13/13/13 (2013)

REVIEW BY: Jeffrey Long


Company: The Asylum

Runtime: 87 mins

Format: Screener

Plot: For millennia, calendars have added an extra day every four years. In doing so, they violated the ancient Mayan calendar. Now we are in the 13th month of the 13th year of the new millennium, and the few who survive will have to battle a world of demons.

Review: The Asylum's been releasing a nice little unconnected trilogy each year for the past few years, of numbered titles. I'm talking about 11/11/11 during the fall of 2011, 12/12/12 during the fall of 2012, and now 13/13/13 during the fall of 2013. For the most part they're unconnected, but they kind of are related, thematically - well, at least the first two, while this one much more loosely.

See, both 11/11/11 and 12/12/12 deal with demon children. In the first it's about a boy that turns 11 on 11/11/11 and he's meant to be the anti-christ. I never did a review of that one, but it was a decent effort – great atmosphere, some creepy Omen-esque scenes, and a great climatic third act. 12/12/12 (again, I never did a review of that one) dealt with a baby being born at 12:12 on 12/12/12 and that baby is, once again, the anti-christ, only in this version it's actually demonic from the start, looking like a demon baby and knowing full well that it's a demon baby and it kills all those around it that tries to get in its way of...well, it's never really made clear. Bringing about the apocalypse? I don't know for sure cause that movie was a total and utter unintelligible mess of characters acting out of character from scene to scene, story jumping around with no logic or proper story structure to it, and a complete lack of any sort of climax or satisfying ending. It was just plain dumb.

Well 13/13/13 (a title that, sadly, took me way longer then I'm proud to admit to realize doesn't really make sense, initially) does indeed once again deal with demons (sort of. We're told they are demons on the cover art and in the synopsis on the back, but that's about all we have to go on for that), but it's not very kid-centric like the first two. Sure, there are some scenes of a kid being involved in the weird going-ons, but it's not exclusive to kids - this thing is just affecting everyone, adult and kid alike, so it kind of breaks the mold there. For good or bad (depending on the entry), I actually kind of like the idea of an annual Asylum-made anthology movie series where the movies themselves aren’t directly related, but they all share the same theme – that being child demons, and they each are titled #/#/# (insert proper year number where applicable), but each with it's own unique story, made by a different director, so it's kind of disappointing that they break away from that mold here, however in the greater scheme of things that honestly doesn't matter much because that was just my own personal pet preference and never anything that was promised.


As it turns out, the title does actually make sense within the context of the movie, for reasons that I'm sure anybody can easily guess, but just in case you can't, it deals with clocks mysteriously changing to 13:13 for no reason, and weird behavior coming over a large percentage of the population, such as squishing and eating bugs off the ground, scratching non-stop at their skin, cutting themselves, random and total uncontrollable anger overtaking everyone, which in turn leads to the hospitals filling right up and essentially the world outside turning to shit, and it doesn't take long at all after that before the world just descends into utter chaos everywhere as everyone starts becoming gleefully overly-violent crazy but almost in a zombie apocalypse kind of setting (if anyone ever saw 2007's The Signal, it's kind of similar to that movie, but without the actual signal transmission part). As it turns out, thanks to the leap years and some other mumbo jumbo they half-explained it away with, our current understanding of the calendar is wrong and we're now supposed to have a 13th month of which this is, as well as the 13th day of  said month, during, obviously, the year 2013, and that has somehow opened everyone up to this plague of rage-violence (which we're never given a why they are opened up to that), with the exception of those born on a rare leap day of which our main leading man was, although reasons why for that are also left pretty vague. Even the brief explanation we do get is delivered to us from some at-the-time random distraught character in the hospital who is also safe from being infected, although once again it's also never once explained how she actually knows all this. As you can see, pretty much nothing at all in the movie ever actually gets explained, except for the fact that we now have a 13th month due to calendar issues. That's about it for explanations. In more capable hands I could see that almost being on purpose, but the things we don't get explanations for here are very obviously just due to lazy writing and nobody that's involved ever really giving a shit.

In addition, the movie's dialog is just downright awful, with terribly-structure conversations and really awkwardly-delivered exposition all over the place, with hardly any spoken words coming across as anything even close to sounding natural. Of course it's not helped by the fact that the actors are atrocious, even by the low standards set by other Asylum titles. Yes, this is indeed a new low in the acting department and honestly it made portions of the movie that were otherwise just fine, very hard to sit through without feeling embarrassed for everyone on-screen. It wasn't helped by the fact that the number 13, whether directly related to the movie's title or not, gets thrown around way too much, being shoehorned and forced into the dialog at least once every single conversation and showing up, visually, in what seemed like every single scene. We get it, the movie's title is 13/13/13. Can we finally move on now? Nope? Ok then...


