This movie released in 2001 is a remake of William Castle’s classic horror film about a family that inherits an old house from an eccentric uncle. Unfortunately for Tony Shalhoub’s character and his family, their new home seems to have an agenda of its own. This story takes the viewer on a hair raising and suspense filled labyrinth filled with terrifying ghosts and heartbreaking stories.
The story for “Thir13en Ghosts” centers around a character named “Cyrus Kriticos” (F. Murray Abraham), who had an obsession with trapping souls in order to re-create a house that was written by a man under demonic possession during the 16th century. After succeeding in capturing 12th spirits, he was able to complete his masterpiece, even after having a tragic accident happen to him while capturing the 12th ghost. As such, Cyrus then gave a key to the this house to his nephew “Arthur Kriticos” (Tony Shalhoub) and his family to move into. Little did Arthur know, this key he just received was a key to his nightmare.
Inside this house were the twelve trapped souls, each with their own backstory and own way they have been captured: The First Born Son, the Torso, The Bound Woman, The Withered Lover, The Torn Prince, The Angry Princess, The Pilgrimess, The Great Child and the Dire Mother, The Hammer, The Jackal, and the Juggernaut.
As the Family tours the house, a switch gets activated that enables all the trapped souls to wander the house and also locks down and does not allow anyone to leave. The end goal for Cyrus’ plot is for a sacrifice to be made from inside the house in order to become the 13th ghost, that in which is what he wanted his nephew Arthur to become. However, in order for Cyrus to be sure Arthur would make this sacrifice is if Arthur somehow can become emotionally tied to the situation. To complete Cyrus’ plot, he decided to choose Arthur’s wife to become the 4th ghost (The Withered Lover) so that Arthur could make that sacrifice.
In my honest opinion, this is one of my favorite films, it has a an amazing story line, it is scary and it also has an amazing backstory that makes you want to research more of the concepts involved in the movie. Not too many films (nonetheless horror films) have an interesting backstory that makes you want to learn more: either the film hits it’s mark with everything it needs and becomes a very long movie, or the film is entirely too short and does not mention enough at all. I would recommend this horror film to many, and even though this film is fifteen years old, it absolutely stands the test of time!