¡Qué horror! 2014
"... Great wealth is within your grasp. 36 hours from now, you can be a very rich man. All you have to do is complete 13 challenges.”
The last time Daniel Stamm was hanging ‘round these parts was for the ¡Qué horror! 2011 candidate, The Last Exorcism.
This time out, he’s helmed the English language remake of Chukiat Sakveerakul’s 13 Game Sayawng, where a grotesque game show gradually turns its contestants into savage cutthroats, all for that next bit of green.
“I will dance with the Golden Toad.”
Not only is the action relocated to New Orleans, but the stakes are amped up considerably for the film’s protagonist, Elliot Brindle (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’s Mark Webber): he’s got a pregnant soon-to-be wife (True Blood’s Rutina Wesley) and mentally disabled brother (Devon Graye, who played teen-aged Dexter Morgan) who are depending on him.
And while there are certain elements from the original which have been excised (thankfully, the awkward tonal shifts and, less so, the active female supporting role), there are also welcome additions: among them, a deeper glimpse into the game’s backstory, and some familiar genre faces (Ron Perlman and Pruitt Taylor Vince).
Plus, George Coe (who currently voices Woodhouse on Archer) doing the “Game Voice.”
“So says the Golden Toad: ‘A brave arm makes a short sword long.’”
The changes from the original (which include the specifics of most of the game’s challenges) serve to tighten the narrative’s plot and thematics, and also serve to foreground the dark empowerment and paranoia that engulfs Elliot as he gets further along in the game.
Ultimately, 13 Sins is not only a more refined and polished version of 13 Game Sayawng, it’s also a harder-hitting and more emotionally potent piece.
“Try to think of this in the most positive, empowering way as a gun pointed to your head.”
(13 Sins OS courtesy of impawards.com.)