Title: Thirteen Ghosts
Director: Steve Black
Screenplay: Neal Marshall Stevens & Richard D’Ovido
Starring: Tony Shalhoub, Embeth Davidtz, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth, Alec Roberts, Rah Digga, F. Murray Abraham
I haven’t done a review since March – mainly because I haven’t watched anything new that I have wanted to review. Also, I hadn’t felt any inspiration to review a show or a film like before. So, bear with me as I refresh my reviewing mind.
As I have stated in my previous reviews, the majority of which are horror films or shows, I am a horror fan. I love horror. But, in loving horror, I must admit that there are films I haven’t seen in the genre. I have my go-to’s, which are mainly slashers. I dabble in supernatural horror occasionally but not often and stay away from anything demonic, no ifs, buts or maybe’s – I’m good with not watching those.
I’ve been wanting to watch a horror that I haven’t seen, rather than watching the ones I’ve seen multiple times over and over again, so I searched supernatural horror and came across Thirteen Ghosts. I saw that it starred Tony Shalhoub (famously known for his role as Detective Adrian Monk), Embeth Davidtz (Miss Honey from Matilda), Matthew Lillard (Most notably known for his role as Shaggy in Multiple Scooby-Doo projects), Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie and Scary Movie) and F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus, Scarface).
Honestly, my main reason for watching this was for Matthew Lillard. I believe he is an underrated actor – his character ‘Stu Macher’ from Scream is one of my favourite film characters, and I think he did a fantastic job in Scream. So, when I saw that he was in this, I gave it a watch this Saturday gone.
Thirteen Ghosts is a supernatural horror film directed by Steve Black in his directorial debut. It is a remake of the 1960’s film of the same name. It follows a ghost hunter named Cyrus Kriticos (F. Murray Abraham) and his psychic assistant named Dennis Rafkin (Matthew Lillard), who lead a team on a mission to capture an evil spirit called The Juggernaut. Whilst doing this, several of the men on the team are killed, including Cyrus.
In this opening scene, you are introduced to the tone set for the film, the unpredictable nature of what could come in the film, surprises, shock factors, jump scares, and humour with great comedic timing.
We are then introduced to the main protagonist, Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shalhoub), the nephew of Cyrus and his family, in an opening montage that introduces sadness, amongst other emotions that could get the audience to relate and sympathise with the characters. Arthur inherits his uncle’s Mansion, so before signing on the dotted line, he takes his daughter – Kathy (Shannon Elizabeth), Son – Bobby (Alec Roberts) and their Nanny (Rah Digga) – Maggie Bess, to see the house in person, where they are met by Dennis, impersonating an electrician.
The mansion isn’t what it seems, as it may appear to be a big step up from where the Kriticos family were living before; the hidden aspects within the house made that visit to the house one that the family would never forget. In a mansion where the ghosts that Arthur’s uncle had captured are now roaming, he has to protect his family and understand the true purpose of why he was brought there.
I think Matthew Lillard did a great job in portraying a semi-tortured and, in a way, a lonely character in search of peace. Peace in his mind and peace in his life. I have always been a fan of his work.
I enjoyed this film and its surprises, even though it was a bit predictable. Some things could have been tied in better, but I think Steve Black did a great job making this film his own for a directional debut. Being an early 2000s film, the run time was as good as it used to be, not too long or short.
Would I watch it again? 100%, I think I will add it to one of my casual horror films if I want a good laugh.