Thir13en Ghosts (2001)


Directed by: Steve Beck

Written by: Benjamin Carr & Richard D'Ovidio

Story by:
Robb White


Tony Shalhoub .... Arthur Kriticos
Embeth Davidtz .... Kalina Oretzia
Matthew Lillard .... Dennis Rafkin
Shannon ELizabeth .... Kathy Kriticos
Alec Roberts .... Bobby Kriticos
JR Bourne .... Benjamin Moss
Rah Digga .... Maggie Bess
F. Murray Abraham .... Cyrus Kriticos

Release Dates: Theatrical: October 26, 2001; Tokyo International Fantastic Film Festival: November 2, 2001; Lucia Movie Night: December 13, 2001; Night Visions Film Festival: February 17, 2002 (Finland)




After a tragic death on a family woman during a fire her husband Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shalhoub) finds out that his Uncle Cyrus (F. Murray Abraham) has died and has inherited his house which the walls are made of glass but that's not what else has happened there in which is haunted by deformed types of ghosts who terrorise him and his family in which they even have the drive to kill them as they are aided by Dennis Rafkin (Matthew Lillard) and Kalina Oretzia (Embeth Davidtz) in order to try and escape that house in which it forces them to stay with no escape.


The beginning of the film looks pretty good that involves the character's Dennis Rakin and Cyrus Kritikos doing business at a junkyard with the whole settings looking adventureous and dark along with a great shot on a truck coming in spraying out black liquid. Then lots of susenseful moments when a chant is called out featuring ghoulish type things pusshing over smashed up vheicles at the junkyard and raising hell which looked fairly impressive to watch here.
Then there's a nice opening with a house involving a birthday party in which this looked peaceful to watch as well as the house looking deserted and some tragic voice overs in which this breaks the silence and sounded disturbing too.
Then we spot the family getting ready for the day as there's some good humoress moments with some of their discussions especially some vulgar words coming out of little Bobby as well as some good sarcasm with the caretaker Maggie bess. There's alot of dysfunctional moments surrounding them including the family man Arthur Kritikos in which this seems to be impressively done showing the different moods after the death of the family woman and things not being the same like they used to.
Plus a nice look on a laptop with Arthur spotting his uncle leaving a message about owning the house which almost pays the tribute to the original flick but showing today's technologies while we watch all of this.
Also there's nice shots on the house exposing glass walls and interesting to spot everything here. Plus we have Dennis checking up on stuff in which we spot good shots on ghouls acting crazy or harrassing him in which this was supposed to look suspenseful to watch however it seems sloghtly conry and stale but mostly has to do with the lines that were used for this scene.
There's also fun touches with little Bobby strolling the hallways in the house acting full of life in which this almost reminds of a scene from The Shining as well as his older sister Kathy in a bathroom area washing her face with bath water and then there's hallucination shots on a ghost in a bloody bath which trips you out a bit wondering if terror will hit her as well while doing this and not spotting this deadly looking incident. Certainly this moment was well put in with decent special effects.
Plus we have a fairly humoress moment with the character Benjamin Moss walking through the corridors of the house and mocking the ghosts that he spots with his goggles. Plus good close up camera shots on the ghosts doing the things that he mocks which also seemed fairly amusing. Plus a nice shocking moment as to what is going to happen to him while he spots a vicious one closing in on him and he shokes on his words backing up. This should please fans who like these types of gruesome killings when something is shut on him and he stares stiffly in shock.
There's also a great moment when Bobby is down near a cellar of the house and we hear female ghostly echoey sounds telling him to walk away from the cellar which leaves sort of an impression that it could be the ghost of his Mom warning him on the evil spirits in which this seemed to have a nice clever feel to the scene here as well as spotting some scary moments that he encounters on what is going on down there when he is wearing the goggles.
There's also a good powerful suspnseful moment when a ghostly object with a cage on it's head charges towards Kathy and drags her quickly away as well as tearing at her along with Arthur spotting her being dragged away and not seeing the object doing this without wearing the goggles. This scene almost reminds me on a moment in the very first killing of A Nightmare on Elm Street and was done in a terrific fashion on today's special effects. There's more great action surprising you that a new character springs to life named Kalina Oretzia helping the family out and trying to save them. It's impressive when she tells them who she is as well as why these ghosts are attacking drawing everything in the story pretty good with all the excitement surrounding them.
There's even a good shocking moment when we spot Cyrus appearing and Kalina knocing out one of the people trying to struggle to get away from the house in which this makes you wonder as to why she did that.
There's a perfect scene with some walls closing in on Kalina since this was often used in those mysterious scary flicks but we don't spot the end results as to what happens afterwards. However in this film there's some rules that changed here which should please to all the hard core horror fans who love to spot a victim splattered. It was done in a perfect horror taste for sure.
Meanwhile later on in the story we see a nice touching moment with Arthur spotting his ghostly wife on the other side of the glass wall in which was nicely shot and emotionally done adding a nice original feel to this moment here.
We even spot a presence by Dennis talking to the others as what to do in which this sequence looked very ghostly making you wonder if he is one now since he had a not so good situation beforehand. This moment for sure looked good and mysterious.
The writing for the final confrontation between Arthur and Cyrus along with good effects on a situation on a grinding type of giant machine that's revealed in front of them. Plus good tension surrounding this situation and perfect close up camera shots and special effects too.
There's also a great touching and happy ending in this flick as it works thoroughout the story deifentely making things come together as to why it had a beginning of terror and ending it peacefully.
Bottom line is that the film is entirely different compared to the original and a whole original scenario too but has the odd same lements added to it like the uncle who has supposedly died and the family investing in his expensive home as well as having an eager little kid who hears the ghostly sounds. Stuff like that. Sometimes the story seemed stale but earned a 3 bats for alot of the fast paced terror and the suspenseful effects too.

