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Pusit is having the worst day of his life. He just lost his job and is in serious debt. That is all about to change when he receives a mysterious phone call with a tempting offer. If he could complete 13 tasks, he will win 100 million Baht. Pusit agrees and the game begins. Written by
If you were to put Speed and the Saw series into a blender, strain out the guns, explosions, and most of the gore, then add a dollop of Stephen Chow and garnish it with lemongrass, you might just get 13: Game of Death.
13 is a lot of things: wacky, sadistic, chaotic, frantic, absurd, and a lot of fun.
I have never watched a movie this versatile. It changes gears so quickly and frequently, covering dozens of bases: horror, thriller, comedy, drama, action, mystery, slapstick, satire, and everything in between.
While this makes it sound like a mess, it's far from it. The screenplay is brilliant, the directing is sharp, and though nothing is gradual and the story is herky-jerky, everything is paced perfectly.
Of course, the film mostly operates in the realms of horror and extreme dark comedy. I'm not talking the usual blend of sight gags and one liners piled into zombie movies. It's very similar to the American film Chop in how it juggles the 2; the main character is drawn into a sick, goofy situation, the absurdity and despair of which are used for an almost Marxian comic effect. But where Chop is more gruesome and confined, this movie is more story-based and wide open, which it uses to a greater advantage.
In addition to transnavigating types of fiction, it also tiptoes around all the landmines that destroy horror films: from the protagonist's method of coming to terms with what he's involved in, to the final piece of the puzzle being revealed.
13 is able to do this because it is constantly self aware and it demonstrates that gracefully. It knows when to be serious and when to crack a joke. More importantly, it knows how to do either. It also benefits from an excellent script, with an ending that's impossible to predict and even somewhat poignant (a tall task for horror).
I can't say enough good things about this movie, and there are no weak points other than a fairly poor CGI scene which can be forgiven. If you like off-the-wall movies and don't watch horror with strict expectations, this is the first thing I'd recommend to you.
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