Saturday, October 19, 2013

13/13/13 Review

There's only a handful of directors who both impress and improve with each film for me. James Cullen Bressack is one of these. My first introduction to his work was the home invasion movie, Hate Crime, which blew me away. That movie has a mean streak a mile long. Next up, I got a chance to see a screener of his follow-up, To Jennifer, which was not only a good movie, but was even more impressive given that Bressack shot it entirely on an iPhone. Suffice it to say, after these two films, I am officially excited for any and everything coming down the line from this guy. Last Wednesday, I got a chance to see his latest film, 13/13/13 on VOD, and once again, I came away impressed.

13/13/13 centers around Jack, a man in the middle of a divorce, who is returning back to civilization with a group of friends after a camping trip. They stop by his soon to be ex-wife's house to pick up his daughter, and find that things are just a little bit off. He finds his wife attempting to remove the skin from her forearm in the kitchen sink, mumbling over and over again. He rushes her to the hospital, only to find even more strange behavior from it's inhabitants. Things begin to escalate, eventually turning into a full blown murderous riot, and only Jack and one other survivor, a woman named Candace, seem to be immune to the insanity. Together, the two of them attempt to escape the hospital, and make it back to his daughter, hoping that she too hasn't succumbed to the madness.

Chaos, plain and simple. That's what 13/13/13 is. Think The Crazies meets the comic book series Crossed, and you're on the right track. Things start off normal enough, but once the shit hits the fan, there is carnage all the way to the end. Too many times these kinds of movies purposely don't give any answers as to why things have gone to Hell, but thankfully that isn't the case with 13. I'm not going to spoil it like every single other review I've read, so if you want to know everything going into it, check out the user reviews at amazon.

Performance wise, I think is where 13/13/13 falls a little shorter than Bressack's previous efforts. The movie is much larger in scope than, say, To Jennifer, but I feel like it was a better acted film. That's not to say that the actors in 13 don't do an adequate job though. Erin Coker turned in my favorite performance as Candace, and Jody Barton, who also appeared in To Jennifer and Hate Crime, was once again impressive. One other interesting tidbit about the cast was Calico Cooper, as Jack's wife Marcy, who is actually the daughter of Alice Cooper. Yes, THAT Alice Cooper. Unfortunately she didn't have a big part, I would've liked to see more of her.

13/13/13 is yet another enjoyable flick on the resume of writer/director James Cullen Bressack. It's intensely violent at times, has lots of the red stuff for the gorehounds among us (including some EYE stuff!), and even has a laugh or two thrown in for good measure. I'm the kind of person who doesn't ask a lot from indie horror films, so anytime a 13/13/13 comes along, it's a pleasant surprise. It's entertaining from start to finish, and that's something that a lot of films with much bigger budgets can't say these days. Sadly, plenty of people will see Asylum on this one, and immediately dismiss it, which is a shame. Bressack fans will definitely have a blast, and there's some fun to be had here for fans of flicks like the aforementioned The Crazies, and 28 Days Later as long as you have realistic expectations going in. Recommended!

1 comment:

Maynard Morrissey said...

Don't love it as much as you do, but I definitely had a fun time watching it. Some nice gore and brutality + my favorite hottie Jessica Cameron :-)