SXSW Film Review: '13 Sins'

Daniel Stamm's remake is a portrait of a desperate man

Looming debt, a wedding, a baby on the way, and a brother with medical issues can drive a person to desperate measures.

As Elliot (Mark Webber) learns in Daniel Stamm’s new thriller, 13 Sins, there are very few things a man in that situation wouldn’t do to help his family.

Stamm’s (The Last Exorcism) remake of the Thai film 13: Game of Death tells the story of Elliot, an ineffectual but good guy trying his best. He wants a nice wedding for his fiancée, played by Rutina Wesley (True Blood), and proper medical care for his brother (Devon Graye). But all that seems impossible when Elliot loses his job. It’s at that moment he starts receiving mysterious phone calls offering money to complete simple “challenges.”

While the film has comedic moments, it never shifts from a thriller to a dark comedy. As the tasks quickly escalate, the film grows increasingly desperate – even tragic. It will easily delight genre fans, but its ability to maintain a moral center and its complex character development will speak to mainstream viewers, too.

13 Sins

Midnighters, World Premiere
Thursday, March 13, 11:59pm, Marchesa
Friday, March 14, 11:59pm, Stateside

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South by Southwest, SXSW, SXSW 2014, SXSW Film 2014, 13 Sins, Midnighters, review, Daniel Stamm, Mark Webber, Rutina Wesley, Devon Graye

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