BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003581Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
13 (Tzameti)
DVD disk
Mar 20, 2007 By: Quigles
13 (Tzameti) order
Director:
Gla Babluani

Actors:
George Babluani
Pascal Bongard
Aurlien Recoing

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The less I say about the film, the more you'll get out of it. So read ahead at your own discretion...

A young man named Sebastien follows the instructions of an envelope intended for another man, as he believes it will lead him to a large sum of money (which he wants for his family). Where he's led is a place of darkness and despair, where people gamble on the lives of others, and only the last man alive will stand victorious.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
When getting very nervous or scared, there's this sinking feeling you get in your gut. You're put entirely on edge - hands clenched, eyes fixated, heartbeat pulsing in your ears... It's a feeling some of us know all too well, but it's one not often delivered through film. Sure, there are movies that can put you on the edge of your seat or make you start to sweat, but it's very rare to find one that can get you so wound up you actually need to stop the film just so you can catch your breath. 13 TZAMETI is one of those rare films. It takes a harsh dose of pure, reality-laced intensity, and then injects it into your entire body. It's an experience I won't soon forget. At least not until my fully-gnawed nails grow back.

During the first 40 minutes of this movie, I still wasn't sure what the hell was going on. Then again, neither did the film's lead character. As he finds things out, you find them out right alongside him. The movie invites you along on his journey, as his desperation to get his family money leads him to unknowingly chance his life in a game of luck. What unfolds is a horror that's all too real (think HOSTEL, except less glorified - or is that gore-ified?). The movie doesn't play things up like your standard Hollywood genre pic. There's no slow-motion gunfire or excessive splatters of blood - they'll save that stuff for the American remake. What we get here is good old-fashioned Hitchcockian tension, complete with intriguing set-up and devastating sequences that prove less can actually mean more in the horror genre.

One problem people may have with the film is that there really isn't much storyline. Once you're aware of the central "mystery" plot of the film (nice f*cking work, U.S. trailer!), you've sort of been stripped from the whole "going along for the ride" experience. Because when it comes down to it, you do know what's going on, and all you're really doing is waiting for it to happen (possibly leaving you bored during the movie's early scenes). That said, the movie's later scenes will still have your eyes popping out of their sockets with furious anticipation and desolation. That's something not even the U.S. trailer can strip from you.
THE EXTRAS
13 TZAMETI isn't loaded with extras, but what is here is terrific. Quality over quantity.

Deleted Scenes (10:54): There are 6 scenes, all of which were cut for good reason. Part of what makes the movie so great is how mysterious it is, and these cut segments tend to reveal more than necessary. Also, the extra bits from the "game" cut down on some of the intensity.

Testimony of a Survivor (12:22): A fascinating insight into the mind of a surviving player from the game. It makes the movie all the more real and horrifying (if it is in fact real - it's all debatable).

Cast & Crew Interviews (36:00): There are three interviews. The first with Georges Babluani (the film's lead), the second with Aurlien Recoing (one of the game's players), and Gla Babluani (the writer/director). All are insightful and interesting to watch.

Sunday's Game (9:36): A very worthwhile short film that carries over similar themes and ideas from 13 TZAMETI. It's about five elderly women on a Sunday afternoon, and the "game" in which they partake.

Also included are the film's U.S. and French Trailers.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you like foreign films such as CACHE and FUNNY GAMES, or classics by Alfred Hitchcock, then 13 TZAMETI should be right up your alley. It's an intense, edge-of-your-seat nail-biter that treats its subject with a dire sense of reality. It may take some people awhile to get "into" the film, but rest assured, the overall experience is one of devastating power. I don't see myself wanting to watch this one over and over again, but as a one-time viewing it's a must-see.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!