13Hrs is a 2010 British supernatural horror film directed by Jonathan Glendening. It stars Isabella Calthorpe, Gemma Atkinson, Gabriel Thomson, Antony De Liseo and Tom Felton.
Also known as Night Wolf, 13Hrs comes in a long line of British-made horror films in the last five years which are heavy on marketing and scant on plot, acting and quality of any discernible kind. On the plus side, director Glendening spends an appropriate amount of the budget on the stalking beast which terrorises the cast who are holed up in the large family house, seemingly just to argue with each other and get drunk.
The dynamics see Sarah (Calthorpe) returning from LA to leafy England and reuniting with her brothers Stephen (Peter Gadiot), his girlfriend Emily (Atkinson), Charlie (Thomson) Luke (De Liseo) and enough hangers-on to allow for a reasonable amount of kills. After rooting around for booze and cigs they soon find a bloodied body and realise that something else lurks within the house.
Having assembled one of the most dislikeable casts in film history, it’s only fair we investigate further. Atkinson, ex of TV soap Hollyoaks and photo-shopped lad’s mag layouts, simply can’t act, which is a massive shame as technically that’s her job. Many of her scenes are cringeworthy, though, in fairness, she’s not alone. Thomson arrives after the mind-melting success of BBC ‘comedy’ My Family, and Felton from something called Harry Potter, which I will check on the internet for later.
It’s a great shame that the film features the last film performance by Simon MacCorkindale (Manimal and Quatermass TV series and husband of Susan George) as he deserved a far better send-off. Perhaps remarkably, the best performance comes from Calthorpe, or to give her her full title Isabella Amaryllis Charlotte Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe (no, honestly!). Tatler-botherer and socialite Calthorpe, who had enough options to turn down Prince William’s advances and is now betrothed to billionaire Richard Branson’s son, pitches in with a perfectly acceptable turn as the last girl standing and is leagues ahead of most of her co-stars.
The beast itself is mostly only glimpsed at but is well-designed if unrevelatory. The film also benefits from several very distinct POV shots of the besieged teens peeking through floorboards and around corners which certainly ramps up the tension, even if the pay-off is never satisfactory.
To compare the film to Neil Marshall’s masterful Dog Soldiers is laughable, a far nearer comparison would be to Glendening’s own Strippers Vs Werewolves, though 13Hrs is at least a step up from that debacle. Aside from the majority of the acting, the real shame is that with a reasonable monster, Glendening had so little faith in his storytelling abilities that he felt the need to crush any promise with such a lousy cast. At least with the title, he accurately pinpoints how long the film feels.
Daz Lawrence, MOV!ES and MAN!A
” … conceals a what-just-happened puzzle within a moderately effective tale of a mixed-up modern family menaced in a decaying mansion by a wolf woman.” Kim Newman, Nightmare Movies