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Review: The 13th Friday



Review

The 13th Friday… where to begin…

If there wasn’t already a reasonably good slasher movie of the same name, this rather shameless namesake cash-in could more aptly called WTF?

Official synopsis: When a female refugee discovers an ancient demonic device that opens the gateway to another realm, she unleashes a dark entity that poses as her daughter. After many failed attempts to have the church explain the creation of her worst nightmares, she learns that the house is cursed by an enraged spirit that died on Friday the 13th. And now a group of thrill seeking friends unknowingly unleash its wrath and damn their souls.

Better described as a 90-minute montage of 2000s horror clichés tied together with a plot, which to be fair to it, had it been developed coherently, would have at least managed to have been average, delivered by a cast whose acting which is about as believable as the lo-fi CGI.

If its title wasn’t enough to call into question the films integrity, even its official synopsis is a stretch, as the first 4 lines actually happen in the prologue, what spans the remaining 85 minutes is the final sentence.

To further stick the boot in, it’s not even remotely scary despite its consistent efforts with volume spikes which barely sync with the visual scares.

That said, to ensure my review isn’t completely scathing, I would add there are some clever ideas scattered here and there, some nicely shot suspense scenes, a myriad of eerie looking visuals – the problem even with these is that they are scenes stolen from other horror films, most blatantly ‘The Grudge’ and ‘Lights Out’. Whilst there are other scenes taken from ‘The Exorcist’ of course ‘The Conjuring’ and even more absurdly ‘The Decent’, these aren’t quite the frame by frame remakes the ones I mentioned before, but still make up the majority of quality run time the film has to offer.

The primary issue is (limiting the effectiveness of even these scenes) the complete and utter incoherence of the whole affair. The exposition comes out of no-where, and even when it does I didn’t even know what was going on to understand its context. The dialogue seems to have been written as if each character is acting completely independently, and the painstakingly wooden acting doesn’t help to improve the interaction either.

Then, it ends, with little to no explanation as to what I just watched, a period of time only made bearable through the absolute barrage of horror tropes which include (but are not limited to) scary campfire stories, cleavage, lesbians, more cleavage, CGI ghosts and effects, volume spikes, more cleavage, a ghost who I think is supposed to have been burnt but is actually just covered in black makeup, a couple of scenes taken from better movies, cleavage and some weird druggy guy shooting at a wall.

Overall, this movie contains pretty much everything you could expect from a mid-scoring indie horror effort, except for a coherent plot. I will give it its due, its entertaining but as far as a piece of cinema goes, it is not competent story telling by any stretch of the imagination. If you are 14 years old and love watching top ten scary scene clips on YouTube narrated by Asian cleavage then go get her.

If not, there are better horrors out there this Halloween.

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