13 Seconds (2003)


Written & Directed by: Jeff Thomas


Jeff Thomas .... Davis
April Cole .... Kara
Robert Miller .... Sidetrack
Daniel Rain .... Gage
Kevin Kuras .... Mac
Robert Yensch .... Colin
Sarah Corbin .... Talia
Daniel Rowe .... Adramalech

Release Dates: NY Independent International Film Festival: July 22, 2003; UK Fantastic Festival of Film: August 29, 2003; Calgary International Horror Film Festival; Bare Bones International Film Festival: April 19, 2004; Detroit International Horror Film Festival: 2004




A group of musicians try to film a music video in a closed down building that is apparently haunted. A troubled man named Davis (Jeff Thomas) person continues to have nightmares of his phone unplugged as it rings and his door knocking and then some evil force killing him then wakes up. People see gruesome artwork of themselves which leeds to their deaths. While the rest try to escape in their vehicles their car motors are gone and none of the phones work forcing them to stay in the building. They find out about the place and the haunting murders as it is happening to them the exact same way. All of them use a Ouija board to summon someone up and find a way to survive but the news is not too good. Plus, one of crew members behaves violently evil. All of them go to the basement as someone evil there is lurking. Davis is confronted by someone named Adramalech (Daniel Rowe) who has a dark secret to tell him.


The film shows nice start off's with the lead character Davis suddenly finding himself in strange and gruesome situations like in a room full of blood with bloody letters scrawled on the wall and then him waking up as it leaves a good mystery to the plot along with strange ghoulish type of creatures being exposed in this dream sequence.
There's also a situation when one of the character's named Kara who is in a dark type of library as this was supposed to look spooky as well as someone else catching her by surprise in which this moment was supposed to make you jump. However both of these tasks fail big time.
There's many moments with the tech guy Sidetrack munching on some broken out tooth like he's sucking on some candy which seemed pretty odd and mysterious as you wonder why he's doing this.
Nice close up shots on Davis and Gage in a corner having a discussion and then getting ready to shoot up heroin but yet their discussions don't look convincing that they're junkies about to get their fix. However there's perfect close up shots on them sticking a needle in their arms. There's nice emotional situations on them when they discuss something serious which makes up for the cheesy moments here.
We also spot good dark hallways that some of the character's walk past and in the distance the ghoulish creatures spying on them as this looked very well done.
A nice shocking moment with someone lying in bed and something gruesome and terrifying happens to him which should please most fans who love their horror violence as well as the intensity surrounding this matter here.
There's also another situation when we spot a monstrous looking hand from underneath a bed which seemed to be well put into the story since we all had those childhood fears on something lurking underneath our beds at night time in which there's great close up shots on this hand reaching out and grabbing someone by the crotch but yet it seems to stall a bit when this thing tries to carry it's victim underneath the bed which seems to spoil the fast action paced fear here. The killing with this victim looked very familiar to the head sheriff battling Jason in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. It works well regardless for a horror flick.
Perfect oudoor night shots on the survivors outside when they try to escape and one of them spots a ghoulish creature staring at him from a top window of the home as this adds perfect horror flavor here along with a shot on the moon too. Things looked pretty good and suspenseful with the discussions on discovering that their car engines were taken in which this often works in a horror flick on the survivors trying to escape. Good pointer here.
There's many nice shots looking down on some of them using a ouija board to try to make contact on their chance of survival but yet there's no inspiration on their communiacation while doing all of this which needed to look more convincing than what we spot on the screen.
A nice moment here with Davis getting aggressive towards Sidetrack and then them quarrelling at one another as you wonder if they will brawl it out that it looked pretty intense and convincing here. However when there are struggling moments it looked a bit wooden and a little amateurish.
There's a perfect creepiness when everyone finds a way to a door leading in a cellar which is always exciting to wonder as to what is down there making it seem mysterious as we all have a bad feeling that it isn't pleasant to whatever is lurking down there. Plus we even spot a big hole on the side of the wall with Davis approaching along with spotting some cannibalistic shocking moments as well as bloodied body bags too. This all looked well shot here.
The best moment in this flick is when we spot Davis running outside in a wooded area with mist floating around him as well as a ghoulish figure standing and spreading out his arms showing a nice demonic type of look to all of this. Plus a nice attack by Sidetrack leaping down with his possessed eyes and fangs revealed. This time it looked genuinely frightening with the effects used on his features here.
There's a perfect confrontation with a creepy man named Adramalech telling him about what is going to happen to him as there's great shots on all of this as well as making these scene's looked good and serious as well as having everything seem pretty dark here. There's great close up shots on him being dragged which looked powerful and suspensefully done.
Bottom line is that the story in this is quite a tricky plot. Very much like a Hellraiser type film but very Z grade independent. Neat effects however. The story needed a bit of improvement in certain spots but yet I dug it and it was pretty clever too for how this was all shot and done. A good pat on the back with these people.

