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|Index||25 reviews in total|
Out of another great edition of FantAsia, this film received the
PUBLIC'S GOLDEN PRIZE - BEST Asian FILM. A well deserved title with a
well crafted storyline and fine acting.
The premise of the movie is that of a deadbeat salesman who is in debt and in desperate need of money... as well as deeper needs such as love, hope, sense of purpose, etc. He gets a targeted phone call that invites him to play a secret game in order to win incremental amount of money all the way to the grand prize: 100 million bahts. At first he will have to kill an insect which he does without to much problem. The twelve other challenges are likely to be a bit more difficult to achieve in order to bank the jackpot, but this guy has nothing to lose and seems to be going along with the game as he sees money as the answer to most of his problems and pushing his limits by succeeding in this game as some well-needed sense of accomplishment.
So the movie relies heavily on Krissada Terrence playing the protagonist, Pusit, and making us go through the motions and the emotions. His is a very capable actor and was well casted and directed to give a fine performance that reaches out to the sympathizing viewer. As for the rest of the cast, they are also of fine caliber. They bring to life this solid script cohesively and captivate the audience with the help of well-timed editing and a definitive storytelling know-how by screen-writer/director Ma-Deaw Chukiatsakwirakul (Chookiat Sakweerakul )
Based on a comic, the transition to screen is surprisingly realistic and the story is well explored in all its humour and twisted horror. The game concept reminds us of the Saw trilogy (2004,2005&2006) and has similar elements on top of the reality TV references a la Fear Factor. At times, we are also reminded of Falling Down (1993)'s similar slow fall and emotional meltdown.
Trying to conclude this wild ride is tricky and we are left with diverse elements that are not necessarily captivating or as original as the rest of the film on their own merit--nor are they out of place--, but tied together provide the base for the ending that does not disappoint.
A clever movie that easily make you embark on a journey that can only be slowly but surely spiraling down. So where is the point where you lose control and what happens if someone else loses it for you?
A thin line between deprived and deranged.
Thailand 2006 | 113 min | 35mm Thai language (English subtitles)
Chit is a desperate guy : he has debts, his car has been seized, he
lost his job and his love life is no better... He then receives a call
to participate to a game show, with enough money involved to solve all
his problems. 13 tasks, more money every time. How far will he go for
100 million bahts?
The main actors are good, the humor (at the beginning) is nice, with a bit of gore it makes a really nice mix. And asks some question about the evolution of the Thai society, which are also valid everywhere. Probably the best Thai movie I've watched so far, and just a very good movie.
A surprisingly excellent production from Thailand. This movie tells the
story of a loser/loner who just got fired, had his car repossessed, is
in credit card debt, and has an overbearing mother who needs money and
suddenly gets a call inviting him to play in a game that could make him
rich. The game consists of 13 challenges, the completion of each
entails a money transfer into his bank. If he completes the final
challenge he would get a very large sum of money. But he has to
complete all challenges and not try to find out who is behind the game.
The challenges range from mild to disgusting to violent. While initially the movie doesn't seem to fit into the "Dimensions Extreme" line because for a good while it lacks gore, nudity, violence that are required for a good horror movie, this one is a little more psychological and a lot more story-based. Also at some point you start wondering what the point of all this is and then the movies gives a hint, a glimpse into out character's childhood that will be important for the end of the movie. Speaking of the end, it has a couple of surprise twists and explanations. The man's childhood and family will be key and are related to the final challenge. In addition there is some sort of revealing of who's behind all this that isn't entirely satisfying, but the point here is to get the audience to imagine...what if...and what our price would be, if it is true that we all have a price and also how far we would go for money.
The movie succeeds in creating a very likable character that you root for. There's an obligatory female who falls for him and tries to help him, rescue him. And you will also dislike the cruel villains in the shadows. The movie, however, is not a noir film despite the hopelessness of the situations. In fact, there's a good dose of humor here and there in terms of how other characters react to what is going on and how our friend deals with the crazy things he's asked to do. This movie looks very good. Unlike American movies that rely too much on artificial colored lighting and effects like grainy looks or discolored film or disco-type lights, this one looks bright, crisp, and naturally lit. It also sounds good and has good subtitles. Recommended as a different type of horror/ psychological thriller that is effective and funny and makes you think.
