13 Demons written, directed by and starring Daniel Falicki, rather than being a horror focuses on a dark fantasy story.
I expect this won’t be a lengthy write-up as the film is very short, around the 70 minute mark, is limited in its locations and set pieces and without ruining too much doesn’t have an intricate story to tell.
Gary and his stoner friends are gamers at heart, their flat laid out like a geeks paradise, computer and board games alike it’s clear that this group like to get lost in reality. One of the gang has brought a new board game home, this medieval title is ‘13 Daemons’ a mysterious game previously banned. The friends play as ‘The Golden Paladins’ trying to defeat the 13 Demons and free the world.
Sadly the film shows all of its cards within the first 5 minutes and you can instantly make the connection between what is happening, there’s no room to build interest around the plot or characters and remains fairly one dimensional throughout its short run time.
News reports come in that local murders are taking place – the reality is the friends are living out their ‘fantasy’ imagination of fighting demons and killing real people adorned in homemade body armour and using whichever weapons they can get their hands on – they truly have crossed the line between reality and imagination.
The ‘fantasy’ sections of the film where the group are coming face to face with their demons are quite unique and some work has gone into make the costumes of both demons and knights authentic in appearance.
The box art certainly does the film some disservice giving it an oddly cheap look whilst the trailer makes it seem action packed at every corner which regrettably is soon obvious this is far from.
Overall 13 Demons is likely to be enjoyable for fans of hardcore role playing games, there’s plenty of imaginative language and medieval spiel, but for the average movie gooer is far too limited in what it has to offer. Maybe there is some deeper meaning or social commentary on how this scenario can account for some acts of violence as portrayed in the film but it was missed on me.