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13Hrs (2010)

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Plot Summary:
"Sarah Tyler returns to her troubled family home in the isolated countryside, for a much put-off visit. As a storm rages outside, Sarah, her family and friends shore up for the night, cut off from the outside world. But something comes out of the driving rain and darkness. Something that holds a dark secret so devastating that, in one night, it could wipe out the entire family."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 20 July 2010 My Rating: out of 5


This British werewolf movie from the producers of Dog Soldiers is set to premiere at FRIGHTFEST on the 28th of August, before receiving a limited UK cinema release on September 3rd with a DVD release following on October 25th.


When Sarah Tyler (Isabella Calthorpe) returns from America to visit her family in their sprawling mansion in the middle of the English countryside, things are not good. Her stepfather fears her mother is having an affair, the house is in disrepair and the bills are piling up. To top it all off, her stepbrother Stephen isnít happy to see her and things are strained between Sarah and her former best friend Emily (Gemma Atkinson), who is now dating Sarahís ex, Doug. With the frosty reception out of the way, the siblings and their friends including Gary (Tom Felton), leave the safety of their makeshift den in the garage and head to the main house for some beer and other supplies, only to find a wild animal is loose in the house. With their father torn to shreds, the group has to try and put their differences aside and survive 13 hours in the secluded house, but if the beast doesnít get to them their tempers will.

Yes thatís right. Itís one of those Ďpeople with history trapped in a confined spaceí movies, but whilst the whole affair is relatively straightforward, it is immediately clear that director Jonathan Glendening knows what heís doing. Visually, the film looks good and sports some interesting angles and most importantly, he knows how to handle his monster. We only see the antagonist of the piece a few times and it wisely sticks to the shadows.

The relatively young cast do good jobs and Iím sure weíll be seeing them a lot more in years to come. I didnít think Tom Felton would be the star (despite appearing on the poster with third billing) and I was right. He probably has around 20 minutes of screen time in total (25 at a push), so Harry Potter fans might be slightly disappointed. It was still good to see him do something different however and he was good at it. On a similar note, Gemma Atkinson did really well here and had a most impressive death, but I fear she may forever be typecast as the Ďtart with a heartí thanks to her role in Hollyoaks and her photo shoots in various ladsí mags.

There is an attempt at mystery in the script, but I knew who the baddie was immediately, as the plot is a little bit by the numbers. Despite this, the film is still an enjoyable romp with a few gory moments that genre fans should enjoy.

If I had to make comparisons to give you an idea of how good the film is, 13HRS is better than Wild Country but not as good as the producers own Dog Soldiers. Itís a good effort and Iíd be interested to see more from the cast and crew. I sincerely hope that the film does well upon release as we need more home grown horror.

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