This is probably the best Thai thriller I've seen so far, and I've seen a bunch. Pusit has lost just about everything, his job, his girlfriend, his home, not much left. Then out of the blue he gets a call on his cell phone, telling him he has won the right to compete on a game show, and he can make huge sums of money. The game, is to complete 13 tasks presented by the show via his cell phone, but he has to complete all 13 with money going into his account after each task is completed. Pusit decides to play and off we go on a journey with Pusit that is at times stomach churning for the audience. The first task is pretty easy and Pusit is feeling good about things, but then they start to become very intense and towards the end terrifying. I could feel the tension as this movie goes along, it's along the lines of a good Hitchcockian suspense thriller. More than one of these tasks is very shocking and brutal to say the least, but Pusit is committed and turning back means losing everything again, something he cannot do. So he's hooked, and so are we as one shocking scene after scene builds up to an excellent climax. Put this baby on your want list immediately, you'll love it. I've never seen a movie quite like this one, and it's worth multiple viewings.
This movie has a very good idea. A normal man who is desperately in
need of money is given a chance to earn a huge amount if he goes
through a series of increasingly difficult challenges. But the movie is
let down by inconsistencies and plot holes and bad execution.
Inconsistencies are everywhere.The main protagonist is given the task to make three kids cry. He does so by taking a toy from a child. There are two female teachers present there. On witnessing the incident, they chase after him and then tell a guard to chase after him. Then they go to a police station to file a complaint and behave in a hysterical way. They demand a gun so that they can shoot the guy. Seriously ! all because the guy took a toy from a kid. The madness doesn't ends here. Apparently the Thai police think that since the guy has punched a colleague after he was fired and then beat up a beggar, he is some sort of huge threat. So they announce it on T.V. Wow, if that is realistic, then Thailand must have no crime to warrant a reaction like this.
As I wrote earlier it has a good idea but the execution makes the whole thing unbelievable and contrived. You are acutely aware that you are watching a movie. And some minor actors do a bad job which doesn't help matters either.
I guess this is translated a few different ways. IMDb and Netflix have
different names for the characters than the version I watched. The main
character was named Phuchit (called Chit throughout most of the film),
but Netflix and IMDb list him as Pusit. I guess the English dub lists
him as Chad. The film is also known as 13: Beloved. All the
technicalities aside, the DVD cover may be a bit misleading. It might
make you think you're in for a bloodbath or a serial killer type of
film. This isn't the case. This is an intelligent thriller. Possibly
more intelligent than you first give it credit for.
Films from Thailand seem to be some of the only films that are still somewhat original these days. That's not to say the film doesn't have its similarities to other films. The most obvious being its similarities to Saw. But instead of ripping off a successful horror film just to put out another one to try and cash in on the same audience like so many others have done before it, they took an idea associated with the film, put their spin on it, came up with a well developed story, and turned it into a thriller that builds up as it goes along. The only factor that drags the film down is the use of CGI in the film. I can only think of two scenes off the top of my head that used CGI, but you can tell it's just that...below par CGI. You really start to feel bad for Chit though. As the game drags on, you realize there's nothing Chit won't do to try and get his life back on track.
The one thing that may make or break the viewer's opinion of the film is the ending. From other reviews I've skimmed through, the majority of people seem to hate it. I think it fit the film. As the game gets into its closing stages, Chit keeps telling himself that he's still human even after the horrific events he's witnessed that night and were his doing. The ending fits that logic. There is a slight twist at the end, but I don't want to spoil anymore than what I already have.
Game of Death is a Thai thriller that I think just about anyone can sit down and enjoy. It's well-written, there's more character development than you may be expecting, it's suspenseful, it picks up momentum as the film progresses, and it builds towards an ending you may not be expecting. What would you do for $100 million?
Phuchit (Krissada Terrence) receives a phone call on the same day he
loses his job at a music center. The man on the line gives him a
strange offer: complete 13 different tasks and win 100 million Baht
(about $3 million US). Chit agrees to take part in this 'game' and his
missions commence. . . ranging from the trivial (swatting a fly) to the
unthinkable (you'll see). The biggest catch: He must complete ALL the
tasks. . . or lose all the money. Will he beat the game, complete all
the tasks, and win the huge cash prize? Or will the game beat him, as
the rest of the world has been doing as of late?
