13HRs (aka NIGHT WOLF)

3 out of 10

Release Date: 13th September 2010 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Jonathan Glendening (Strippers Vs. Werewolves / SNUB!)

Cast:  Isabella Calthorpe, Gemma Atkinson, Joshua Bowman, Tom Felton, Gabriel Thomson, Peter Gadiot, Antony DeLiseo, Sue Scadding, Cornelius Clarke with John Lynch and Simon MacCorkindale

Writer: Adam Phillips

Trailer: 13HRs

To be proofread: 13HRs (known as Night Wolf everywhere else in the world) is a solid if unremarkable, low budget horror flick about a werewolf.  Our heroine Sarah (ISABELLA CALTHORPE) returns for the USA to visit her family who live in a stately pile.  Step-father Duncan (SIMON MACCORKINDALE – JAWS 3) takes an early night and the proverbial early bath after a nice bit of expositional pre-amble.  Then we’re introduced to Sarah’s half brothers, two of their mates and her female best friend, Emily (GEMMA ATKINSON – HOLLYOAKS).  Once the writer and the actors have established what a gang boring and obnoxious hooray henry non-entities most of them are, the plot of having them whittled down in repetitive lupine / posh c*nt interfaces commences.

13HRs is competent and the makers are definitely aware of its limits as a piece of entertainment. Wisely the werewolf is kept in the shadows or we view several of the prowler and slayer shots from the beast’s POV view red sunglasses.  The slayings are oddly stunted, so the gore is surprisingly reluctant to splatter around all that much.  Having said that, I think this is because they spend the majority of the budget on a splendidly rendered early victim’s corpse.  Pity poor old John Lynch (THE HOT POTATO) and Tom Felton (ANNA AND THE KING) who get to say “Whoargh, what’s that?” before getting splatted and a two second shot of their demise through said groovy ski glasses.   Tom Felton puts in a bizarrely energetic performance given his usual balsa wood specials in Harry Potter and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.  So it was a vague shame when his character met an early end. Out of the leads, only Calthorpe and Atkinson (the girls) put in good performances. The remaining four boys are stiffs and are about as useless in a crisis as a dead Bruce Willis.  A telling scene shows three of the boys cowering behind a wall whilst Calthorpe bravely tries to look inside an abandoned police car.  These men characters are dreadful and cardboard.  The non-role of big bad brother has fallen to the worst actor in the film , who is Peter Gadiot? Take a bow wherever you are you ham!  He plays a rancid character with misdirected vim and his method is ripe.  He submits a terrible performance that hampers a lot of the good folk done by the two feisty female leads.

The dialogue is hard to comment on, as there’s not an awful lot of it for the majority of the running time, as it’s made up of “run” and “arghhh!”  There are some stinkers though e.g.; “I’ll be back for you!” “Does that come with a guarantee?” “I come with a lifetime guarantee!” Bleurgh. The makers missed a trick by not having that dull hooray henry bitten in two by our hairy antagonist (the werewolf)!  There are no surprises. The only twist was given away by Joe Pesci II in the counter review below, and I must add that its not revealed until the end, so thanks Ewok Breath!  Not that 13HRs was any good. It wasn’t that bad though either. It was just predictable, boring (I fell asleep three times trying to watch it, and I took to sitting down to see it twice.

3 out of 10 – Confidently made, mixed acting abilities, nice cameos from Simon MacCorkindale, John Lynch and Tom Felton, nicely lensed but boring pacing and no tension whatsoever scupper this particular werewolf flick. It even employs the endurance of the curse twist which seems to be a jail-able offence if filmmakers miss it out. However, for the extremely undemanding viewer it’s not quite the ‘howler’ I was expecting. If you like wolves stick with The Grey!

See Joe Pesci’s review below!!! mu-hahahahaa!!

WHAT HAVE IS SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Gemma Atkinson: Night Of The Living 3D Dead, The Dyatlov Pass IncidentAirborne, How To Stop Being a Loser,  Baseline, Hollyoaks (TV)
  • Joshua Bowman: Level Up, So Undercover, Revenge (TV)
  • Tom Felton: Message From The King, Stratton, A United Kingdom, Against The Sun, In Secret, Belle,  Rise Of The Planet of The Apes, Get Him To The Greek, The Disappeared, Harry Potter – parts 1 to 8, Anna and The King, The Borrowers (1997)
  • Gabriel Thomson: My Family (TV), Enemy At The Gates
  • John Lynch: Detour, Scintilla, Private PeacefulThe Hot PotatoGhostedBlack DeathThe Tournament, Isolation, Sliding Doors, The Secret Of Roan Inish, The Secret Garden (1993), In The Name Of The Father, Angel Baby, The Tournament, Best, This Is The Sea, Some Mother’s Son, Moll Flanders (1996),  Nothing Personal, Princess Caraboo, Edward II, Hardware, Cal
  • Simon MacCorkindale: A Closed Book, Casualty (TV), Falcon Crest (TV), Manimal (TV), Jaws 3,  Quatermass (TV), Death On The Nile
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One thought on “13HRs (aka NIGHT WOLF)

