The world is beautiful. The weather is nice. You have some spare time. You keep watching Japanese men transforming themselves into gory cyborgs.
Yes, that’s me. And I’m preparing my conference paper on Tetsuo. Academia at its best.
As a lover of the grotesque, I had to spot this irony. The sun is shining through my windows, and here I am, shutting them.
Notice how horrors are always advertised before Halloween. It’s like you only watch horror movies that very night. Maybe an average person does it this way, treating it like I treat dressing Christmas trees. You don’t dress one in July, that would be crazy!
With horrors, fall and winter seem like the best seasons to watch them. Cold weather, gray faces, early darkness…
No! While the overall mood outside may discourage you from scary movies at first, when a film is captivating enough, you will watch it. It doesn’t matter what happens outside your horror zone, it will be only you and your screen, you and your book.
Or you can go out sometimes, as you can witness by a few photos I made two days ago. I’m an amateur photographer, but I will post some from time to time. They feel more personal than stock photos. And I have fun inventing captions underneath.
I hope you are spending your summer doing what you like, however seasonal it is. :)
You are desperate. You need money. Then you receive a phone call: “Do 13 things we tell you to do and you will get the money.” Do you agree?
This simple premise is extremely effective. The posters of “13 Beloved” (also known as “13: Game of Death”)(original title being “13 game sayawng”) suggest a slasher movie. The film is indeed gross and gory, but it also tries to expose the fragility of human morality. What are you willing to do for money? Is there anything that would stop you?
It truly deserves the R rating. And I strongly advise you not to eat anything while watching it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The main hero loses his job and his car. His girlfriend dumped him and he is in serious debt. He fails in every area of life that an adult man is supposed to succeed in. And then he answers the phone and gets the offer from “the game show.”
There is a fly buzzing around you. Kill it.
He does it. That’s the first task. And immediately 10,000 baht (about 300 dollars) appear on his bank account. The amount of money will grow with each completed challenge. But here’s the catch: he will lose everything he earned so far if he stops. He also cannot tell anyone about the game. The total prize is 100 million baht.
The second task? It’s great you killed the fly. Now swallow it.
If these are the first two, you may ask: what comes next?
“13 Beloved” is a gripping spectacle of violence, dark humor, and disgust. It does not leave you indifferent. And the fact that it is a movie from Thailand does not change the way I perceive it. The story is absolutely universal. It is both modern and timeless. On the one hand, we have cell-phones and the Internet as crucial parts of the plot. On the other hand, the protagonist yearns for splendid goods and financial security, which people have always longed for.
The main character is played by Krissada Sukosol (aka Krissada Terrence) and his performance is excellent. It is interesting that the actor was a member of the pop band before and sang sweet ballads. He believably portrays his character’s transformation from a shy and average guy at the beginning into a blood-thirsty lunatic at the end.
What seemed to bother many people who watched “13 Beloved” were comic episodes intermingled with serious ones. Some even saw the whole movie as a parody. I think that the whole movie is constructed as a dangerous and exciting game with set rules. Like a TV show or, more appropriately, an Internet show. Comedy is a part of this aesthetic. The neon sign at the beginning says: have some fun. And this neon sign is written in English. It could represent the whole Western pop culture that the movie successfully mocks, at the same time resembling it. My favorite comic character is a madman with an unconventional fashion sense.
I think that David Fincher is a director who could successfully remake this movie, as its tone fits his style. Unfortunately, the remake is being made as “13 Sins” (yuck! Did they even watch the original?). It is directed by Daniel Stamm (the man behind “The Last Exorcism”) and looks like a cheap and dull straight-to-video (even if it gets released in cinemas) kind of movie which even my hero, Ron Perlman, cannot save. It makes me sad to see such potential wasted. But on the other hand, this Thai movie does not need a remake to stay remembered by its fans.
The ending can be interpreted in many ways. Some viewers felt confused by it. For me the more grotesque, the better, so I enjoyed it even more. I see it as partly accusing the viewer of the game. Thus accusing me and you, the audience. Do we enjoy watching people suffer for our entertainment? Maybe we are as guilty as the person who would agree on the deal of 13 tasks.