The acting is pretty bad for the most part as some of the performances were pretty forgettable but let's try to dig through some of the people worth mentioning here. Ah yes our lead actor Jeff Thomas (Davis) seemed very stiff at first within his performance as he was rough with acting tense or shocked when he needed to be this way or whenever he was stressing something seemed to just be a line reader and not getting into character at all. However he picks up the pace a quarter way through when he shows some good raging aggressions and really knew on how to come accross as someone with an intense anger too. He showed great struggling energy in alot of the terrors that surrounded him too. So he was half good in his performance.
April Cole (Kara) seriously didn't seem to study her role well at all as if it was just a gig to get it over with showing very little effort on what she did here. Whenever she showed her frightened attitude or reactions it looked very lacking and was just saying her lines. Plus she didn't know on how to act emotional whnever she had to do this. Yet she was pretty good by showing her fearful or upsetting expressions but needed acting lessons big time.
Robert Miller (Sidetrack) was probably the best out of the whole cast here in which he does well with his bluntless along with acting obnoxious coming across by portarying a convincing asshole in the flick with a no bullshit type of attitude. He seemed to know on how to portray a character here. Yet he is a bit off with his blocking like his fighting choreography by throwing a punch or strangling someone in which this needed to look a bit more energetic and intense too. There's also a moment when he is crying or pleading while being tied up as this comes off as too over the top. There;s a moment when he acts monstrous by leaping on someone as this shows some good enthusiasm.
Daniel Rain (Gage) had the right looks for his role but was pretty stiff throughout most of his performance here yet he seems to show a good emotional attitude when he stresses a situation in which he shows some nice energy while doing all of this. So he seems to show the odd good characteristics here which is a good thing.
Kevin Kuras (Mac) was very stiff with his character as he doesn't seem to really get into what he's doing. Incredibly wooden in his performance but yet has a stillness to his speaking and at times comes across as mysterious which he has some good pointers there. He had the right looks for this type of role which was another good pointer here.
Daniel Rowe (Adramalech) had a really effective supporting role even if he wasn't exposed till quarter way through the story in which he had a perfect deepness to his speaking coming across as someone spooky like. Plus he had the perfect masculine look and appeal to him in which looked perfect to watch on the screen here. He was a good serious character actor.

A person is bloodied and snapped in two by a creature under a bed.
A hand goes through someones chest.
A guy's hands are hammered to a wall and his stomach is cut open.
There is a gruseome looking demon.
There is a corpse being butchered with their teeth being pulled out as well.
A room with bloodied corpses in bags as well as guts revealed.
Someones stomach is skinned off. A corpse is chopped up.

The music was composed by B.D. Daknit Blake, Russ Hayes, Dan Kuras, Michael Poland and Jay Sunde. Most of the music is piano playing which is nothing interesting but there are some interesting synthesizer music too by having the light sounds like being in outerspace as well as some bonging and gloomy low moments in the dark creepy situations. Plus there's the odd heartbeats too which adds some nice flavor.

Adramalech: Blasphemy is just so damned convenient.