It's all too easy for movies to fall through the cracks these days. It doesn't matter how good they are, there's just a constant tide of movies coming out and there's always something new to overshadow the recently new. So when we come across a smaller movie we really dig, we try to consistently beat the drum for it and raise awareness. That's why you'll keep reading about 13 Sins leading up to its theatrical release on April 18, 2014. (Read our full review of the film here.)
If you've missed our previous coverage, 13 Sins is Daniel Stamm's (The Last Exorcism) remake of the excellent Thai film 13: Game of Death. It's about a recently fired man (Mark Webber) who receives a phone call promising him lots of money if he completes a series of tasks. We'd explain further, but we've actually got the clip of his first task in the film, so why not just see for yourself:
If you've seen the original and feel it didn't need a remake, we'd actually agree with you. The original is pretty damned great, afterall. However, Daniel Stamm's version introduces a game-changing plot element that really helps distinguish it from the original: a second player. Here's Stamm explaining why they went this route, and why it helps the movie.
Movies.com: Is what attracted you to 13 Sins the fact that your main character isn't chained down to one location, that he's roaming wild?
Daniel Stamm: That's a good bonus, yeah. What I liked, and feared, about the structure of this was its episodic nature. Most movies give you the chance to do one or two set pieces that you hope will be memorable and everything else leads up to that. Here the structure let's you do 13 of them, because the game's world provides different arenas for Elliot to be the gladiator in, and it throws you from one arena to the next really quickly. And the scenarios don't necessarily have to be connected by anything other than being tasks.
At the same time, there is a real danger of predictability, because how suspenseful is it going to be if Elliot is success at task seven since we obviously know he's going to get to task 13 at some point? It's already a bit premeditated that he will be successful at these tasks, which is where the change with the second player comes from.
Movies.com: The introduction of the second player is a smart creative addition for a remake. It opens up the original world greatly, and in a logical way.
Stamm: Thank you. Dimension, when they cut the trailer... there's always the question of how much you want to give away, but they basically said "We need to introduce the second player in the trailer," and I think they were right because even in the trailer, you feel that you can only do so much narratively. You can only show so much of people jumping out of windows and so on, before you need a turning point. That's why they put that moment in the trailer, and I think they did the right thing. It's equally important to the movie to break up that structure, to introduce a subplot that's not just about if he's successful, that there's this whole other thing happening that allows you to have a really meaningful, dramatic showdown that doesn't depend on physical escalation.
13 Sins is currently available on iTunes, Amazon and other VOD providers. It will be in theaters on April 18, 2014. We hope you check it out.
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