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Horror movies seldom hit their mark, and so few good movies exist in the genre.

Nowadays, torture porn has become the norm.

The original Saw inspired way too many tired knockoffs trying to capitalize on over-the-top gore mixed with an element of mystery. Comparisons of 13 Sins to Saw will surely follow as more people experience 13 Sins, but at least this movie fulfills the promise that most horror movies can’t reach.

Delivering a dark comedic tone, this horror-thriller is a worthwhile watch that will capture your interest for the duration of the 90 minutes even if you aren’t a particularly big fan of horror movies. Director Daniel Stamm does a nice job setting an even pace, but the story still leaves a little to be desired. Perhaps my biggest issue lies with its reliance on Mark Webber to carry 95% of the movie as the main character, Elliot. Fortunately, the other 5% is carried by Ron Perlman who exudes charisma even in a largely unused, uninteresting role as a cop named Chilcoat that’s trying to catch Elliot during his crime spree.

Perlman

Although Mark Webber does an admirable job (especially during the more emotional scenes), 13 Sins hinges on this role since the movie stays with Elliot and completely revolves around his every action in this game. When we’re initially introduced to Elliot, you see a kind-hearted man who loves his girlfriend/future wife, Shelby. However, Elliot is struggling to make everything work while caring for his mentally challenged brother, Michael, and his father—an old coot that’s essentially a carbon copy of Donald Sterling.

The mantra of this movie: everything good goes bad.

After being fired from his salesman position, down-on-his luck Elliot stumbles into a seemingly innocuous game that rewards the player for completing a stated task. How bad can it be when it starts by killing a fly? Well, the next step is to eat that dead fly. Each task increases in intensity and danger while the reward also equally increases. Above all else, no one can know he is playing the game.

If Elliot completes all 13 tasks, then he wins the game and becomes a multi-millionaire.

If Elliot fails to complete every task in the line of 13, he’ll lose every cent.

Webber

Elliot’s downward spiral plunges deeper into the dark rabbit hole with the completion of each task.

Where the story travels isn’t exactly unchartered territory, but it manages to be entertaining at every twist and turn. Without a more charismatic lead, 13 Sins remains a limited horror-thriller that fails to fully expand on a truly compelling story. While 13 Sins is an American remake of a Thai film, the story does leave ample room for a sequel if this movie is commercially successful or at least finds a cult following.

What would you do to care for those you love and set your family up for life?

Just remember, every action has a reaction and you cannot escape the consequences.

Heads are sure to roll.

Motorcyclists

Good luck, sir!

3.5 out of 5 stars

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