The acting was well performed in which we have a nice lead actor Tony Shalhoub (Arthur Kriticos) who does well in his first scene having a great dysfunctional and aggressive behavior which drew in well that he was an unhappy and grieving man. He shows a great energetic performance here. He also does well with his demanding behavior and his excitement when the suspense and terror hits him showing off a great struggling type of behavior epecially showing a good pwerful blocking whenever he has to perform a fight in the film and bringing it all out. He does a nice job acting emotional when it was necessary making that come to life in a perfect fashion here. He was an all round character actor and studied this part inside out.
Embeth Davidtz
(Kalina Oretzia) also drew in her role very powerful in which she had a perfect and sharp behavior whem she explained to people who she was as well as knowing on how to show a great struggling action during the ghostly attacks which she has a great high adrenalline while doing all of this. She is very clear in her speaking whenever she was doing her lines which worked perfectly in her favor here. She also knew on how to react in terror when a situation happens to her.
Matthew Lillard (Dennis Rafkin) is often a great character actor but in the beginning of his performance he seemed a little too over the top in whateve he did here by trying to act witty. Yet he seemed to fail for a chuckle here and there. Sometimes he was trying too hard as you can tell in his performance. However when the terror gets going he seemed to relate to his frusterations as well as showing a great fear to his speaking showing a better improvment. He draws attention still pretty well within what he does in this film. Also, he does a perfect job in a serious and expressionless behavior while talking to someone in which he came across as believeably ghostly like which was a great plus to his performance here.
Shannon Elizabeth
(Kathy Kriticos) really acted super happy and full of life when she reveals herself fully with her total performance while discovering the house as she shows off a ton of great spunk and high energy into all of this. She seemed like one of those every day people who is light headed and easy going too. Plus she really changed her mood when she is attacked letting out some great intensive screaming and crying as well as great reactions to being hurt. She was probably the best actress in this film in which shows off perfectly with her versatality here and lived to play this role without a doubt.
Alec Roberts
(Bobby Kriticos) also showed someone with a life like energy at a good high rate here. He also does well with having a good shocking attitude making out by testing others which shows off well. He also acted good and joyful when discovering the house and showing off great energy while exploring stuff. All of this looked like a good typical little kid behavior. He also does well by acting scared and screaming which looked convincing and not too over the top as well.
JR Bourne
(Benjamin Moss) was great at his smooth talking as well as doing a good job portraying an untrustwirthy businessman. He seemed to come across nicely onto the camera in his supporting role and still had the perfect type of charisma into what he did here. He also does well with his speaking sarcastically in a scene where there was ghosts adding great timing here. He also showed off a great choked up and shocking behavior too which came off nicely onto the camera while watching his performance here.
Rah Digga
(Maggie Bess) was very witty into what she did in the film and shows off a believeable sarcastic type of likeable attitude as to someone who speaks her mind a great deal. She showed alot of great characteristics and style into her speaking and emotions in which I found very memorable even if her part wasn't the biggest out of the whole cast. Yet she breezes through nicely in the scene's regardless and when we do spot her performance in it she shines off greatly in it. I give her two thumbs up as one of the cast who has the effective supporting roles here.
F. Murray Abraham
(Cyrus Kriticos) didn't have alot of scene's in the film but yet showed off a perfect dark like and greedy behavior in which he seemed believeable playing some sort of a criminal. He had a good evil cold type of gruff speaking whever he spoek having a perfect creepiness to whatever he did in his role. He also does well with his insane reactions whenever he performs a brawling scene really rolling into what he did here. He was a total ball of energy here and knew on how to perform a horror character without a doubt.