Dimension Extreme, the distributor of Diary of the Dead, Black Sheep, Inside, etc., delivers to horror fans yet another violently original new film. . . and this one is just as good as, if not better than, the aforementioned. Sadly, I did overlook it more than a few times. I'd pass it by in stores thinking that, due to its cover & plot line, it was just another of the dozen or so Saw ripoffs that have been released over the past few years. With a storyline like this, I don't blame myself. However, I was more-than-pleasantly surprised to find that the film is blurs the lines between horror, paranoia thriller, and comedy, and it does it very well, making it an unbelievably fresh and stirring film. There were times where I was equally overcome by the tension, comedy, disgust, sadness, and loathing. . . sometimes separately, sometimes together. Technically, the film is extremely well made. The direction and writing work perfectly well together, although the acting does leave a bit to be desired at some points (excluding Krissada Terrence who delivers a great, great performance). But, the thing that makes this film shine is the revelation/conclusion along with the way it was shown. . . it was so emotionally stirring that I'm surprised it's not more talked about. I suppose it's so little spoken of because it's so little seem. . . and that's a shame, because this is a truly, truly great modern horror/thriller that utilizes many different elements of both genres, including quite a bit of comedy to keep the more disturbing elements tolerable. See this one if you can.
Final verdict: 8.5/10.
A film of almost unbearable suspense, who starts lightly and goes
darker by the minute.
It works on various levels: as a critique of the society we live in ( the voyeurism and excessive competition), as psychological (the characters have their behavior well explained by the movie).
It is the best movie I have ever seen from Thailand.
Thai cinema is evolving and proof is Sick Nurses, an stylish exercise in horror better than most American movies and 13 Beloved, who is also very well served by its actors and director.
If you like suspense, don't miss that film
A surprisingly decent little Thai thriller that comes across as a mix
of FALLING DOWN and DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE, 13: GAME OF DEATH is
unique in that it offers something from a country that we haven't seen
before. Most Thai movies I watch are typically poor vengeful ghost
style movies that lack a single iota of originality, but this film has
a lot more going for it. It's pretty well made too, with director
Chookiat Sakveerakul eliciting plenty of suspense from his premise and
a fair amount of good twists as the narrative progresses.
This isn't a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination. The script is fast-paced and witty, yes, and the liberal sprinklings of blackly comic humour definitely add to the experience to make it more palatable. You may be inclined to think there's at least one too many twists come the unsatisfactory end, though. In addition, and this comes as no surprise, the characters are underwritten; the writer allows Krissada Sukosol's protagonist to develop through the nature of his experiences, but it's not enough to elicit any sympathy in the viewer in the same way as, say, Michael Douglas's character did in FALLING DOWN.
Still, there's plenty of intensity here, and the anything-goes premise means that we're in for plenty of incident even if some of it is lacking. The 'well' set-piece, clearly derived from RING, is a real stand-out, while the restaurant scene will be sure to test the stomachs of even the toughest viewer, coming across as an extreme and timely version of a certain reality TV gameshow, I'M A CELEBRITY...GET ME OUT OF HERE! There's also at least one ultra-gory CGI effect that had me genuinely shocked with its realism and effectiveness. No, 13: GAME OF DEATH isn't perfect but it is a great deal of fun, and one of the freshest and most inventive Thai movies I've seen in a while.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This combination of Saw and Echelon Conspiracy contains three of the most shocking cinematic moments you are ever likely to see: one involving the consumption of something very vile; another involving the retrieval of a corpse from a well; and the most original--a remarkable scene of multiple decapitations. It starts out like a retelling of The Game (the one with Michael Douglas) but then it quickly becomes apparent that there isn't going to be much of a happy ending here, as the reality show our victim gets involved with heads into a downward spiral of violence and utter vulgarity. This one has the morals of Run and Kill and the subtlety of The Three Stooges. If you're looking for an EXTREME horror experience, 13 Beloved won't let you down.
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