13 Cameras (2016)

Unrated
Horror / Thriller
Try pairing with:  Salmon w/ Dill Cream

Jen’s Rating:  B

We are home renters so I had put off watching 13 Cameras for as long as I possibly could. Plus, I wasn’t familiar with any of the actors in this creepy drama. The first 10 minutes of the movie is loaded with creepiness yet a bit confusing.  Neville Archambault plays the disgusting, socially awkward landlord Gerald who sets up video cameras in the home he intends to rent out. Ryan and Claire, played by PJ McCabe and Brianne Moncrief rent what seems like the perfect home for newlyweds with a baby on the way.  The basement was the only part of the home that was off limits. It’s for landlord use only.

Throughout the first half of the movie there is a sense of disconnect between both Ryan and Claire. Hannah, played by Sarah Baldwin is Ryan’s mistress and assistant who disappeared suddenly after Ryan is forced by a friend to end their affair. As much as Claire unpacked and decorated their new home she spent the entire movie unsettled which was an accurate feeling when your unmentionables constantly go missing. Ryan shrugs it off with the misconception of Hannah attempting to expose his infidelity. While all of life’s mishaps hinder the couple, Gerald continues to add more cameras to the home so he can watch them as if it was a blockbuster hit.

When Hannah’s location is finally revealed, the couple along with Hannah, flee for their lives only to make the classic moves of any drama by locking themselves in a room. The most disturbing part of 13 Cameras was the last 2 minutes, which took the movie grade from a C to B. The actors were definitely not top notch, however Neville Archambault definitely would be able to terrify me.

Jeremy’s Rating:  B+

After looking at this movie several times in our queue, we finally found time to watch it and boy was I surprised, as from what I could tell, it received mixed reviews and no one was particularly impressed with it.  I have to disagree with all of that because I loved this film.  Director Victor Zarcoff does a fantastic job of making you feel unease throughout this entire experience.  While this film is not blatantly scary, the concept is horrifying and the dread that you feel as events begin to transpire is palpable.  It does fall into some of the tropes of horror, but that’s to be expected with almost anything in the genre.

The basic premise is that a young couple has been searching for a new home to move into after just getting married and finding out that they are pregnant and are expecting their first child.  The find the perfect home in a nice ranch-style suburban neighborhood that is owned by Gerald (Neville Archambault), a disgusting disheveled man who does not speak much and has several gross tendencies that the future tenants pick up on fairly quickly, but decide to ignore due to the beauty and low cost of the property.  The husband is also screwing around behind his new wife’s back with his secretary and sets a very disturbing undertone beyond the interactions of the gross property owner and the couple.

As time passes, they come to find a door in the hallway that will not open.  They are then informed by Gerald that it is the “owners closet”, which is something I had never heard of before, but I assume is a normal thing and would normally consist of utility access and other maintenance-oriented stuff.  But the closet here is anything but!  As their lives unravel, strange things begin to happen around the home, and when someone turns up missing, all hell breaks loose.

This would have been a C at best for me based on its basic premise and textbook horror tropes, but Neville Archambault is amazing.  He captures the role like many fail to do in this sort of film, and his effort does more than enough to disgust you and make you afraid of him at the same time.  You don’t want to route for him because of who he is, but when the final outcome of the film reveals itself, you can’t help but to be excited in a very, very creepy way.  He is the antithesis of everything people look for in a hero and he plays it flawlessly.  His acting alone garnered this much higher score, and I think that for any fan of thrillers or psychological horror, 13 Cameras is a must; a B+ through and through.

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