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13 Sins (Blu-ray Review)

13 Sins - www.whysoblu.comDo you want to play a game? Ah, not that kind of game, and not that kind of movie. 13 Sins is the latest horror film from director Daniel Stamm (The Last Exorcism) and it features a bit of an ensemble cast. There’s Mark Webber (Scott Pilgrim), Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Rutina Wesley (True Blood), and more. I didn’t know too much about the film going into it, so I was hoping to be surprised, as the premise was pretty intriguing all things considered. How’s the Blu-ray you ask? Keep on reading to find out!

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13 Sins

Film 

13 Sins is yet another pseudo-horror-thriller that is embellished in the neo-noir sub-genre. Ha, those were a lot of hyphens, huh. Anyways, that peaked my interest and I had to see what it was all about. What also peaked my interest were Mark Webber and Ron Perlman as the stars of the film. Mark was awesome in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and Ron Perlman is awesome in everything, so cue 13 Sins being a no-brainer.

13 Sins is about young Elliot who is working what seems to be a dead end job while tending to his special needs brother, Michael (Devon Graye), while balancing his love life with his fiancée, Shelby (Rutina Wesley). On the day of his firing from the job that he thought he would be doing well into the future, Elliot receives a strange phone call from a lovely English fellow who offers his him a coupe of thousand dollars to kill the fly in his car. He then raises the offer a bit more if Elliot eats the fly. Yes, Elliot obliges and the game is set in motion.

Elliot must complete 13 felonious crimes in order to win money. If Elliot plays his cards right he will be a multimillionaire by the end of the game. Keep in mind that every move Elliot makes is being watched by the powers that be. I should also say that 13 Sins has elements of dark comedy, because some of the early crimes that Elliot commits are actually pretty hysterical. It’s only when he gets past the halfway point that things really get grim.

Along for the ride, is Detective Chilcoat (Ron Perlman), who is on Elliot’s trail of destruction. Daniel Stamm (The Last Exorcism) co-wrote and directed 13 Sins and it’s a technically well-directed film. Yes, it’s seeded in the low budget realm but it gets every dollar up on that screen. I have to admit that there were some cringe worthy moments in the film but those were due to the nature of the crimes. It got really uncomfortable, because imagine if it happened in real life? Yeah, it’s pretty embarrassing.

I think 13 Sins could have been a better film if it remained serious as opposed to throwing in the black comedy bits. I’m thinking more along the lines of Phone Booth and Cellular with a horror twist. Played straight like that the film would have been much better than this final product that we got. Some will love the film as it is and that’s fine. Those are just my complaints. In fact, I think the film should be checked out. It’s currently available for pre-order on DVD and Blu-ray and available for immediate streaming via VOD platforms. If you need some harmless distraction then 13 Sins may be right up your alley.

Do you want to play a game? No, wait, not that one!

 

13 Sins

Video

Encoding: AVC MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: 13 Sins looked great on Blu-ray. Sharpness levels were kept in check and so were the contrast levels. 13 Sins never looked like it was boosted in post production and I appreciated that they didn’t try to make the film look more “expensive” by adding lens flares.

Depth: The film did have that “pop” factor, which was great to see considering it’s a very low budgeted Blumhouse production. I really enjoyed the interior scenes since those were all low-lit.

Black Levels: I didn’t notice any instances of crush or anomalies during any of the nighttime scenes and this film takes place at night for about half of its running time or thereabouts.

Color Reproduction: Colors were big and bold when they needed to be and other times they had a very sepia muted vibe to them. One can even say that 13 Sins is a neo-noir horror flick.

Flesh Tones: Flesh tones appeared natural and you could see every bead of sweat on characters’ faces.

Noise/Artifacts: I only detected a spot of noise here and an artifact there.

 

13 Sins

Audio

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1

Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH

Dynamics: 13 Sins is a very dynamic flick and low budget aside it gets the message across in a bombastic fashion.

Low Frequency Extension: LFE effects are felt and never feel hollow or distorted as this does happen every once in a while on thrillers that want to give the viewer that extra kick in the guts.

Surround Sound Presentation: The surround sound channels are used sparingly and only on a few scenes but when they are they will make you squirm. I’m thinking about the crazy scene towards the end. Yikes!

Dialogue Reproduction: Being that 13 Sins is a neo-noir flick dialogue levels are strong and everything was easy to understand even when characters were shouting back and forth. The telephone voice was also a character unto itself and the center channel was able to keep together during those frequent telephone chats.

 

13 Sins

Extras 

13 Sins on Blu-ray has a few extras that include a feature commentary with the cast and crew, a making of, deleted scene, alternate ending, and more. Not bad for a film of this nature.

  • Feature Commentary With Co-Writer/Director Daniel Stamm, Mark Webber, Ron Perlman, and Devin Gray – This is a pretty entertaining commentary track where everyone is just kicking back and having fun. The actors have funny anecdotes to tell and director Daniel Stamm throws in an informational punch here and there. They’re a lively bunch.
  • The Making Of 13 Sins (HD, 8:38) – Here’s a very informative and not boring making of featurette featuring cast and crew interviews. It may be the standard taking head kind of stuff but it’s actually not boring or mundane.
  • Deleted Sequence (HD, 5:50) – Here’s a scene that threw me for a loop. It’s funny but plays a little to on the nose and falls a bit on the incongruent side. I was like WOAH when I saw it.
  • Alternate Ending (HD, 2:01) – I give them bonus points for trying this one out but I think I would be upset if they had used it since I actually liked the original ending that they stayed with way more.
  • Anatomy Of A Meltdown (HD, 2:42) – Director Daniel Stamm video chats about how hard making the film (and film in general) is. It’s fun to brainstorm on a project but then it gets to be a very difficult thing once you’re on the set.

 

13 Sins

Summary 

13 Sins was an enjoyable little horror film that could have been really great if it didn’t run out of steam in places. There are times where the film really doesn’t know what it wants to be and stays the course into black comedy before hitting the breaks and coming back to the horror realm. There’s too much back and forth of that. The Blu-ray release is a much stronger affair. The video and audio specs are stellar and the special features are somewhat stronger than your typical release of this caliber. I’ll give 13 Sins a slight recommendation and would suggest that if you’re going to watch the film then the Blu-ray is the way to go.

 

 

Order 13 Sins on Blu-ray!

13 Sins - www.whysoblu.com

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

1 Response to “13 Sins (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    I dug this movie about as much as you did, but would easily recommend Cheap Thrills as a better take on a similar concept.