Horror fans are gushing over this film that just hit Netflix
The late ‘90s to early ‘00s were pretty sketchy times for horror fans. Caught between the teen-horror boom of titles such as Scream and The Faculty and the imminent wave of torture porn, some movies struggled to find an audience. Steve Beck’s 2001 remake of the 1960 film 13 Ghosts was one such movie.
The horror movie stars Tony Shalhoub, a mere year before he hurtled into the public consciousness as Adrian Monk, Shannon Elizabeth – fresh off the set of gross-out comedy smash American Pie, and most memorably, the sad-eyed and gangly Matthew Lillard. The CGI-heavy movie was determined to squeeze a lot of lore into its 91-minute runtime.
Effectively a modernized haunted house tale, twelve malevolent (or are they?) spirits plague our not-so-heroic protagonists throughout a locked-down mansion as they try to work out why F. Murray Abraham’s character Cyrus Kriticos bequeathed his mysterious fortune and twisted home to alienated nephew Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shalhoub). Featuring gory deaths aplenty and some shocking early demises, Thirteen Ghosts may have passed you by – but it’s certainly worth a re-evaluation, removed as it is now from the swirling vortex of dodgy horror that abounded at the time of original release.
Whilst it grossed under $70 million from a budget of just over $40 million and didn’t make many critics’ end-of-year lists, it’s lit a fire in the hearts of horror fans around the globe. With a cast of ghosts to choose from, perhaps a 12-part mini-series could rise from the grave, expanding on the brief histories of each ethereal foe set out in the film, or is this a tale best left locked in the basement?