Director: Steve Beck
Cyrus Kriticos was an adventuror and ghost hunter. Along with his assistant, Dennis, he tracked down lost spirits and trapped them in containment cubes. On the cubes were containment spells that no spirit could cross. He had these spells written on the walls of his home, where he eventually kept all of the ghosts. His plan was to create the Ocularis Infernum. This was a 15th century device designed to open up the eye of Hell, which could see all and know all. It was found in the Arcanum, a book written by an astrologer named Basileus. It was said that any person who could control the device would be all powerful. Cyrus had the money, he just craved the power. The Ocularis Infernum was a device "created by the devil and controlled by the dead." In order for the device to work, it needed thirteen ghosts--which was why Cyrus and Dennis were trapping spirits in their cubes. Once the machine was set in motion, each spirit would be released one by one. When all were free of their cubes, they would be called to the Eye for it to be opened. When Cyrus died, he left his home and his fortune to his nephew Arthur. Arthur was getting ready to move into the house, along with his two children and their nanny. Things went horribly wrong for them, though, when the ghosts were unleashed. Oh, and the ghosts could only be seen through a set of special goggles.
These are the thirteen ghosts:
1) The First Born Child--A young boy who died in a game of "cowboys" with one of his friends.
2) The Torso--a man who was murdered and chopped to pieces after refusing to pay a gambling debt.
3) The Bound Woman--a girl who was murdered by her boyfriend when she was caught cheating.
4) The Withered Lover--Arthur's wife, who was killed in a house fire. She was the only of the first twelve that was not an evil spirit.
5) The Great Child--a gigantic child born of rape
6) The Dire Mother--The Great Child's mother, a dwarf/carnival worker who was cruelly raped and impregnated.
7) The Torn Prince--a high school baseball player who was killed during a drag race
8) The Angry Princess--a young girl obsessed with beauty who tried to perform plastic surgery on herself.
9) The Pilgrimess--a woman of the 1600s who was accused of witchcraft and then murdered.
10) The Hammer--a blacksmith who refused to be run out of his town, and so was murdered gruesomely with his own tools.
11) The Jackal--a mental patient who could not be contained; he is also the most frightening and most amazing of the 13 ghosts.
12) The Juggernaut--a giant of a man, and a former serial killer who was taken down by the SWAT team.
13) The Broken Heart--a ghost born of a broken heart. It was supposed to have been Arthur (which is why Cyrus tricked him into the house/machine), but it twisted at the end and became someone else.
The entire stories for the ghosts are not revealed in the movie, but all of their full back-stories can be found on Wikipedia, and are all very interesting. The one we should look at, though, is the thirteenth. The first twelve ghosts were mostly vengeful, angry, and vicious. This one, however, had to be created through an act of love. It would have to be a willing human sacrifice. The person would have to jump into the Ocularis Infernum once it was doing its magic, and that would cancel it out and free all the spirits.
Some people might not know that this movie was originally created in 1960. I can't really form that much of an opinion on the original, as I wasn't able to finish watching it. From what I saw of it, though, it was kind of boring. So, as of right now, this is the only case where I enjoyed the remake more than the original. I really love this movie. The ghosts were great, the actors were great, and the whole story was great. I'm not sure what makes it better than the original. All I can figure is that it must be the special effects. Something like this just needs great effects to be...well, effective. Or it could be the fact that one of my favorite actors, Matthew Lillard stars in it. I don't know, but this is definitely one of my favorite movies. I will revisit the original one day and see if my opinion changes, though I don't think it will. I've seen this one at least ten times, and it still hasn't gotten old. I love everything about it, and it will always be one of my favorites.