  1. MAJOR SPOILER alerts (translating as reasons to SAVE you watching this yourself***)

    Review by the ever foraging undergrowth badger-beast Matt Usher aka Joe Pesci II

    13HRS

    I guess the title is a pointless abbreviation for ‘THIRTEEN HOURS’ but even using the longer version is pointless because that span of time has no relevance to the narrative: our heroes are indeed in for a long night of werewolf-avoidance but no-one knows how long it’s going to take so I suppose it’s an ironic title (in the true sense of the word irony) but I think the film would have done a lot better had it been called FUCK! MY MUM’S A WEREWOLF! (And I wouldn’t have to apologise for putting a spoiler into the first sentence of this review.) (Apologies also for how long that first sentence was.)

    Yes, dear reader, this is a film in which our protagonists are on the run from their mum, who turns out to be a bitch in a different way to the way in which they supposed. Oh, how they must have laughed when they realised!

    The cast of sacrificial victims this time round is made up of some hideously uncharismatic, stunningly vile posh kids, mostly poorly acted. Although set in Sussex (or Suffolk or Somerset) (definitely a county in the south starting with an S) there are a couple of token local yokels with northern accents, led by the voluminously bosomed Gemma Atkinson as the only one in any way vaguely likeable (this has nothing to do with the bosom).

    So a posh girl returns to the family pile months after jetting off to an unspecified job in America. Her stepdad’s a bit glum as he’s had a row with his wife who’s stormed out (is she having an affair, or is she going into hiding so that when she turns into a werewolf she doesn’t accidentally shred her loved ones to bits?). Meanwhile our heroine’s various siblings, half-siblings, friends and hangers-on are having a party in the barn.

    The one refreshing thing about the film is that pretty much everyone encounters the monster simultaneously. There’s none of that ‘shut up Jack you’re just trying to scare us’ nonsense. I also like that the film did not dwell on the blood, guts, gore and violence though I suspect this was for budgetary reasons, because they failed utterly to invest any suspense or scariness into proceedings as recompense. I also quite liked the subplot involving John Lynch and the policeman. Early on Lynch (who seems to be some sort of gamekeeper / pest controller / petty thief / ranger / dog warden / caretaker / militant cigarette user) is summoned by a policeman to investigate a disturbance to do with a big dog or something. We keep cutting back to them from time to time as they drive across what must be one of the biggest constabularies in Britain. The subplot only really serves to deliver a vital piece of evidence to our heroes. On reaching the house, they get killed almost immediately. I like to think that this was deliberate, with the film-makers thinking that we wouldn’t think they’d get rid of them so easily. But I also think they killed them off because they couldn’t think of anything better to do with them.

    Isabella Calthorpe is meant to be the focus of our sympathy in this one, and she certainly suffers for her art. And to be fair, she isn’t the worst of this sorry crop of hoorays (plus token northerners). (And she really is posh, I’ve just seen her full name.) But, my word, if they wanted to make this lot vile so that we would cheer their every death then the film-makers certainly succeeded. Some Harry Potter alumnus by the name of Tom Felton takes top billing for some reason (well, presumably because of his proximity to the popular boy wizard) but I fear his fans will be disappointed. (That’s code for: he gets killed early on.) Meanwhile, Simon MacCorkindale turns up in what was probably his last film, but is deprived a decent death scene. Peter Gadiot, who plays the posh brother (or whatever he is) is abysmal and is the latest candidate for my rarely awarded (largely because I’d forgotten all about it) Matthew Waterhouse Bad Acting Award.

    Do you know, there’s very little worth saying about this film. John Lynch treats his (as it turns out) tiny role like it’s Hamlet. Someone should give him a film with Colin Salmon where they both make it to the last reel (and are in it at the start as well). Most of the younger actors seem to be auditioning for HOLLYOAKS. Actually, they’ve probably been in it. Oh, actually one of them has, I’ve just remembered that’s why she’s sort of famous.

    Why was this made? That is the question. There are worse films in the world (like BASEMENT), but this film is both (a) utterly underwhelming in terms of plot, character and execution, and (b) utterly lacking in ideas and originality. It serves no purpose. Except perhaps to give director Jonathan Glendening time to practice working with werewolves so that he could work with them more successfully in his next outing STRIPPERS VS WEREWOLVES. Now, I liked that film (a fact which continues to surprise and worry me to this day), but its depiction of werewolves was rather cuddly. And the same is true here. Thankfully we see the werewolf only fleetingly as it’s impressively agile, and all the lights are out, and the editor is cutting as furiously as the beast itself.

    13 HRS (or THIRTEEN HOURS) fails on a lot of fronts. The first is that it just didn’t need to be made. There is nothing that I could find to set it apart from anything else. The script is dull. The acting is wooden. The effects are invisible. The atmosphere is bland. The reveal that I’ve already revealed comes across as laughable rather than tragic. I expect there are worse entries in the werewolf filmography, but surely there can be none so unremittingly bland, so superfluous, and so forgettable?

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