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Rima Te Wiata,
Elliot Brindle is a bright, meek salesman, drowning in debt - and desperate as he's about to marry the love of his life. Upon receiving a phone call informing him that he's on a hidden camera game show where he must execute 13 tasks to receive a sum total cash prize of $6.2M, Elliot dismissively follows through with his first two instructions: swat the fly that is currently bothering him, then eat the fly. With thousands of dollars suddenly appearing in his bank account, Elliot remains skeptical, though comforted by the knowledge that he can stop playing at anytime if only to lose every penny that he's won. Trapped into the horrors manipulated by unseen spectators, Elliot's need to complete the game escalates as the tasks grow more extreme, to a devastating point of no return. Written by
Would you eat a fly for $4,000? Yes? How about what would you do for a million dollars? That's the question we pose when trying to find someone's morality line. Now what if I told you the proposed tasks were of a more sinister agenda, 13 Sins of an increasingly sadistic persuasion, but the pay out would be six million? Ask yourself, what would you do.
Elliot Brindle is an honest and good man though that has gotten him little in life. Life is far from ideal: fired from work, caretaker to his mentally disabled brother and abusive father, financially in shambles and he has a wedding and a baby on the way. Then he gets a knowing phone call by a man with a proposition: play his game, complete his thirteen tasks and be rewarded handsomely. The invitation seems unassuming enough, and after receiving $1000 to kill a fly, he embarks on the perverse adventure.
More thriller than horror, 13 Sins is a darker adaptation of a successful Thai film of a similar name. The point of the game and movie is not about brutal actions the main character must undergo but is the spectacle of the actions and how any individual can be turned into a monster. In that regard the film is a success. It quickly shows the main character as down-on-his-luck but honorable and therefore susceptible to the game's psychological manipulation. The sins are personally exploitative to push Elliot to the breaking point. As a horror there are two gory and bloody scenes that will make audiences squirm.
13 Sins is not without fault. Time is wasted on an unnecessary subplot about the game masters' identity that remains unresolved. The film intriguingly hints at a huge network but besides the bits of information and shreds of newspapers clippings the viewer is little satiated. The order and severity of of sins doesn't particularly flow in a gradient. The unexpected plot twist at the twelfth sin leads to a typical Hollywood movie ending.
13 Sins is a film with an original premise for a horror film that plays on the viewer's perceived integrity and righteousness and malleability of that morality with a monetary motive.
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