Thursday, June 30, 2016
13 Cameras (2016)
DIRECTOR: Victor Zarcoff
WRITER: Victor Zarcoff
Claire and Ryan have just moved across the country and into their new house. The newlywed couple is also awaiting the birth of their first child. Moving into their new home, cracks begin to appear in the foundation of the marriage when Claire suspect that Ryan may be cheating on her. Little do they realise that their marriage troubles are not their own, but they are being watched by their creepy landlord.
Looking at the poster for 13 Cameras. I wasn't sure what to expect. I went into this blind. I wasn't aware that this was another Found Footage or Home Invasion film. I went into this thinking I was about to witness something along the lines of Torture Porn. 13 Cameras felt like it was remarkably similar to another 2016 Found Footage movie called Hangman. The only difference this time around was that the intruder wasn't always inside the residence but instead was the landlord of the property.
Being that I recently watched Hangman and found it very similar to 13 Cameras. I couldn't help but compare the two movies. They both feature marital drama and an intrusive and disturbed villain who doesn't understand the meaning of boundaries. I found Hangman to be the better of the two movies as I found the characters in that movie to be much more relatable and likeable. The couple in 13 Cameras were the complete opposite. They are written to be dislikeable.
Watching 13 Cameras, I found that Neville Archambault who plays our disturbed old landlord Gerald to be the best thing in the film. He really does genuinely come across as weird and perverted. I haven't seen him in any other roles, but here he plays the villain like it was written and made directly for him. I almost feel like this may have been Martin from The Human Centipede 2 had he grown old and became a landlord and he may have changed his name to Gerald and continued to murder people.
The acting from PJ McCabe and Brianne Moncrief is also quite impressive for a film with this type of budget. The actors both show great promise in this film. However, the biggest issue I had with the characters in this movie is that they come across as unlikeable. Ryan's automatically unlikable as he is cheating on his pregnant wife. You see him for the piece of shit that he is. So when the ending strikes, you simply don't feel sorry for him. Claire nags him all the time which throws into motion the cheating aspect of their marriage. Not a couple that you root for by the end of the film.
I love me a dark and bleak ending. In the last month, you would've seen me mention it in a few of my reviews. This movie is another movie that chooses to end the film on a dark note. It's not an upbeat ending, but by now, I've seen this same sort of ending several times in current horror films and just like Hangman, it ends pretty much the same way. Only, this time, I haven't cared for the characters which make the ending of 13 Cameras, less of an impact when the film does try to hand us this bleak ending.
Regarding scares and tension. I found that 13 Cameras lacked both. The film never really does try to throw out jump scares or loud noises at the audience. It, in turn, tries to work that slow burn approach which doesn't quite work in the film's favour. I thought that the movie just came across as more boring more than anything else. With nothing happening right up until the film's ending, it sadly has no momentum regarding storytelling or suspense building.
The movie does contain a couple of scenes that may turn people's stomachs. There is a moment that involves a toothbrush that isn't anything remotely bloody but due to our villain being so disturbed, the moment plays much nastier than it normally would. We also have a few scenes involving a dog that I thought were gonna turn really sour by poisoning it but they turn out to be nothing. These scenes involving the dog were the most edge of your seat moments, yet nothing happens. It's a fun will it or won't it sort of running gag in the film.
Lastly, one of the biggest issues I had with the film that I must come back to is the ending. The movie naturally ends on a dark note, and we have a scene that involves the police coming to the residence to see if they can locate our couple. They go into the basement which they talk about the bad smell coming from inside yet do nothing to investigate it? Any officer I think would assume that all black plastic in a basement and a terrible smell might mean a dead body, but they don't end up doing anything with the scene and it sort of just ends. It's a frustrating ending.
DEATH TOLL: 2
BLOOD AND GORE:
- Someone has their skull bashed in with a hammer.
- A woman is attacked and kept a prisoner in a basement.
- Someone is drowned in a pool.
13 Cameras contains a few pretty solid performances and one of the creepiest and grossest villains that I've seen since the second Human Centipede movie. However, the movie is littered with such unlikeable characters that you don't end up feeling or caring sorry for a single one of them once the rather unimpressive ending strikes. I've seen this type of movie a lot recently, and it was done to a better degree. Just watch to witness one of the nastiest villains that I've seen in years.