Sunday, November 6, 2016

Movie review: 13 Cameras

Newlywed, and newly pregnant, couple Claire and Ryan move to a new house across the country to start a new chapter in their lives. Instead their marital problems continue but turn out to be minor when they discover their landlord has been spying on them.

Neville Archambault (Gerald), PJ McCabe (Ryan), Brianne Moncrief (Claire), Sarah Baldwin (Hannah), Heidi Niedermeyer (Audry), Sean Carrigan (Joe), Jim Cummings (Paul), Gabriel Daniels (Junior), DeForrest Taylor (Cop).

13 Cameras begins with a brief nod to plot setup before launching right to the storyline, relying on the rest of the film for character introductions. The plot here is pretty simple; Claire and Ryan move into a new home which, unbeknownst to them, contains many hidden cameras which are constantly monitored by Gerald, their weird landlord. Claire being pregnant and Ryan being a cheater add some distraction and depth but really, the rest of the film almost feels like a stalker manual or a film made to appeal specifically to stalkers.

Acting was a mix here, with some pretty good scenes and delivery, and others which were equally bad. Archambault played a creepy, weird landlord almost too well. Moncrief was decent but could have used slightly more emotion in her delivery, such as with Baldwin's performance which was good. McCabe was okay but also felt a bit low energy. The remainder of the cast was mediocre.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were good with most of the film taking place inside a house as the primary setting. Use of video, basement scenes, and sets away from the house were poorly explained and left largely to audience imagination. Dialogue was somewhat flat, dry, and could have added a lot more depth to the film. Sound and soundtrack were okay.

While the premise behind 13 Cameras is truly disturbing, the film is not. The story is good, the film just doesn't develop enough depth to be scary, nor does it do much as a thriller. The result is an entry level horror thriller with a focus that may be more disturbing for some viewers.

Containing some nudity, sexuality, violence, and disturbing situations, 13 Cameras should be fine for older teens and above.

Released: 2015
Reviewed: 10.25.16
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Thriller, Horror, Horror Thriller, Independent Horror, Drama

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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