Plot: What’s it about?
After he’s fired from his job as a salesman, Elliot (Mark Webber) receives a strange phone call telling him that he will become a rich man if he completes 13 tasks. The rules are simple, but the challenges aren’t always. Things start off simple enough as one of the tasks is for Elliot to simply eat a fly. Needless to say, they get more challenging with each new task. I won’t reveal every task as that would become monotonous and also spoil a lot of the fun. Some of the tasks aren’t as challenging, and some are even a little gruesome, including an amputation. Part of what works so well here is that it’s interesting to see what Elliot will be asked to do next. Even if he drops out at any time, that will forfeit anything he’s earned to that point. Elliot certainly needs the money. He takes care of his mentally challenged brother and his invalid father. I didn’t mention that he’s also engaged to a pregnant fiance no less. Ron Perlman plays a detective who quickly learns of this mystery man who has been wrecking havoc throughout the city, and eventually he meets Elliot during one of his challenges.
One thing I love about being a reviewer for the site is that I don’t always know what titles I’m going to receive for review. 13 Sins turned out to be an entertaining and engaging experience. I was steadily involved throughout its brief running time and eager to see how it would all end. Parts of the film may frustrate some viewers as it never gives up. There are also a few meaty plot twists thrown out at the end. I enjoyed how we’re presented a simple enough premise and the film moves along nicely and includes some genuine moments of tension. Also surprising is that there’s no shortage of character development. We learn enough about Elliot to at least see why he agrees to do the things he does. I hope I’m never put into a scenario like this, but the film does a good job of showing the desperate lengths one man would go to in order to achieve a better life for himself and his family. It might not be something I’d watch over and over, but it’s definitely worth checking out.
Video: How’s it look?
While not a high profile film or the most obvious contender for strong transfer, this still looks quite nice in HD. Colors, while not overly flashy, are still nice and smooth. There’s a clean look to the whole thing, despite the sometimes not-so-clean nature of the film itself. The print is pristine and free of obvious flaws. The moments that become gruesome also show some deep red moments of blood. The main character Elliot goes through quite a lot in this film, and it shows in his tired and worn features here. Flesh tones were always accurate and realistic looking. No issues here, things look fine. The image is AVC encoded with a 2.39:1 ratio.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD also impresses. It’s not overly aggressive, but neither is the film itself. Vocals were strong and clear throughout and mostly front-loaded. As some of the tasks gets wilder, so does the track. The rears begin to kick in and there’s some nice background city noise here and there. Elliot has an altercation in a police station and shots are fired and liven things up. This track serves the film well.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Audio Commentary – Features the Director and some members of the cast offering their thoughts on the film.
- Alternate Ending – Offers a less optimistic ending than what’s seen in the final film. It was interesting to see, but I think I prefer the theatrical ending better.
- Deleted Sequence – A lengthy (5:50 ) sequence that extends on one of Elliot’s tasks. I won’t spoil it here, but it was fun to see although it is kind of gross, but also amusing at the same time.
- Anatomy of a Meltdown – Is just a short (2:42) segment showing the Director discussing having to delete a sequence (which appears on the disc). It shows the writer reacting via Skype about having to delete the scene.
- The Making of 13 Sins – Is a pretty standard behind the scenes look. We hear about the origins of the film and a few other tidbits. It’s nothing too detailed, but it’s short enough that it’s worth watching.