Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 16-Jul-2002

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Audio Commentary
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-"13 Ghosts" Revealed
Biographies-Crew-William Castle
Listing-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Hollow Man; Spider-Man
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 87:06
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (66:46) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Steve Beck

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Tony Shalhoub
Embeth Davidtz
Matthew Lillard
Shannon Elizabeth
Rah Digga
F. Murray Abraham
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music John Frizzell

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French Audio Commentary
Spanish Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Thir13en Ghosts is a remake of  William Castle's 1960 movie of the same name. Although I have never seen the original, I presume that this is a modern take on the same storyline as the previous movie. The House On Haunted Hill, which is also a remake, came out a couple of years ago. That also happened to be one of Castle's movies. Incidentally, both movies are quite similar in that I would class them both as pure B-grade horror.

    Thir13en Ghosts tells the story of Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shalhoub) and his two children Kathy (Shannon Elizabeth) and Bobby (Alec Roberts). The family has not been doing all that well since the untimely death of the children's mother and are struggling to keep up with the bills. Living in a shoebox of a house is not helping their situation at all. One morning comes a knock on the door from a lawyer who is representing Arthur's eccentric Uncle (F. Murray Abraham). Arthur is informed that his Uncle has just passed away and that he is the sole beneficiary of the deceased estate. The lawyer and the family travel to the estate to view their new home and to sign all of the legal documents. The home is amazing. It is completely made of unbreakable glass and from just about every room in the house you can see everything. Every piece of glass has strange writing on it in some sort of Latin script and it is not until later that we find out why this writing is all over the house. What I can reveal is that the home has twelve grotesque ghosts living in the basement which are locked away, but it is not long before the inevitable happens and all the ghosts are set free at which time the house is completely locked tight with no way out and the ghosts ready to inflict mayhem on any poor unfortunate soul who happens to get in their way. It is going to take one hell of an effort if the family are going to survive this night and make it out in one piece.

    Thir13en Ghosts is a fairly clever horror movie also starring Embeth Davidtz, Rah Digga, Kathryn Anderson and J.R. Bourne.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The video transfer of this movie is amazing. I reviewed Training Day a couple of weeks ago and thought that we had hit an all-time high as far as picture quality was concerned. Well, I can tell you that this disc is even better and is most definitely of reference quality.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is also 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer of this movie is extremely clear and sharp and there is not a single blemish in sight. Shadow detail was incredible. Every single detail in the darker scenes could be seen without any problem at all. There was absolutely no low level noise.

    The colours in this transfer were excellent. Everything looked perfect and there were no faults to be seen.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Aliasing was non-existent and there were no other film-to-video artefacts, either.

    This disc is an RSDL-formatted disc, with the layer change occurring at 66.46. This is about 20 minutes from the end of the movie. The layer change is well-placed and did not disrupt the flow of the movie.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    This is a magnificent audio transfer, and is of reference quality.

    There are four audio tracks on this DVD. They are; an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, a French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, a Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and finally a screen-specific audio commentary featuring production designer Sean Hargreaves, make-up effects supervisor Howard Berger and director Steve Beck.

    The dialogue quality on this DVD was clear and easy to understand at all times which is amazing considering all of the sound effects that are constantly occurring throughout the movie. Audio sync was not a problem on this DVD and was completely spot-on.

    The musical score on this DVD was very good and helped heighten the amazing sound effects to bring us a truly immersive soundfield.

    The surround channels were used very aggressively throughout the whole movie. The effects from the rear channels are uncanny and put you right in the middle of the house.

    The subwoofer is used very aggressively throughout this DVD. Bass is full scale and extremely deep and powerful throughout the movie. Caution is advised as I had pictures ratting off my walls up the other end of my house. The bottom end on this movie was nothing short of amazing.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Screen Specific Commentary

    This screen specific commentary is provided by Director Steve Beck, Production Designer Sean Hargreaves and Special Make-Up Effects Supervisor Howard Berger. This commentary is very informative and is definitely worth a listen.

Documentary (18.41) - Making of Thir13en Ghosts

    This documentary gives us an insight into all facets of the making of Thir13en Ghosts as well as featuring interviews with Producer Joel Silver, the make-up effects team and Director Steve Beck. Also included in this documentary is an insightful talk with the visual effects team responsible for this movie. The documentary is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is encoded with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Thir13en Ghosts Revealed (13.07)

    This feature is a basic overview of all the ghosts in the movie and an explanation as to each person's demise. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 is also encoded with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

William Castle Film Highlights

    This is basically a bunch of stills. Nothing overly special to look at here.

Cast and Crew

    The same as above only this time it is a single-page still only. Hardly worth the effort.


Thir13en Ghosts (1.50)

    The trailer for Thir13en Ghosts is of reference quality and is presented in the 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It is encoded with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.

Hollow Man (1.27)

    The trailer for Hollow Man is of very good quality and is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. It carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded soundtrack.

Spider Man (2.21)

    WOW! This trailer is the best-looking and sounding trailer I have ever seen on DVD. I did not think it was possible for DVD to look this good. This trailer has amazing picture and sound quality and is almost worth the price of the disc itself. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, is 16x9 enhanced and comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    Both versions are very similar except that we get the amazing quality Spider Man trailer which is more than reason enough to stick with the local version.


    Thir13en Ghosts for me was a very good film which kept me riveted to my seat. The special effects are amazing and the quality of this disc will surely go down as demonstration material.

    The video quality is superb, and is of reference quality.

    The audio quality is also superb, and is of reference quality.

    The extras are very good and the Spider Man trailer has set a new benchmark for quality on DVD. Recommended.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Stephen Wilson (read my bio)
Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplayBarco 708mm CRT front projector (line doubled) onto a 2.5m wide 16x9 aspect screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderMeridian 568.
AmplificationAdcom 555 mk2 x3
Speakers3 Klipsch La-Scala speakers (left, centre and right); 2 Infinity sm122 speakers (rear); 2 Mirage bps 400 subwoofers with 400w built in amps

Other Reviews
The DVD Bits - Damien M
DVD Net - Anthony H (read my bio)
Web Wombat - James A

Comments (Add)
$15 -