While all those things really bring the movie down quite a bit, there actually is still a bit here for fellow Asylum-Lovers to enjoy. For instance, with everyone getting angry over every little thing and loosing their minds to utter insanity, in addition to seeing all the people in the hospital that have cut themselves and done other unspeakable things to themselves, or others who have had said unspeakable things done to them (eye gouging scene for the win), there's a great sense of growing unease, especially since at that point (or any point, really) we still have no idea why any of this is happening, so we're just as in the dark as the main character. It's helped along by some truly downright creepy imagery, like our main leads walking down an abandoned hospital hallway with the walls streaked all over with blood, or a crazy person using his own blood from his own gouged stomach to write a giant 13 on the wall of a house, or any shot where we're following our main characters in the front and center focus of the camera but we can see behind them people being ripped into or torn apart or violently attacked in some other fashions, it's pretty much images directly from your nightmares realized right on the screen. Also, during parts of 12/12/12 and the entirety of Rise of the Zombies the folks at Asylum utilized this blue tinting to the screen for whatever stylistic choices, but it had yet to be used to as great effect as it is in this movie. No extra attention is drawn to it, but having this weird blue tinting actually helped add to the unnatural feel of everything, further that troubling sense of unease.

While the events of the movie unfolded around our two main characters, it also kept cutting back to these two best friends holed up inside a house, trying to keep the other crazy insane infected people out, while also totally unraveling themselves, and oddly enough these parts of the movie did not annoy me as much as I expected them to. Sure, there were times I wish the movie hadn't cut to them as it ruined the flow and momentum that had been building with our two leads, but most of their scenes were an even mix of creepy and hilarious, and it was quite interesting that I found myself wondering and worried about when these two crazed best buddies would start turning on one another. It was a side-plot that while not needed, I still actually enjoyed for the most part, although I could have done with a tad less of it.

Also, I would be remissed if I did not mention a little factoid that I found interesting (though I'm pretty sure I'm the only one amused by this) – one half of the main character duo for this, the female character, was played by Erin Coker who also had a role in 11/11/11, and in addition to that Jared Cohn had a cameo role here and he was also the director of 12/12/12, so it's kind of amusing that once again, these three movies indirectly tie together in unexpected ways.


By the time the credits rolled on 13/13/13, I found that I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I did 11/11/11, but despite it's many issues it was still waaayyyy better then 12/12/12. Overall I can't deny it's a troubled movie, and I went back and forth quite a bit as to if I was going to land my score on a 5/10 or a 6/10, but in the end I still kind of enjoyed this nice little addition to the annual Demonic Numbers anthology, as I like to call it (11/11/11, 12/12/12, 13/13/13 and they all deal with demons, of sorts, hence the Demonic Numbers Anthology), and while it may not be the best in the so-far 'trilogy', it is the creepiest and the one that portrays a strong sense of unease and dread the best. It's just a shame that it's weighed down quite heavily by abysmal acting and downright lazy writing.

I hope they find some way to continue this next year with 14/14/14 because I'm interested in seeing where they go next with the demon ideas, but if not then 13/13/13 was still a nice capper to the Demonic Numbers Anthology, starting things a bit low-key and local in 11/11/11, opening the mayhem up a bit and leaving things off on a promise-to-come of total insanity during 12/12/12, and now ending everything in worldwide chaos and the end of the world in 13/13/13. Like I said, none of these three movies are directly related or tie in to one another in any sort of story ways, but thematically they actually play quite well from one to the next and almost fit together like pieces of some sort of awkward puzzle. If they do continue with 14/14/14 next year I have no idea what they can do and where they can take it from here, but I'm still a bit curious to find out.

5/10 rooms in the Psych Ward


Comments

  1. Why cant science stop with all this bogus nonsence and leave earth and its happenings alone? they're to stinking nosey just like the government.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Total garbage, if you see it free you're still paying too much with the time you're investing. I should've gotten paid to sit through that crap. A lot of poor acting and pointless profanity. 2 big fat thumbs down!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love all b flicks and love this site

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Early Screener Review: Jailbait/17 & Life: Jailbait (2014)

Lost Tapes: Season 2 (2009)

Aladdin and the Death Lamp (2012)

Camel Spiders (2012)

Age of Dinosaurs (2013)

Cloned: The Recreator Chronicles (2013)

Terrordactyl (2016)

Lake Placid 2 (2007), Lake Placid 3 (2010), and Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (2012)

The Dyatlov Pass Incident/Devil's Pass (2013)

Sleeping Beauty (2014)