Colton is convinced of the girl next door’s father’s ill-intentions toward her and aims to prove his evil, but doesn’t know or understand exactly the occult dealings he’s charging himself into.
Directed by Jax Medel and written by Dan Gannon and Walter Goldwalter, Day 13 stars the talents of Alex MacNicoll, Martin Kove, Genevieve Hannelius, and Darlene Vogel. The film is a teen romance film sandwiched between satanic cults, curses and creepy rituals. Day 13 is releasing today through Breaking Glass Pictures and we will add the trailer and stream links after the review.
Day 13 feels something like a “made for TV” film but better. It is a modern reimagining of films like Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954) with perhaps a splash of Rosemary’s Baby (1968). Art—and especially film—is always reactive, constantly looking back on itself for inspiration; forming new narratives while mimicking past content, just with a more voguish looking glass. Day 13 is the sum of all that has come before and perhaps a little more.
We have our protagonist, Colton (Alex MacNicoll), who had to become the man of the house a little earlier than most due to an absent father. He seems not too fond of his mother’s dating habits and there’s definitely a bit of chest-beating going on in the household. When creepy new neighbours move into the old, spooky, ramshackle house across the road, we get introduced to our cute girl-next-door trope—Heather (Genevieve Hannelius).
The two obviously hit it off, as attractive young teens should, but we quickly get the idea that all is not as it seems with Heather’s “father” and family life. Colton is instantly suspicious and rightfully so—there are all kinds of culty vibes emanating from the neighbour’s abode. While Colton attempts to balance his crush, his social life, and caring for his little sis, the situation worsens as his investigations, recordings, and observations reveal some shady secrets about the house and its occupants.
The film, thankfully, never stays just one thing and the latter half really packs in all the satanic action you can imagine. It is atmospheric, tense, and really quite riveting. I like that the film flip-flops through various sub-genres and tries to be dynamic. It is this ability to adapt and alter itself that makes Day 13 so much fun to watch. You know what you’re getting but it is still fresh, and that is what most of us crave—a familiar favourite in a fresh setting. I mean, I’d give my left testicle if I could get a sci-fi horror as good as and in the vein of Alien or The Thing.
Day 13 boasts a bold, loud and ballsy score that is prelevant throughout the film’s runtime but far more noticeable the nearer we are to the creepy house. I enjoy atmospheric audio and this one was a definite winner. It’s not just a creepy score, but a playful one too…mysterious in the library scene and foreboding when it needs to be.
The other technical aspects are acceptable but not really noteworthy. The cinematography is your standard fare without too much pomp and circumstance…There’s no singular helicopter shot continuous chase scene to blow you away because it isn’t called for. There’s a bunch of found footage-esque shots due to Colton trying to record everything house related but it is definitely not a found footage film. The editing is good and the runtime your usual hour and a half. There were some scenes that were too dark for my liking, which is a personal pet peeve, but they were few and far between.
The film ends with a dramatic (albeit a little predictable) twist that connects all the pieces and ties it all nicely together. The CGI could have been a bit better but I was happy overall and definitely entertained. Day 13 isn’t exactly film I’d personally pick for an older audience. It is a love story in a satanic robe, a fiery teenage romance which was ignited by brimstone, a match made in heaven but dragged to hell…you get the picture. Great for a Friday night cuddle on the couch. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Trailer and poster below.
You can stream/watch/order the film HERE once it goes live.
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