I feel like this movie is basically a depiction of what the people who were scared during the Satanic Panic thought Dungeons and Dragons was actually like: greasy, manic dudes, using their mind to roll dice and then literally murdering people in real life because they were convinced they were slaying demons. If only that were true!
13 Demons is a strangely humorous little movie that comes in about forty five minutes too long. Three dudes begin playing a table top RPG that goes by the same name as the film, and over an hour later they're still playing. Supposedly, the game caused mass murder to ensue in the 1970's when it was first released, and so the fella who stumbles across a copy at an estate sale is more than excited to give it a try. Knowing that the game is fabled to send its players into hysterics, his friends oblige anyway; remarking that the game smells like burnt leaves and the instructions in the books are kind of lame. Of course, what fun would the movie be if the rumors weren't true? Like a grown up Jumanji for fantasy dorks, 13 Daemons sucks its players in. Only, the demons that these paladin are slaying are actually just gas station attendants and small children. But hey, they're on a quest to cleanse the land of evil! Those people were no longer gas station attendants and little boys. 13 Demons shows a clear love for gaming culture, and has the spirit of a horror comedy that could have been pretty successful.
I do wish that this movie had executed its idea a bit more effectively. Unfortunately, it is wrought with redundancy, and the conflict, which is revealed in scene number one, never really develops. By the end of the film, they're still just some real life murderers who think they're demon slaying paladins. On top of that, the budget for this movie was clearly so meager that any scenes of demon slaying involved a lot of weird editing filters and back lit figures. So, there are no real effects, costuming, or make up to speak of. This should have been a film that lasted under thirty minutes, so that the unnecessarily long scenes could be trimmed down, and some of the budget could have been more wisely spent on crafting some cool looking demons. Seeing the outline of the Haxan demon head just isn't enough.
Cool idea, but a bit of a chore to watch.