13B - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

13B Reviews

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June 6, 2016
One of the best horror/suspense/mystery movies to come out of Bollywood after a very long time.
January 28, 2016
This movie is much better than many of the horror films made in Hollywood.
January 23, 2014
Surprisingly creepy and well done for an Indian horror movie, but the big reveal is easy to pick up on by the watchful eye.
October 20, 2013
13B (Vikram K. Kumar, 2009)

I've probably seen a half-dozen Bollywood attempts at horror since I started this all-consuming Bollywood phase of my movie-viewing existence back in 2005 or so. To a one they've been horrific (and not in the proper way). There's just something about scary monsters that doesn't mix with romance subplots and big musical numbers, you know? But I keep telling myself that if I dig deep enough, I'm going to find the perfect Bollywood horror film. And this brings us to my viewing of 13B yesterday. This second feature from Vikram K. Kumar kicks off with an interesting, if derivative, storyline, and then brings in the cheese...and keeps heaping on block after block until, by the end of the tale, the movie smells rather like a fromagerie. (Honest to Limburger, if you don't see that final scene and laugh like a loon, you're lacking a funny bone. The pathetic thing is, it's not supposed to be funny.)

Plot: Manohar (3 Idiots' Madhavan) and his extended family just got a killer deal on a brand new condo. They move in and set about getting the place livable, but odd things start happening. In the opening scene, we find out that milk bought just the day before has already curdled. Manohar's phone works everywhere else, but takes distorted pictures in the apartment. Their blind neighbor in 13A, Kamdar (Black's Dhritiman Chatterjee), has a service dog who refuses to set foot in the apartment. You know what all these things mean, because you've seen more than three horror movies in your life. Meanwhile, the women of the household have found themselves a new series to watch-but when Manohar catches a glimpse of it one day, he realizes that the events portrayed in the TV show bear startling parallels to the lives of Manohar's own family and friends. Manohar, with the help of his pal Shiva (Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na's Murli Sharma), a police inspector, has to figure out what's going on before the events being foreshadowed in the serial come to pass.

It's not a bad conceit, which is shown by the fact that it's been done so many times before. But it is entirely lacking in horror-film atmosphere. Thus my statement above that the normal Bollywood trappings don't mix with horror films, but there's also a huge amount of unnecessary exposition here that undercuts any tension the script (written by Kumar) may have been able to generate. "Show, don't tell" is the golden rule in media for a reason. And this is why that last scene, which I don't think I've ever seen work well, here ends up being laughable; given enough atmosphere, it might not have worked, but it would have at least been mildly effective.

