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Netflix Halloween Countdown: "13 Cameras"

Updated on October 15, 2017

Netflix Halloween Countdown

For the month of October, I will be doing a "Netflix Halloween Countdown". Over the course of this month, I will be reviewing everything that is spooky, scary, gory, chilling, horror-themed, and available on Netflix. With each review, I will include a table (at the very bottom of the article), where I will be ranking all of the Netflix horror themed movies (that I have watched so far) and will be listing them, in order, from best to worst. So if you are looking to get in the Halloween spirit, by watching some Halloween style movies, then these articles are for you!

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Synopsis

Claire (Brianne Moncrief) and Ryan (PJ McCabe) are married and expecting a baby, but their marriage is struggling. In the hopes of repairing their marriage, they decide to move and get a fresh start in a new home. That brings them to a nice home, but the landlord (Neville Archambault) leaves a lot to be desired. He drives a sketchy white van, hardly speaks, smells terrible, wears dirty clothes, and stares at Claire a little too awkwardly. Claire gets a very bad vibe from their interaction with Gerald, the landlord, but Ryan reassures her that everything is fine and that they will not have to deal with Gerald very often, aside from the occasional maintenance job.

Little do they realize, Gerald has bought about a dozen hidden security cameras and installed them throughout the house. He has them in their bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, pool, etc. As Ryan and Claire attempt to get a fresh start in their new home, they have no idea that Gerald is watching their every move and listening to their every word. To make things worse, Gerald has his own key to the home and is able to enter at anytime (without their knowledge). Ryan and Claire hope to rebuild their marriage, but Gerald clearly has another plan for the young couple.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

The Pros
The Cons
The Landlord (+8pts)
Focus (-10pts)
The Owner's Closet (+5pts)
Boring (-10pts)
The End (+4pts)
Ryan (-6pts)
All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then awarded for each Pro and taken away for each Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points ranging from 0-10 allowing me to convey to you how significant these Pros or Cons are.
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Pro: The Landlord (+8pts)

Neville Archambault was great in this film. This is a premise that I think will hit home for a lot of people. Have you ever thought your landlord was a bit creepy? Worried that your landlord may enter your apartment, or home, while you are out? Neville Archambault personifies the creepy landlord from your nightmares. The way this guy stares blankly, the way he carries himself, and the way he hardly ever says a word makes this character absolutely disturbing. This actor was able to personify creepiness to a fascinating degree. This movie has some major issues, but Neville Archambault was impressively perfect in this role. I think I was really only able to keep watching because of my intrigue over how creepy he was able to make this character.

I honestly still cannot get over it. This actor was able to do so much while saying so little. The look in his eyes, and the intensity in his facial expression will be the things you remember most about this film. This character felt so unpredictable, crazy, and creepy. Say what you will about the movie as a whole, but I think this actor deserves some real credit here. This film was bad, but Neville Archambault was able to keep my interest for the entirety of the film. A very captivating and creepy performance.

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Con: Focus (-10pts)

This film's major issue was it's focus. The film had the potential to be a game changer in the horror genre. With a very modern kind of psychological fear, the film had all the makings of an instant classic. That is, until the filmmakers decided to focus on the main character's marital issues. Claire (Brianne Moncrief) and Ryan (PJ McCabe) are married, expecting a baby, and moving into a new home. They just so happen to pick a home in which Gerald (Neville Archambault) is the landlord. This could have been an even creepier and even more psychologically terrifying film than it was, but the premise of the film got relatively little focus. Most of this film was spent watching Ryan and Claire living in their struggling marriage, which is something that no one wanted to see when choosing to watch this movie.

This film has a great premise, and a perfect actor playing the landlord, but the film forgot what it was. The filmmakers got so caught up in the marriage storyline, that they forgot what film they were making. This was a real shame, because I thought the premise for this film had a ton of potential, and I think there is a huge demographic for it, but (unfortunately) the filmmakers missed their mark.

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Pro: The Owner's Closet (+5pts)

When Gerald (the landlord) is showing Ryan and Claire around the home, they come across a door that Gerald refers to as the "owner's closet" and the group moves on from that spot without any further questions. Immediately, I knew that it would end up playing a significant role in the film. Then the movie does a fantastic job of teasing what is behind that door. We see Gerald going in and out with supplies, and we see Ryan trying to break into it, but the film does not reveal what the "owner's closet's" purpose actually is, until very late in the film.

I think most of the entertainment of this film comes from Gerald and the "owner's closet". I think the speculation (as to what is behind the door) will be similar with most audiences, but I think it will still end up being a satisfying discovery.

