While most of you are out doing what we rightly ought to be on St. Patricks Day (getting hammered and making ill advised passes at women of questionable morals) we had the distinct pleasure of checking out the supremely unsettling and downright riveting 13 Sins, directed by Daniel Stamm and starring Ron Perlman, Mark Webber, and Pruitt Taylor Vince
Note: we made sure to keep this one free of SPOILERS, but there’s plenty of foul language (OBVIOUSLY, HAVE WE MET?)
If you don’t immediately recognize the director, Daniel Stamm, you should – although, that also likely means you haven’t seen The Last Exorcism, and you need to rectify that immediately or I’ll personally have 8 pounds of elephant shit shipped to your door. Stamm was the reason we were first excited about this one. Obviously the star studded cast (Perlman, Webber, Taylor Vince, Rutina Wesley) is a HUGE draw, but we have a lot of faith in Stamm and his crew – and the premise is so exciting I pitched a tent halfway through the red band trailer.
The first thing most people find is that this is a remake of the Thai horror/comedy 13: Game of Death. While that may be true, and the movies share the same core premise, beyond a few of the 13 challenges, the similarities end there.
The idea is simple: a contestant, selected seemingly at random, has the chance to participate in a game, one that offers exponentially increasing sums of prize money for completing challenges, of which there are 13. The catch – if you do not complete all 13, you forfeit all money earned.
Basically, its a fucked up version of ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’.
Elliott Brindle, played by Mark Webber, is stuck in a hard place. Freshly fired, new wife (played by the super sexy Rutina Wesley) pregnant, asshole racist father kicked out of his home, and an autistic brother on the edge of being sent back to the nuthouse. Pretty shitty situation. So when he gets a call out of the blue by some all knowing and all seeing group, offering him a grand to kill a fly, and more to eat it, he readily accepts the terms.
After being forced to eat the fly, our lead is pushed to all of his limits, in sometimes comical but generally increasingly terrifying ways. The plot begins to thicken when a detective, played by the inimitable Ron Perlman, takes on the case.
When Elliott gets into the final 5 challenges, the shit really hits the fan, and its only a matter of time before everything comes to a head in one explosive fucking finale that will have you shitting bricks and questioning your sanity.
“Anyone can be turned into a monster.”
WHEW. FUCK YEAH. I literally held my breath for most of the last 30 minutes of the movie (not an easy feat while drinking mind you). Cold sweat, the whole nine yards – I was actually physically on the edge of my seat, and believe me, I WANTED to hate this movie. With the rash of quality indie horror we’ve had the pleasure of viewing here at Horribly Hooched, I figured it was high time to shit on something mainstream.
But bend me over and fuck me sideways, Daniel Stamm and crew managed, once again, to deliver well above and beyond all our expectations. The last note I made was ’13 sins just came all over my mind grapes’. And while that’s not the most poetic or quotable note, I stand by it.
However, the real story here is the journey of Mark Webber’s character. What starts out as a sad, desperate, spineless little man turns into a beast who begins to enjoy the horrible work set before him, while all along maintaining his goal of providing for his family.
While I’ve made some jokes recently about twists that’d make M. Night shit his pantaloons, this one truly fits the bill. We’ve seen hundreds if not thousands of horror movies, and neither of us were able to figure out what the FUCK was going on, right up until the end.
TL;DR – This is NOT a remake. 13 Sins stands alone, a taut thriller that’ll have you laughing and screaming right up until your mind blows out the back of your skull and paints the seat behind you. 8/10, must see.
IMDB for 13 Sins
Also, look for our Interview with Director Daniel Stamm dropping tomorrow!