13/13/13, directed by James Cullen Bressack, is a movie that has been on my “to watch” list for some time, ever since seeing that it was on Netflix. But like so many movies I intend to watch, something always managed to prevent me from getting around to it. But then I noticed a sudden wave of talk about it on Twitter. So I decided to move it up in my movie priority list, just to see what all the talk is about.
13/13/13 centers around Jack (Trae Ireland) who, after returning from a camping trip with his three friends, finds his ex-wife Marcy (Calico Cooper, Alice Cooper’s daughter) at home scratching her arm raw and bloody while repeating “It won’t come off.” Jack calls for an ambulance and goes to the hospital with her, leaving his friends there to keep an eye on his daughter Kendra (Tiffany Martinez).
While at the Goodfellas Hospital (watch the movie and see for yourself why I called it that), Jack notices that not only Marcy is acting unusual, as most of the hospital staff seems to be losing their minds. Later on Jack runs into Candace, one of the staff that actually isn’t crazy. She explains what she thinks is happening to everybody, and why she and Jack are not affected. Jack realizes that his daughter isn’t safe and from here on in he and Candace try their best to make it to Jack’s home in one piece.
I’m always reluctant and at the same time curious to watch a movie from The Asylum. The long list of movies they are attached to is so hit-and-miss that I’m never sure what I’m in for. While 13/13/13 isn’t perfect, I was still pleasantly surprised by what I saw. Let’s get into why.
As far as acting goes, Trae Ireland and Erin Coker did a fine job in their roles as Jack and Candace. Although I felt that Jack was a little too tolerant at times. To me, if someone’s called your ex-wife a “suicidal retard”, that would warrant a roughing up if not an all-out punch in the face. Jody Barton and Nihilist Gelo (don’t ask) who play Jack’s friends Quentin and Joe respectively, aren’t quite as good as Ireland and Coker, but they are still somewhat entertaining. The problem though is that this movie seems like it’s supposed to be taken seriously, but the scenes with Quentin and Joe come off to me like an insane, horror version of Abbott and Costello. This doesn’t seem to quite match up to me.
The effects were surprisingly decent, given that The Asylum had a hand in things. Very little CGI use, which pleased me plenty. And what CGI there was wasn’t anything offensive to my eyes. There is plenty of blood, and random acts of violence to keep gorehounds happy throughout the movie’s running time.
I admit, the cause of the whole insane epidemic is a little out there, but in my opinion it’s not the worst premise I’ve heard for a movie like this (the English language driving people insane in Pontypool was a much worse concept to me). At least in 13/13/13 there seemed to be SOME thought put into it.
Of course, there are issues as well. While I did like how people were affected differently, it would have been nice to see more of the epidemic other than what was going on in the hospital and Jack’s house. But given that the budget wasn’t too high, it did ok. Also, I wasn’t big on the whole Jack seeing and hearing the number 13 everywhere. I get that it’s an important number and all, but I have a little trouble with the idea that it’s damn near everywhere you look.
And as far as the ending goes? Well, I’m not sure what else you can do with it. It is a little abrupt, but it’s in the hour and a half mark, and with such a humongous issue that’s affecting everybody, you can either make the movie go into the 3 hour range, do a sequel, or use your own imagination as to what happens after.
The bottom line is, 13/13/13 is at least worth checking out once. While some people might not consider it top-tier entertainment, it’s better than you might expect so long as you keep in mind that it’s not working with a huge Hollywood budget. But don’t just take it from me, reserve 90 minutes of your time and find out for yourself. It’s easy enough to find on Netflix, at your local Redbox, just to name a couple of places. Until next time, rest in peace.
Macabre Rating: 3 out of 5 tombstones.