There's breast shots on a bloodied ghost in which she reveals herself near a bloodied glass wall or in a tub as well as approaching someone.

There's gruesome looking ghosts with an arrow in the neck, head in a cage, bolts stabbed in someone else and a woman with the side of her head bloodied etc.
A door slices someone revealing the inside of the split body.
Someone has some bloodied cuts in their body while being dragged in the air.
A person's head is bloodied.
A woman is crushed against a wall closing in on her and blood splattering out briefly.
A body is thrown into a machine grinder and his body parts splatter out.

The music sounded very powerful and terrifically done with the strong violin playing in which sounded very smooth and clear along with great hissing sounds and booming noises. We also hear alot of ghostly type of music too which suits on what is happening in the haunting moments here or even when an attacking scene is about to happen. Plus there's odd scraping sounds and clattering too which always works for the jumping moments all composed by John Frizzell.

Maggie Bess: Bobby, don't call your sister a slut.
Kathy Kriticos: Thank you, Maggie.
Maggie Bess: I prefer the term 'bitch'.

Arthur Kriticos: I told them not to leave this spot.
Dennis Rafkin: They're kids - what do you expect?
Arthur Kriticos: Yeah, well thank you Dr. Phil.

Dennis Rafkin: I know this is gonna sound completely whacked, all right? But just - just stay with me. I used to hunt displaced spiritual energies with your uncle.
Arthur Kriticos: I'm sorry?
Dennis Rafkin: Uhh, P.K. agents. Revenants. Uh, uh, uh - Like wraiths. Wraiths? Do you have any idea what I'm talking about?
Arthur Kriticos: [chuckling nervously and shaking his head "No"] Uhh...
Dennis Rafkin: That's okay. That's okay, I - I'll do this the easy way. Ghosts, Arthur. I used to - I used to hunt ghosts with your uncle Cyrus.
Arthur Kriticos: [after a pause] Goats?
Dennis Rafkin: GHOSTS! Ghosts, goddammit! Listen to me!

Susan LeGrow, The Bound Woman: Bobby. Down here.
Robert 'Bobby' Kriticos: Maggie?
Susan LeGrow, The Bound Woman: Come on down and play.
Robert 'Bobby' Kriticos: Is that you? Maggie! Stop playing games.
Susan LeGrow, The Bound Woman: Bobby? I have something for you. We'll have lots of fun, Bobby.
Jean Kriticos, The Withered Lover: Don't come down, Bobby. Stay upstairs. Don't follow her.
Susan LeGrow, The Bound Woman: Down here, Bobby.
Jean Kriticos, The Withered Lover: Bobby, don't come down.
Susan LeGrow, The Bound Woman: Bobby. Around the corner.
Jean Kriticos, The Withered Lover: Don't come down here!
Susan LeGrow, The Bound Woman: That's it, Bobby.
Robert 'Bobby' Kriticos: Guys, I'm gonna tell Dad!
Jean Kriticos, The Withered Lover: Bobby! Bobby!

Dennis Rafkin: [Dennis notices multiple of the ectoplasmic doors are open] What the hell? Give me those!
[Dennis takes Maggie's glasses]
Dennis Rafkin: Let me see. Why are these open? I was down here before. They weren't open.
[the Hammer spikes the ectoplasmic wall frame with his hammer]
Dennis Rafkin: Oh, God! I hate it when they do that!
Maggie: Do what?
Dennis Rafkin: They wait for your to stick your FACE right up against the glass! And then give you a big, fat "boo"!

Dennis Rafkin: Did I say there's a petting zoo downstairs? NO there are ghosts downstairs Arthur!

Dennis Rafkin: Oh. Oh, boy.
Maggie: What?
Dennis Rafkin: Uh, that's the symbol of The Jackal.
Maggie: What's The Jackal?
Dennis Rafkin: The Jackal is the Charlie Manson of ghosts. And if The Jackal's out, screw the kid! We gotta get out of this basement...!

Maggie: This is it for me. I am on the first fuckin' plane back to Newark. Uh-uh. I am sorry, family, Kathy, Bobby, uncle, ghosts. I am sick of this nanny shit. I've had it. This was not in the job description. *I quit!*