LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Why Friday the 13th ain't so bad after all...!
By Emily Booth, Wednesday 11th January 2017 Is anyone truly superstitious these days? I do still catch myself walking around ladders rather than under them, and feel a bit twitchy when my child opens up an umbrella indoors (gasp!) As for the number 13, I've always rather liked it; 13 being the house number me and various family members often seem to move into, and my daughter being born (of course) on the 13th. But then I've always veered towards pagan sensibilities... Another reason to love poor old unlucky 13, especially when landing on a Friday is this week's UK TV premiere of 13 Sins. How very apt...
13 Sins (2014) follows Elliot Brindle (Mark Webber), a man at the end of his tether with a pregnant girlfriend and a disabled brother to support, and he's just been fired. After the worst day ever, he receives a mysterious anonymous phone call telling him he's been selected to take part in a 'one of a kind gameshow'. All he needs to do is complete 13 challenges, with huge cash prizes instantly landing in his bank account with each successful 'game' completed. The first task is simple; swat the fly in his car (clearly this is a hidden camera game). The second; eat the fly. And we all know what happened to the old lady who swallowed a fly. Elliot is now trapped in an addictive downward spiral, with each challenge more outrageous than the last testing his bravado and morality, with the fear that ducking out of the game means losing everything accrued so far. A simple and deliciously compelling plot keeps you hooked to this horror thriller, which is actually a remake of the Thai film 13: Game of Death (2006). The tasks Elliot must complete range from making a girl cry, to setting a church on fire, to murder. Leaving an increasingly destructive and criminal trail in his wake, he also has the added pressure of determined cop Detective Chilcoat (Ron Perlman) hot on his heels at every turn.
13 is the end of the road, but what could that last task possibly ask of him...? What's the true objective of the game? For this is not a game you play, it plays you!
There's an interesting deeper meaning going on here too. Set in the current times of economic turmoil and job insecurity, this film plays on the (perhaps predominantly male) fear of how our hero is going to provide for his family should the worse happen. How far will his machismo take him to make the money he so desperately needs? An extreme version of something we are perhaps all feeling at the moment.
Directed by The Last Exorcism's Daniel Stamm, 13 Sins is an exciting action horror thriller and comes with perfect timing. So just to be safe, better not risk it this Friday the 13th and stay in with Horror Channel, where it's fun to watch other people get unlucky instead!
13 Sins is a UK TV premiere Friday 13th at 9pm.
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