Movie Review: Investigation 13 (2019)

September 10, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

A gaggle of science-type students have taken it upon themselves to prove that the things that go bump in the night are really real… and if they can convince the college board of their findings than they will be on easy street, ya dig?

As you may surmise from that title up yonder, the final investigation to prove their point is ol’ unlucky number thirteen, which takes our protagonists deep within Black Grove Psychiatric Asylum where they set out to examine the legend of The Mole Man; a former patient of ye olde loony-bin who is thought to still haunt those unhallowed halls.

Of course, this being a fright flick and all, members of the group pull a vanishing act and our remaining heroes must deal with the fact that ol’ Double M is a very real threat to their continued existence!

Let’s get down to brass fuckin’ tacks; Investigation 13 doesn’t exactly break new and exciting ground in our beloved horror biz; it’s loaded with well established tropes… the asylum with an evil past, the supernatural serial killer, the urban legends that prove to be all too true… this is about as by the numbers as you can get, but fortunately this fright flick has some strong positives working in it’s favor.

First up in the plus column is the film’s usage of animated sequences to fill in the blanks in the narrative. I’m not sure if this was the plan from the beginning to save a dime, or the location wasn’t available as long as needed, but the decision to include these sequences was a stroke of genius. While the “haunted” asylum genre is well trod terror territory for sure, this aesthetic decision helps the feature stand (severed) head and shoulders above some of the creepy competition.

Another huge positive is the inclusion of genre legend Meg Foster (They Live, Masters of the Universe) in the cast; her performance adds an air of gravitas and solemn believability to the proceedings, while also anchoring the more unseasoned members of the cast.

Finally The Mole Man is a solid villain, and I could see potential to franchise his ass out quite effectively… which of course is always a boon to a fright flick, especially a slasher pic, who’s bread and butter has traditionally been icons that can return time and again to generate screams and profit$!

While not the most blazingly original asylum based fright flick out there, Investigation 13 is an enjoyable enough jaunt into the ol’ horror biz… and with it’s strong villain, fun animation, and Fosters performance I can recommend slappin’ your eerie eyeballs upon it!




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