In the late 90’s, early 2000’s horror movies had a resurgence of sorts. Both in terms of straight to video (to top had not yet burst on that) and theatrical. 2001 saw an abundance of horror films come out. Ghost of Mars, Faust, The Forsaken, Jeepers Creepers and many many more. Sadly even though so many were made, the vast majority were largely forgettable. One however stuck out. Thirteen Ghosts. A remake of the 1960 film of the same name, Thirteen Ghosts boasted a great cast that included Tony Shaloub, Matthew Lillard, and Shannon Elizabeth. Like most horror films critics didn’t not enjoy it but fans sure did, and the film has garnered a massive cult following throughout the years.
Tony Shaloub is Arthur Kritcos, a widower with two children who learns that he has just inherited his late uncle Cyrus’s house. Actually its more like a mansion. Arthur has no problem moving his family into the large house, and goes to tour it with Cyrus’s former assistant Dennis (Lillard), his family, and Ben Moss, the estate lawyer of Cyrus. The house itself is designed very strange. Its almost all glass with Latin scripts inscribed on all the glass panes. Once Dennis gets a good look at everything he soon realizes that the phrases are spells used to keep evil spirits trapped. It turns out the Cyrus was actually a ghost hunter, and Dennis was his assistant. Dennis possess psychic powers that he used along side Cyrus to trap these ghosts. The only problem is all the evil spirits are being held in this mansion. Things go from bad to worse however when Moss accidently sets the ghosts free.
From there things go from bad to worse quickly. Arthurs son is dragged away by one of the spirits, one of whom is Arthurs late wife. The ghosts itself are what is powering the house and they must work together to shut everything off. Luckily Dennis has special glasses that allow the person wearing them to see the ghosts so they can try and maneuver around safety. They are also joined by a Kalina, a psychic who is trying to set the ghost free to restore balance. There is a great twist at the end that I guarantee you will not see coming, unless of course you have already seen this, then that’s a given.
Thirteen Ghosts is very different from the standard horror film as it relies on more of a chaotic strobe light effect to frighten you as opposed to a standard jump scares tactics that we see so much of today. The mirrored house with the pounding lights and fantastic score add to the tension. Its one of the most unique films I have ever seen, and I for one am shocked that it has not been copied yet. Yes there is a bit of gore and blood but for the most part this is a pretty straight forward horror film that never relies on the usual tricks.
As I said earlier it a cult classic and now thanks to the good folks over at Scream Factory you can get in in a Collectors Edition. I must say it looks and sounds great. The picture is crisp and vibrant and the audio is crisp and clear, everything you have come to expect from a Scream Factory release. The transfers they pull off are essentially works of art in terms of quality. The strobe lighting from the film looks absolutely stunning on this transfer and really looks cool watching in the dark. And it even has special features
· NEW Audio Commentary With Director Steve Beck
· NEW Haunted In Canada – An Interview With Actress Shannon Elizabeth
· NEW The Voice Of Reason – An Interview With Actor Matthew Harrison
· NEW Sophomore Spookshow – An Interview With Producer Gilbert Adler
· NEW The Juggernaut Speaks – An Interview With Actor John DeSantis
· NEW The Hammer Speaks – An Interview With Actor Herbert Duncanson
· Thir13en Ghosts Revealed
· Ghost Files: A Haunted Houseful Of Poltergeist Profiles
· Original Electronic Press Kit Featuring Interviews With The Cast And Crew And Behind-The-Scenes Footage
· Audio Commentary With Director Steve Beck, Production Designer Sean Hargreaves And Special Makeup Effects Artist Howard Berger
· Theatrical Trailer
· TV Spots
This is a very different kind of horror film, hence why is garnered the massive following over the years. Scream Factory does a great job with this collectors edition making it a definite must own for horror fans. Pick it up and enjoy it.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!