Director: Chookiat Sakveerakul
Stars: Krissada Sukosol, Achita Sikamana
I’ll stick to Monopoly
It’s difficult to define 13 Game of Death into a particular genre because it’s got a bit of everything in it. The cover art would suggest straight up horror, as would the title and the idea sounded pretty horrific to me too, as well as intriguing so I decided to buy it. However, even though if I had to pick a genre I would call it horror due to its sometimes violent nature and the creepy mystery of the man on the phone, but it also offers you so much more than that. It has the thrills of a thriller and is also quite often really funny, which I didn’t expect.
We all know the idea, so I’m not going to bore you with it again, I’m just going to say that I actually really really enjoyed it! 13 Game of Death does well with building up verstehen for the main character. You really do feel for him when you see him in the opening having a really terrible day and he doesn’t deserve it either because he seems like a well-meaning chap. I also liked how it didn’t take too long for the phone to ring, because that’s why were all here isn’t it? To see these challenges? They do start off incredibly easy but it doesn’t take long for them to escalate and from then on it’s a downward spiral full of provocative moral questions, making you think what would I do for 100 million? The screenplay really captures Puchit’s desperation of the money, he almost becomes a different character by the end of it and it’s a really fascinating journey, only aided by the wonderful flashbacks charting his early childhood which Freud would heavily appreciate!
Some of the challenges themselves are actually really clever, leaving you to wonder what the challenge actually is. Also, because of the constant flow of tasks I was compelled throughout the film’s almost two hour running time! 13 Game of Death had me gripped, I wanted to see how far it would go and more importantly how far Puchit would go! It all builds up to a finale which could’ve been grander (I’ll get to that in a minute) but nevertheless compelling. The (sometimes heavy) dashes of humour were also refreshing, some parts were hilarious and had me cackling away like the old witch (or wizard) that I am!
The direction is actually better than the trailer would suggest. When I watched the trailer for the first time (which I do not recommend doing as it spoils some of the challenges which is half the fun of the film, I had to stop the trailer mid-way and just buy it. You do the same, it’s cheap on Amazon!) it had a sort of indie-made-for-TV look, but it actually looks very professional and some parts are extremely well executed. Now about that ending. It’s not as crazily bad as everyone was saying (I was expecting something really off the wall) and it certainly doesn’t spoil the overall effect of the film. It just could’ve done with a better explanation in regards to the idea of the film, however the ending in terms of the main character I thought was perfect.
I suppose the end sort of leaves you in the dark as it tries to convey the same sort of message as Hidden did. That everyone has secrets and can be watched. Perhaps it doesn’t have to be taken as literally and the whole idea of the film is a metaphor which I shall not spoil for you. 13 Game of Death is definitely worth seeing. It’s incredibly thrilling and funny, as well as throwing up (no pun intended) some thought-provoking dilemmas. I was never bored for a second of its running time. Perhaps the only trouble is that it has a limited re-playable factor as half the fun and thrill is seeing the twists and challenges for the first time. However, the characterisation and execution is so brilliant that it could be played numerous times. I heavily liked it. You might do too?