THIR13EN GHOSTS (2001) Reviews and overview

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‘This Halloween. Evil has multiplied.’
Thirteen Ghosts – stylized as Thir13en Ghosts – is a 2001 Canadian-American supernatural horror film about a glass mansion filled with… ghosts!

Directed by Steve Beck (Ghost Ship) from a screenplay written by Neal Marshall Stevens and Richard D’Ovidio, with uncredited writing by Todd Alcott and James Gunn, the Dark Castle production was produced by Gilbert Adler, Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis.

The movie stars Tony Shalhoub, Embeth Davidtz, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth and F. Murray Abraham.

The special makeup effects were created by Howard Berger, Robert Kurtzman and Greg Nicotero (KNB). The visual effects supervisor was Dan Glass.

The soundtrack score was composed by John Frizzell (The Possession of Hannah Grace; Leatherface; Texas Chainsaw 3D; Alien: Resurrection; et al).

It is a remake of the 1960 William Castle film 13 Ghosts which was written by Robb White.

The movie will be released by Scream Factory as a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on July 28th, 2020. The disc features new cover artwork by Joel Robinson; the original poster art will be on the reverse side. Order via

Special features:
Audio commentary with director Steve Beck (new)
Audio commentary with director Steve Beck, production designer Sean Hargreaves, and special makeup effects artist Howard Berger
Interview with actress Shannon Elizabeth (new)
Interview with actor Matthew Harrison (new)
Interview with actor John DeSantis (new)
Interview with actor Herbert Duncanson (new)
Interview with producer Gilbert Adler (new)
Thir13en Ghosts Revealed featurette
Ghost Files: A Haunted Houseful of Poltergeist Profiles featurette
Electronic press kit featuring interviews with the cast and crew and behind-the-scenes footage
Theatrical trailer
TV spots

When Cyrus Kriticos, a very rich collector of unique things dies, he leaves it all to his nephew and his family. All including his house, his fortune, and his malicious collection of ghosts…

“Its weakness are many, but its strengths — notably its production values, sets, and makeup work — are rather good. The end result is a movie that’s certainly not an embarrassment but that’s not exactly a top-of-the-heap, award-winning masterpiece, either.”

“The thin story falls apart a bit near the climax as if it finally collapsed inward on itself after bouncing along merrily during the breezy 90 minutes runtime, but the ride was enjoyable enough that it really mattered little to me.” Digitally Obsessed!

“Why the thirteenth ghost? There is a convoluted story concerning this and it’s something to do with love and death, or dying for love. By the time it comes up in conversation, the plot’s toast. And so it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters except knowing where the exit is and heading that way pronto before your brain melts.” Eye for Film

” …works purely on a visual level with plenty of attention when it comes to the design and special effects. Having said that some of the editing leaves a lot to be desired with that sense that time was running out when they were putting the final cut together. What this all boils down to is that Thir13en Ghosts probably will entertain those looking for a good looking movie but will leave horror fans mostly unimpressed as it did me.” The Movie Scene

“The physical look of the picture is splendid. The screenplay is dead on arrival. The noise level is torture.” Roger Ebert, October 26, 2001

13 Ghosts is oddly comforting in its inconsistent acting and bad monster makeup. A B-grade horror picture seems to be a B-grade horror picture no matter how many studio bucks and digital effects you throw at it.” San Francisco Chronicle, October 26, 2001

“There are a few parts of Thirteen Ghosts that have stood up well.  The ghosts, the production design, the scene with the lawyer.  But ultimately, the movie fails because you really don’t care about Arthur or his family or his housekeeper.  In these type of films, the main characters either have to be likable or they have to be so unlikable that you don’t mind seeing them get terrorized.” Through the Shattered Lens

” …zips along at a brisk pace and some of the ghost effects are creepy, but ultimately it’s an efficient but soulless funhouse ride that eschews suspense in favor of frantic scrambling from disturbing specters, like the naked female ghost who lurks around bloody bathtubs.” TV Guide

Choice dialogue:
Maggie: “Did the lawyer split?”
Arthur: “Do something for Christ’s sakes! We’re running out of corridors here!”
Dennis: “How do you lose an entire family in a glass house?”

Cast and characters:
Tony Shalhoub … Arthur Kriticos
Embeth Davidtz … Kalina Oretzia
Matthew Lillard … Dennis Rafkin
Shannon Elizabeth … Kathy Kriticos
Alec Roberts … Robert ‘Bobby’ Kriticos
JR Bourne … Benjamin Moss
Rah Digga … Maggie Bess
F. Murray Abraham … Cyrus Kriticos
Matthew Harrison … Damon
Jacob Rupp … Cyrus’ Assistant
Mike Crestejo … Team Member
Aubrey Lee Culp … Team Member
Charles Andre … Team Member
Mikhael Speidel … Billy Michaels, The First Born Son
Daniel Wesley … Jimmy ‘The Gambler’ Gambino, The Torso
Laura Mennell … Susan LeGrow, The Bound Woman
Kathryn Anderson … Jean Kriticos, The Withered Lover
Craig Olejnik … Royce Clayton, The Torn Prince
Shawna Loyer … Dana Newman, The Angry Princess
Xantha Radley … Isabella Smith, The Pilgrimess
C. Ernst Harth … Harold Shelburne, The Great Child
Laurie Soper … Margaret Shelburne, The Dire Mother
Herbert Duncanson … George Markley, The Hammer
Shayne Wyler … Ryan Kuhn, The Jackal
John DeSantis … Breaker Mahoney, The Juggernaut (as John De Santis)

Filming locations:
Lower Mainland, British Columbia

Technical details:
91 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.33: 1
Audio: DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

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