by Caitlin Marceau
Thir13en Ghosts (2001)
Directed by Steve Beck
When Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shalhoub) is told that his uncle Cyrus (F. Murray Abraham) has passed away, he and his family inherit a lot more than just money and a big house. Unbeknownst to them, they inherit a death machine with the power to keep their souls trapped for all eternity, along with a collection of angry ghosts curated by Cyrus himself… which includes the spirit of Arthur’s newly-deceased wife. With the help of clairvoyant Dennis Rafkin (Matthew Lillard), the family must find a way to escape before it’s too late.
Thir13en Ghosts was released in the early 2000s and, for the most part, was panned by critics and audiences alike. The film lacks plot, good acting (Lillard’s performance aside), and logic. It’s visually similar to titles like Ghost Ship (2002) and The Haunting (1999), meaning that the practical effects are well done, but the graphics leave a lot to be desired.
So why is this movie on the list?
Aside for being one of those hilariously bad films, this movie is rich in ghost lore. Each of the thirteen ghosts has an intricate backstory explaining how they died, why they still haunt the Earth, and how they ended up Cyrus’ collection. Each ghost has incredible costuming, concept art, and a short origins video (the movie went all out when it came to the special features on the DVD). So even if you don’t love the film, it’s easy to appreciate the work that went into the universe it created.
For more great Halloween recommendations, be sure to check back tomorrow for the next instalment of Sanitarium’s 31 Pics Of Halloween.