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.
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.
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 Aurélien Recoing (one of the game's players), and Géla 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.