Elliot Brindle (Mark Webber) who juggles his life as he is about to marry his pregnant girlfriend Shelby (Rutina Wesley) something which would not go down with his racist father (Tom Bower) which is why he wants to keep his father in a home away from the life he has. On top of that Elliot has been paying for home care for his autistic brother Michael (Devon Graye) which he leaves him reliant on his job as a salesman. That means that when out of the blue he loses his job the proverbial shit hits the fan for Elliot as financial ruin comes hurtling towards him. It is then he receives a mystery phone call which says he has been entered into a competition and for completing a series of tasks he will win money. Task 1 is to kill a fly and after doing so he receives $1,000 in to his bank account but with each task he competes he finds himself drawn in to a series of more extreme challenges.
Horror or black comedy with a message; I am trying to decide which "13 Sins" sits in. The reason why I am unsure is that we have this not too unfamiliar set up of a desperate individual drawn into a series of challenges posed to them by an anonymous voice on the end of the phone as there is huge financial gain to be had from completing these challenges. But it is the nature of these challenges which end up drawing you in as they go from an initial fly splattering to a taking a stiff for a coffee at a diner which whilst unrealistic end up being strangely fun, even humorous such as one challenge which involves trading an ostrich for clothes. But trust me as the movie progresses the fun nature of these ends up becoming darker and more graphic to the point of disturbing.
The thing is that whilst we have all this going on we also have a detective, played by Ron Perlman, who finds himself trying to make sense of all these reports of strange crimes which put him on the trail of Elliot. And as such from the detective point of view and the escalating violent nature of the challenges we learn that there is a point to all this as Elliot eventually finds his moral compass challenged by what he has been doing. Unfortunately it isn't enough for me to make this a movie driven by mystery or story and really just another movie driven by the nature of the challenges and what Elliot does.
What this all boils down to is that "13 Sins" is certainly entertaining but more due to the visual nature of the challenges and both their dark and comical nature. Unfortunately the actual story and the mystery isn't enough to drive this and make it more than just a movie of graphic scenes.