A gripping and unique new horror thriller that lacks menace but is sure to keep you entertained. 13 Sins follows a popular horror theme that throws its everyman protagonist into a web of twisted and horrific scenarios.
Down on his luck salesman Elliot (Mark Webber) receives a phone call from a strange man who promises a large sum of money if he successfully completes thirteen tasks. With a baby on the way and a mentally disabled brother to look after, Elliot obliges, however he soon regrets his decision when the tasks get gradually more sinister.
13 Sins takes on a premise that’s sure to please many horror fans. It’s a theme that’s been done countless times before from big-budget franchises like Saw to lesser known films like Choose (2010). Throw an everyman that we can all relate to into a situation that forces him to do the obscene and you have yourself a reasonable horror film. In comparison to many of these types of films, 13 Sins is relatively tame and for many gore-hounds out there, probably a little disappointing. Some of the tasks, such as when Eliot is told to ‘make a child cry’, verge on funny and it’s a bit of a shame that it doesn’t immediately delve into heavier, more horrific scenarios.
The real conflict within the story is with Eliot himself; he battles with himself, going against his better judgement to complete the tasks, take home the money and provide for his family. What is perhaps most intriguing about these films is that they challenge us to consider what we would do in that situation. What makes 13 Sins a success is how realistic Eliot is, and despite the tameness being something of a let down for horror fans, it does in some ways make the film more believable, and in a lot of ways the realness of it is what’s more scary.
13 Sins is nothing special; it’s a concept that’s been done countless times, and done better. However it is highly entertaining with reasonable performances and a story that you can get your teeth into.