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Con: Boring (-10pts)

I kind of touched on this already, but this film focuses way too heavily on the health of Ryan and Claire's marriage. We see him working late, getting frustrated with Claire's behavior, snapping at her over meaningless tasks, etc. This is probably two thirds of the film. It is very boring and will leave most audiences begging for something exciting to happen or wondering why they decided to watch this film in the first place. I think the issue of focus and the issue of boredom are very closely related.

The filmmakers clearly had the premise of: creepy landlord spies on and terrorizes a couple who is in the middle of an already struggling marriage. For whatever reason, the filmmakers (of this horror-thriller) decided to focus heavily on the marriage and very little on the creepy landlord. Unfortunately, the marriage storyline did not have a significant enough foundation. This made the plot feel extremely stretched out and shallow. I could sit here and try to analyze why these character's marriage storyline was so boring, but I won't. Though you should know that this was a pretty boring film for most of it's duration.

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Pro: The End (+4pts)

As boring as this film was, it really picked up in the last twenty minutes (or so). This is when the landlord is very close to being discovered, so he becomes very desperate. I will not give any more of it away, but know that I thought this was a very satisfying ending. This is what the film should have been from the beginning. No nonsense; just bring on the creepy and bring on the intensity. The film struggled to find that for most of the film, but the last twenty minutes were absolutely gripping. It was the intensity that the viewers had been deprived of for too long in this film. 13 Cameras was mostly a disappointment, but the last twenty minutes were excellent.

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Con: Ryan (-6pts)

I hated this character so much, and I think I hated him for two main reasons. The first reason is that he is such an unlikable character. Throughout the movie, Claire is kind and understanding, while Ryan is secretive and continuously betrays her. He clearly takes her for granted and I think most audiences will hate Ryan for this reason. When Claire is so innocent, Ryan is incredibly guilty. I really could not stand this character. He lies to Claire constantly, and half the film is spent watching Ryan trying to cover his tracks (when audiences will definitely not want to see it happen). In the end, the film tries to make Ryan redeem himself, but he is such an awful and unlikable character that I do not think any viewers will be accepting of that.

The other reason, I did not like Ryan, is because so much of this film is spent watching Ryan (an unlikable character). Too much of this film is shown from Ryan's perspective and I do not think many audiences will be able to relate with him. Also, every scene that was spent showing Ryan felt like wasted time because the audience really just wants to see some horror.

Grading Scale

Grade
Category
Points
A+
Amazing
95-100
A-
Amazing
90-94
B+
Good
85-89
B-
Good
80-84
C+
Average
75-79
C-
Average
70-74
D+
Bad
65-69
D-
Bad
60-64
F
Garbage
45-59
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Grade: D+ (66pts)

13 Cameras has such a strong premise. It is definitely a horror premise for a modern audience. I feel that there are too many people across the world that have a creepy landlord. A landlord that tenants fear could enter their home, or watch them, without their knowledge. Neville Archambault plays Gerald, and is able to personify the creepiest landlord imaginable. This actor is absolutely captivating to watch in the role. He is very creepy and it makes the film very entertaining when he is on screen. Unfortunately, the film focuses too little on Gerald. Instead of a psychological horror or thriller, we get a movie all about Ryan and Claire's marriage.

We see them fighting, Ryan lying, Ryan trying to cover his tracks, Claire having her doubts, etc. This film is almost entirely focused on Ryan and Claire's relationship, but will (every once in a while) show Gerald spying on them. The film is so boring for doing this. There was simply not enough development to Ryan and Claire's story, so by focusing so heavily on their marriage, the whole plot felt extremely stretched out and uninteresting. Luckily, the last twenty minutes of this film were excellent. I really mean excellent. The last twenty minutes showed the film that audiences will have wanted to see since the beginning. I was honestly shocked to see that the filmmakers were actually capable of giving the audience such a great ending. The entire film, up until that point, proved that the filmmakers could take a great premise and absolutely botch the execution.

This film had promise, but ultimately ended up being a huge disappointment. There are some great things about this movie, but they are not nearly enough to save this movie from all of it's problems. I would not recommend spending your time watching this film. Neville Archambault deserves huge praise for this role, but there is not much more to this movie than that.

Ranking

Rank
Movie
Points
1
Housebound
87pts
2
Stake Land
81pts
3
The Babysitter
80pts
3
Gerald's Game
80pts
4
V/H/S
77pts
5
Would You Rather
76pts
6
Viral
75pts
7
The Bar
72pts
8
Yoga Hosers
69pts
9
Most Likely to Die
67pts
10
13 Cameras
66pts
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