scream crying a few times ... from about the fifth row from the screen - I wonder how well she sleeps now); if I hadn't seen the mother/father pair bring their two young boys of about 8 or 9 years old; if I hadn't seen with my own two eyes... I might have reconsidered analyzing R-rated films. But not now. I have been refueled to do so. Doing so in service to His little ones through their parents and grandparents in His name by His Word.
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And dagnabit I am NOT holier than anyone! And I am not a hypocrite who accuses others of sin while he thinks himself above sin. I am just as much a sinner as anyone else! Taking little kids to R-rated flicks just happens to not be one of my sins. Even if it was, my sins would not excuse the sins of others. I am just telling whomever wants to read our reports of the "rules." And the rules being broken ain't my rules! I am your servant through Jesus Christ. If you have a problem with the rules, talk to He who wrote them.

While I share a few Scriptural applications with you, to attempt to list all the applicable Scriptures would be futile within the limitations of a written instrument such as this report.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Ps. 101:3 I will set [shiyth {sheeth}: to put, set, lay (hand upon), station, appoint, fix, set mind to] before my eyes no vile [beliya`al {bel-e-yah'-al}; wicked, ungodly, evil, naughty] thing. Ps. 33:17 - 20 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively extreme vulgar and vile entertainment with impunity] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it.].

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Thir13en Ghosts (2001) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • graphic murder victim
  • long sequence of evil killing humans
  • human on fire
  • grand theft
  • human sliced in half vertically side to side, much gore
  • images of much blood
  • unholy attacks to kill
  • fist fight
  • gore and gory images, repeatedly
  • beatings
  • knife threat
  • body sliced up in chunks

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 39 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • five uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • a young child speaking extremely worldly, showing hunger for death and the dead
  • vulgar gestures
  • facial piercing
  • portrayal that a father must commit suicide to save his kids

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • many, many instances of full female nudity, front and rear, full view
  • sexual comment

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • request for illegal drugs
  • smoking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • much, much graphic demon imagery, many with extreme gore, many such "visions" causing pain to host
  • unholy possessions and presences, repeatedly
  • paranormal search
  • evil incantations
  • multiple images of walking dead
  • portray of a mechanized house designed by Satan and powered by the dead
  • much speaking to evil such as "In Hell, there is an eye that sees everything."

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • multiple graphic murders of humans by unholy forces, at least nine, once by folding the victim, another by squashing

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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