Friday the 13th is obviously one of my favorite days of the year and we have been lucky enough to have this spooktacular day two months in a row! After watching the original Friday the 13th (duh), I felt like it would be fitting to watch 13 Sins – a film that seemed to get a lot of positive reviews last year, from the director of The Last Exorcism.
13 Sins takes place in New Orleans – though I don’t think they take advantage of this location enough. Elliot is in debt and out of a job. He has a mentally disabled brother and is about to get married and have a baby. A lot of people count on him. Elliot is a nice guy who finds himself in a desperate situation. So when an opportunity arises to participate in a cash prize game show, he barely hesitates. The challenges start off easy enough – like killing and eating a fly. (Hell, I would do it.) Thirteen challenges that grow in value, up to millions of dollars if he completes them all, but with the possibility of not winning a cent if he doesn’t complete every single task. The film follows Elliot running all around the city committing first petty, and then dangerous, crimes.
This is a high energy and action-packed film, but where it falls short for me is Elliot’s drastic character change. He goes from Mr. Nice Guy to sin-loving felon. The old image of Elliot is completely erased. It is just too transformative for a character for it to feel realistic. I guess that could be the point of the film though – to show that anyone can turn into a monster. But just as it’s about to lose touch with reality, the film redeems itself with an interesting twist.
The last twenty minutes of the film is one twist after another. Some expected, some not so obvious. Though the film feels like it doesn’t go beneath the surface, there is no denying that this is a thrilling film. It certainly isn’t a waste of time to watch but it probably won’t be one that I watch again. I would rather watch Cheap Thrills, which has an extremely similar plot line but with much more interesting characters and a dark, comedic edge. Cheap Thrills over 13 Sins all day.
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