Ultimately, the two best thins about this movie are (a) for me, it reminded me that I need to go back and watch 3 Idiots and Black, both movies I've been meaning to get round to for years, and (b) my son, who will be two in a few months and is entirely enchanted with Indian film music (I've got an Asha Bhosle Pandora station set up just for him), found the music video that plays over the end credits fascinating enough that he actually stopped dancing for a while just to stare at the TV. (I was not nearly as thrilled with the song as he was, but I'm not going to complain about the video all that much.) I continue to hope that one day Bollywood will come up with a fantastic horror movie. After seeing 13B, I need to keep looking. **
March 23, 2013
Very interesting take on the 'fear of technology' theme that is common amongst Asian films. Manu sees his, and his family's, future unfold on a soap opera that comes on the television at 1pm every day. Fairly decently acted, and a very awesome story. It suffers from a bit of padding, and some very unnecessary musical sequences (music videos more like), but makes up for it in suspense and tension.
½ May 3, 2012
Huh! Now this is Scary (a bit)...!
½ November 13, 2011
never seen song and dance sequences as misplaced as in this 'horror' flick!
an indian horror movie, now that's a not- so -commonly explored genre. it had reeked of some promise, but the melodrama and the irritating 'suspense music' wrecked what might've been.
July 28, 2011
A good Horror flick for the teen age group! You won't see a single ghost until the end ( if u want to call it a ghost)! It's more like a thriller rather than a horror. But the had a creative direction and tight story like that grabs your attention till the end.
May 18, 2011
Prima parte troppo troppo lunga, mentre la seconda è davvero fica, la sceneggiatura è abbastanza originale e l'interesse rimane sempre alto. Il finalino sciocco da teen movie si poteva evitare, comunque nel complesso più che sufficiente...
½ May 8, 2011
ooo that evil number 13... yes, its another haunted apartment flick (a la J-Horror) with an Indian twist. Love the horror soap opera mimicking what was happening in the apartment & the few funny moments. At Hulu.
August 20, 2010
it's a truly one of the best the b-town has to offer and truly deserves a hollywood remake
the story is quite different from the minds of the most bollywood writers who just take the topic of love story to make their films work
i would like to give a applause for the writer for writing such a good story
and the director for executing the story to perfection
the casting is quite good with madhavan in the lead with neetu chandra
neetu is very much sexier even in her apearance in the salwar
the climax is also truly deserved of applause
so do watch it
dont miss it
August 18, 2010
More or less, in each family could happend something simillarily. What happend when instead of showing you the facts, the TV, begins to show you what it wants you to see?
August 10, 2010
A rare example of a flat-out Indian horror movie [that] borrows liberally from The Amityville Horror playbook and familiar Asian horror tropes, but the haunted soap opera is a new wrinkle. There?s a disarmingly benign, albeit decidedly precious, charm to the film. movie is very different and fresh, the story the plot and the suspence is gripping. loved it.
July 25, 2010
Few horror films made scare me. Too much blood, torture & despair on the big screen. That's why I so emphatically love smaller scares which let your mind imagine what lurks behind the door or under the bed. "The Blair Witch Project" & "Paranormal Activity" did just that for me. Since so many Bollywood movies are out there, I took a chance with my first Indian horror film, "13B" & mostly enjoyed the film. The story: Two families move into a newly renovated flat which is experiencing some oddities - the milk curdles, they can't hang pictures in the prayer room & at 1PM everyday on Channel 13 (EyeTV) the women of the house are mesmerized by a new soap opera called "Everything is Fine". Well, things aren't fine as one of the men discover the story on TV mirrors & predicts their own lives! So, there's good news to share (a promotion, a new baby) & some bad as well (the family is bludgeoned to death with a hammer), the older brother springs into action to change their fate. Great premise, few scares, little violence, but a lot of fun with laughs for me (perhaps not intentional though!). If you're familiar with Bollywood movies, yes, this one brings in two song & dance spectacles kicking & screaming - they broke the creepy tone of the film, so I forgive the filmmakers. The outcome was strange so when Hollywood remakes this as rumoured, I'm sure they will tidy it up, edit out the lunatic cousin & enhance the blood shed. The film's long (146 minutes), but mostly enjoyable. Now, I need recommendations of other Bollywood horror films?can anybody help here?
June 9, 2010
This was subtitled and I almost shut it down. What a waste that would have been. It is actually (albeit confusing)a good movie. There is certainly the spooky , horror side to the thing. I will bet this twist catches you off guard too. Tempted as I am to discuss it, I do not want to spoil the fun.
½ June 8, 2010
I am torn between whether this movie was a comedy or fantasy. It definitely brings the message that watching too much soap operas on TV is injurious to your mental health.
½ May 19, 2010
real good story, but it should have been scary than entertaining
January 23, 2010
I like paranormal flicks, any of them. Just for shear entertainment.
Super Reviewer
January 17, 2010
In today's world, the major source of relief, information and entertainment is the TV. So much so, that it has moved up from its modest position of being just another 'household appliance' to actually determining the power equation in a family. It is easy to identify the hierarchy in the family depending on who controls the remote control. So what happens when the TV realizes this power and begins to take control? What happens when instead of showing you the facts, the TV, begins to show you what it wants you to see? What happens when Manohar (R. Madhavan), to his great horror, realizes that this is exactly what is happening with his wonderful family, who has just moved into their sweet new home at 13B. Well, just few days back Raaz 2 was released. Although the movie was a hit, but let us accept the fact that as usual, in all the previous horror movie in India, even Raaz 2 did not had anything much to offer other than it's fantastic music. But behold, Bollywood has it's own horror movie now, neither copied & neither it has some tacky storyline & also featuring some good performances. The problem with all the other horror movie in India are, they don't let you hooked up right till the end & they just deal with some weird faced ghosts wandering around the whole movie. But that's not the case with 13B. 13B not only does grips you till the end, but it also leaves you thrilled in the end. The director Vikram K. Kumar handled the movie so well that it does not seems as if it is his first movie. R. Madhavan has always been an amazing actor & he is yet again amazing in this movie with the correct expressions all the way. Neetu Chandra, Poonam Dhillon & all the other actors did performed very good. Thanks to amazing director, he made everyone act so naturally. The background music was just average & the music was disappointing though there is no scope of songs in such movies. The movie has got a different look, which does suits with the theme of the movie. The movie takes a bit of a time to build up the tension but the second half of the movie never lets you blink your eyes for a second. And it is impossible to guess what is going to happen next in the movie.The movie ends up in a pretty shocking way. But make sure that the makers of the film did not had in their mind to scare the audience, but they just had one thing in their mind & i.e. to keep the people hooked up & guessing till the end. Easily the best horror & thriller movie ever made in Bollywood & also one of the best ever in the history of cinema. Do not miss this one.
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