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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Saturday, October 21, 2023

13 Eerie (2013)

Some college students are headed out into the middle of nowhere. By middle of nowhere I mean an old prison where their professor has setup scenarios involving dead bodies. They are in an advanced forensics class or maybe trying to get into a program. Not quite sure about that but they all seemed to be stressed out. We see cameras being setup so that they can be watched on the staged crime scenes and then they get to work. 

After some gooey gross stuff with the dead bodies one of the students notices that there are more than were expected. Not only that but some of them get up and move around! Seems like the prison was used for experiments in the past, which is briefly explained in some throw away dialogue, and the black goo that is all over the place has turned some of the dead prisoners into zombies. They bite some of the students, who then also become zombies. There is a siege with the survivors, actors appear and disappear at random (more on that later), until we get to an ending that isn’t really an ending but a freeze frame without resolution. 

I don’t hate 13 Eerie, but it is also not a good movie. The story is weak with the whole unexplained prisoner experimentation explanation of the black goo and zombies feeling tacked on at the end. Sort of like the filmmakers decided “damn we need to let the audience know why this all happened”. Combined with the first half hour being spent getting to know the characters, who honestly aren’t that interesting, it gets really slow. After the zombies show up we still get some people walking thru the woods unaware what is happening scenes to continue padding things out. This is one of those flicks that feels like they didn’t have a finished script rather just an idea and maybe a location or two. That is not a formula for success. 

I was especially bummed by the weak writing due to them having a solid cast. Brendon Fletcher (Violent Night), Brendan Fehr (Bones), Michael Shanks (Stargate SG1), and Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps) all appear. This is a solid cast of “B” movie and television actors that are good at their jobs. Sadly, they are completely wasted. It also seems that they only had certain actors for briefly as there are just a few scenes where they appear together. Especially Shanks seems to come and go seemingly at random. Not sure if that is the case of if the editing was just that bad. 

Where the movie does a good job is in the creature design. The zombie makeup is decent looking though I did notice that while we get several different zombies running around, they do tend to look the same. There are a few kills on screen with the highlights being the first one where a girl gets caught up in brambles and not only gets some fingers chewed off but ends up with a thorn to the eyeball! There is also a bit of gut munching, but it is poorly executed. I give them props for including it but wish they had done a better job. The rest of the kills are sort of meh. Some of the violence done to the zombies is cool. We get a nifty sawing thru a neck and an awesome gag with a cheek. 

Again, I don’t hate this movie. The story is a mess, but there is a bit of gore, and the zombies look decent. At best 13 Eerie is a mediocre by the numbers effort that is forgettable. While not as horrible as some of the recent zombie movies I’ve watched there are much better ways to kill ninety minutes of your time. I can’t recommend it. 

© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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