02 November 2015

13 HOURS IN A WAREHOUSE/2008

There are a lot of favorable reviews of this film online really. Most of the praise is that first time director Dav Kaufman took "risks" with his film an did not rely on splatter and gore to achieve his storytelling goals. That was his first mistake. Some people even liked his attempts at Tarantinoesque scenes involving rambling dialogs. That was certainly number two and the list just gets longer. I did not like the film too much though I cannot say avoid if you are a fan of the genre, and that genre being specifically bad horror films. If you enjoy hating a film I can recommend it. The film starts off just too much like Reservoir Dogs to be ignored. A wrong chord was struck in me during the opening scene when the camera "artistically" goes ‘round and ‘round and ‘round in circles around a gang of small time crooks about to pull off the heist of a lifetime. This is an effect that seldom works but seems to happen all the time in newer films. The last time I remember thinking it was pulled of successfully was in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters during the tense lunch scene and that lasted a quarter of the time this one did. It is okay to know your limitations as a creator and work from inside those boundaries. Like Reservoir Dogs the actual heist sequence is omitted and we skip from the spinning vortex crime plan scene to the gang arriving at the warehouse where they will hang out and wait for the buyer to show up the next morning.


They have taken a hostage though it is never explained why or what went wrong at the heist. They tie her up with some sort of gag device and lock her in what looks like a boiler room where she is soon visited by a flickering ghost that skips and jumps around the scene like the ghost in The Ring, only more so. While all this is going on the hold up guys sit around and try to do some Tarantino small talk as the camera again circles them. In one horrid sequence they go on and on and on about why Robin Williams is or is not a great actor. It is utter crap, I am sorry. Even Tarantino has a hard time doing Tarantino these days and Dav Kaufman’s dialogs are hardly even homages. It just does not work. The actors for a low budget film like this are not bad but they cannot pull off scenes like this and even if they could the script writing is simply weak.


When the killings at the hands the revenge seeking ghosts begin they are lacking for the most part. The three ghosts are the angry spirits of women who were killed in snuff films by the father of two of the gang members. Mysterious numbers begin appearing on the walls and sides of cars and it is discovered later this is a clue being left by the pissed off ghosts. A room is found as well with five toy sized chairs and five little hangman’s nooses that a rat occupies each time a crook is killed off. This makes little sense really but it freaks the guys out and causes them to distrust each other more than they already should since there are double cross plans afoot. The actors, like I said, are not bad low budget b-movie actors, but there is simply too many scenes requiring them to talk and emote. And in a film like this you need good death scenes. Not necessarily gross out death scenes, but shocking and surprising ones for certain.



The only memorable death scene is when some guy has his nuts ripped off while he is on the toilet from a ghost that winds crawling out of it. What is it with emasculations in horror films lately? The scene is simply corny as far as I am concerned. Really, the ghosts are not bad, but i just got annoyed a little after a while. They flicker like a broken television just too much and one keeps chumping furiously on a horse’s bit and it reminded me of the Cynobite in Hellraiser who was always gnashing his teeth. There is a fat with a plastic bag on her head and for some reason she is not scary at all. Fat ghosts seldom are. All the action takes place in the warehouse and all the tricks are soon exhausted. There was not enough violence really to make the watching worthwhile for me. A couple deaths even occur outside the camera view and we are simply treated to blood splattering on the walls. I got real tired of the stupid attempts at funny dialogs about life's little things like masturbation and Robin Williams. No genuine suspense was ever developed and scenes were blatantly lifted from Reservoir Dogs, The Ring, 8mm, Silence of the Lambs and who knows what else. Sure, there is nothing new under the sun but I hardly see the film taking any risks as was perceived by a couple reviewers.



I just want you to know that if you read some raving reviews online that seem to being saying this is an abrove average low budget horror film then I am telling you go in at your own risk. Maybe you will be one of the ones who in fact liked it and that is great. I will be happy for you. I just felt there could have been more ghosts and blood and less attempts at “cool” crosstalk and flashy camera work that does not work. However, on a positive note, I did like the DVD cover art. That seems to be the thing these days, great Photoshopped covers and posters but weak films. I have to admit I bought the DVD solely based on the impact of the cover art. It really got my hopes way up. When will I ever learn.

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