Saturday, August 2, 2014

Film Review: 13 Sins (2014)

13 Sins (Review)
United States/2014
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...exciting, gross, and bloody fun."

In order to take care of his family, Elliot Brindle (Mark Webber) partakes in a game with thirteen different challenges for money, each becoming more daring and dangerous as the game progresses.

13 Sins basically follows Elliot as he completes these challenges. The film begins by setting up the situation and character during its first 15 minutes, or so, but then it becomes challenge after challenge. The challenges start simple, like swatting and consuming a fly, then escalate to something like making a child cry, and eventually become more grizzly, like homemade amputations. It's a simple but surprisingly engaging story that leads to a great climax; the ending feels abrupt, though, and sort of like a cop-out.

13 Sins, despite being a remake of 13: Game of Death, is a refreshing horror comedy film. It's a little more like a thriller, though, as I don't think this was in any way frightening. Still, 13 Sins is exciting, gross, and bloody fun. Whether its eating flies (which doesn't compare to eating feces in the original film) or cutting off arms, it's a twisted trip through the deterioration of one character. The humor is mostly black, and conjured a few chuckles; it doesn't have a strong presence, especially during the second half.

Most of the acting is great. I thought Mark Webber did really well as the lead. Ron Perlman has a smaller role, but he's also good. Otherwise, the film looks and sounds great; I didn't have any complaints when it came to the cinematography or music. The special effects don't really shine, but they're decent enough. Director Daniel Stamm does very well in pulling great performances from the cast, and delivering a very consistent and entertaining film; it's also very well paced and balanced.

Overall, 13 Sins is a great film. It's almost as great as the original, although not nearly as graphic. It's a very black and dark film, but it's fun and exciting for the right audience. And that "right audience" would be fans of black comedies, thrillers, and the original film. If you're open-minded and looking for something fast-paced and bloody to kill a night, 13 Sins is for you.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and some gore.

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