The Thirteenth Child (2002)
Now I’ve seen other films about the legend of the Jersey Devil (The Last Broadcast being the most notable and my personal favourite) – even read up a little on its origins because I‘m geeky like that, so when l read the blurb on the Thirteenth Child I was interested to see if anything could impress me more than the aforementioned recommendation.
So firstly I’d like to say I have nothing against low budget films – sometimes I enjoy seeing the Directors brothers wife or whatever relishing their 15 minutes of fame as allotted to them by Andy Warhol, but in this case the acting was so bad that Brad Pitt could have played every character in patented tree like way and done a better job. That said it wasn’t all bad. So the first five minutes of the film filled me with hope – too much yes, but I’m an optimist at heart and am used to perpetual disappointment – Blair Witch kind of clip of a woman recounting her story of a sighting of the legend and I’m thinking this is good – done to death but good, and of course jinxing the rest of it for me irrevocably.
The story really didn’t know what it wanted to be – was it a tongue in cheek look at a local legend, was it an homage to 80’s slashers with a nod to creature features, or was it just too cool to care? I stopped trying to figure it out after the old guy in the mental hospital started hearing voices and predicting the future – which in turn led me to think of Dr Loomis in the Halloween series, and of course then I started wondering where my Halloween box set was and whether I should just give up and put that on instead.
Even the films take on the legend they told bore no resemblance to the stories I had read up on – Native Americans appeared where there had been only dumb white old ladies and witchcraft. I got the impression that the film makers really didn’t care much for research or respect the locality and its beliefs. Kind of like whoever’s bright idea it was to cast Richard Gere in the Mothman Prophesies – and the less said on that steaming celluloid doo doo the better ..
So to conclude – The Thirteenth Child – I watched it, it ended, and unfortunately I’ll never get that time back. If anyone’s interested enough, or anywhere near as geeky as I am and want to want to know more about the legend of the Jersey Devil I’ve listed some links for you – oh and watch The Last Broadcast – its what I should have done instead of bothering with this.
Oh and to show you how The Thirteenth Child sucked monkey balls in comparison …