Jul 102020

Thir13en Ghosts isn’t a great supernatural horror-thriller though the titular ghosts at least had some interesting make-up effects, a few akin to something out of Hellraiser and the production design was rather good.



Thir13en Ghosts

Genre(s): Horror, Thriller, Supernatural
Shout Factory | R – 92 min. – $29.99 | July 28, 2020

Date Published: 07/10/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Steve Beck
Writer(s): Robb White (story), Neal Marshall Stevens and Richard D’Ovidio (screenplay)
Cast: Tony Shalhoub, Embeth Davidtz, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth, Rah Digga, F. Murray Abraham

Features: Audio Commentaries, Featurettes, Interviews, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 46.52 GB
Total Bitrate: 43.40 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Shout Factory provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 2.75/5

Plot Synopsis: Thir13en Ghosts is a remake of the classic William Castle horror film about a family (TONY SHALHOUB, SHANNON ELIZABETH, ALEC ROBERTS) that inherits a spectacular old house from an eccentric uncle (F. MURRAY ABRAHAM). There’s just one problem: the house seems to have a dangerous agenda all its own. Trapped in their new home by strangely shifting walls, the family encounters powerful and vengeful entities that threaten to annihilate anyone in their path.

Review: The early 2000s is a fascinating time for cinema. Not in a good way. Editing during this time period with quick or just plain odd cuts permeated in your Hollywood films (see: Swordfish for example) and Thir13en Ghosts (can thank Se7en for that title I would guess) and although I wouldn’t quite call this dated, having Matthew Lillard and Shannon Elizabeth in there, reminds you of their glory days in the late 90s (Scream for Lillard, American Pie for Elizabeth).

The acting here isn’t fantastic, not that they had much of a story or dialogue to work with. Although I do love seeing Tony Shalhoub in a leading role, never bought him as a caring family man, nor Shannon Elizabeth as his daughter. Then add in Rah Digga, in her first and only acting role, as the sassy comic relief (seemingly akin to another late 90s film, Regina King in Scary Movie, also co-starring Elizabeth) never worked.

On the plus side, it does have slick production values and while I personally wasn’t wowed by the central glass house and walls (guess I’m more a classic architecture guy than modern), it did at least look cool. Beyond the sleek production design, I will say the ghosts themselves, which looked like prosthetics mixed with early 2000s CGI, were fairly interesting, some could’ve mixed in with the Hellraiser franchise.

While I wasn’t all that wild about the movie, for one it had its moments and at least didn’t quite have the pitfalls of so many horror movies with dumb characters making stupid decisions, and having the house lock itself down is a good way to nix any escape. Second, not hard to see why this does have a growing fanbase. Myself, and I think I’ve stated this before in other reviews, am not the biggest fan of supernatural-horror with few exceptions (The Exorcist), preferring the straight-up slasher variety (Halloween 1979, Friday the 13th, Scream).

Directed by Steve Beck, whose career started in visual effects with ILM on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Abyss, would go on to helm another supernatural-horror flick, and his only other film, Ghost Ship (coming to Blu-ray by Scream Factory late 2020), Thir13en Ghosts has its moments and there are worse ways to spend 90 minutes.



This release comes with a matted slip cover, the interior sleeve is reversible with the film’s original poster artwork.

Audio Commentaries:

  • Director Steve Beck
  • Director Steve Beck, Production Designer Sean Hargreaves and Special Makeup Effects Artist Howard Berger

Both tracks are basic and to the point, but still informative for fans giving behind-the-scenes stories on the technical aspects of the sets, makeup and other bits of trivia. Nothing phenomenal yet worth a listen, with the first one with Beck solo is new and does give his perspective nearly 20 years later.


  • Haunted in Canada (9:57) — Actress Shannon Elizabeth
  • The Voice of Reason (14:43) — Actor Matthew Harrison
  • The Juggernaut Speaks (13:14) — Actor John DeSantis
  • The Hammer Speaks (5:56) — Actor Herbert Duncanson
  • Sophomore Spookshow (8:32) — Producer Gil Adler

Another nice selection of interviewees with these actors and a producer. Each give their own memories on working on the project showing some appreciation for it. Shame they couldn’t wrangle someone like Matthew Lillard, however.

Thir13en Ghosts Revealed (18:40) is an older featurette with interviews by members of the cast and crew, including Tony Shalhoub, F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth, director Steve Beck, producer Joel Silver, discussing the premise behind the film from the 1960s-era original and updating to circa 2000s.

Ghost Files (14:10) breaks down the twelve ghosts featured in the film.

Original EPK (43:24) has selected sound bites from promotional interviews.

Trailer & TV Spots (5:20)


VIDEO – 4.0/5

There’s no mention on the back or Shout’s website, so I have to assume this is the same transfer as the original 2010 release when Thir13en Ghosts was paired with the House of Wax remake. As such, it’s not at all a bad looking picture, detail is decent enough with some splotchy elements so it’s not incredibly sharp, either. Colors appear to be well balanced geared more toward the darker side given the set design while skin tones seem to be natural. From what I could discern, there were no apparent bouts of specs, aliasing or other major flaws.

AUDIO – 4.75/5

The disc comes accompanied with a 5.1 and, per the usual by Shout, 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks, the former being the default and how I watched the movie. As such, this was an impressive – and even aggressive – track which does provide clear dialogue coming from the center channel, but where this comes to life is when the evil entities go on the attack, though the depth is evident during the action-filled finale.


OVERALL – 3.5/5

Thir13en Ghosts isn’t a great supernatural horror-thriller though the titular ghosts at least had some interesting make-up effects, a few akin to something out of Hellraiser and the production design was rather good, shame the story itself was a bit thin. This “Collector’s Edition” from Shout Factory is another great release and includes a good selection of new bonus material, and old features ported over, alongside nice video and audio transfers.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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