Mane Number 13 is a Kannada-language horror-thriller film written and directed by Vivy Kathiresan and starring Varsha Bollamma, Aishwarya Gowda, Praveen Prem, Chethan Gandharva, Ramana and Sanjeiv.
Mane Number 13 is one of those predictable horror films that you want to stop existing but they always come back with a vengeance. The same-old “twists”, fat-shaming in the name of comedy and just this loose, sloppy acting and storyline that makes you yawn, and in most extreme cases, extremely annoyed.
Mane Number 13 follows a group of friends who move into a haunted house after getting evicted and experience some creepy things. However, is there a ghost or is the threat of this world itself?
Listen, this is a movie that provides nothing. Jumpscare galore, Mane Number 13 is everything wrong with the horror genre. Cliché after cliché and with terrible acting from the lead cast, there’s nothing that grips you to the plot.
Our protagonists are introduced as “rowdies” because they drive fast and party. We all know those are the worst things that one can do – completely unredeemable. There are several very uncomfortable scenes where characters fight for no reason. The fights are terribly done, have no reason or depth, and are just annoying to watch. You don’t feel drawn to these characters because you have seen variations of these people over the years in different movies. There’s a generic hot-head, a fat guy… and others. That’s as much of a characterisation you will get. These people have no depth or backstory and thus, even when they die, you don’t care.
Mane Number 13 tries to be a comedy movie for the first 1 hour 30 minutes or so and then pushes in aspects of thrill and horror. This “trick” ruins all three genres, and thus you just sit there laughing at the sheer stupidity of it all. There’s an entire stretched-out sequence where the group is “tormented” by the ghost, which turns out to be a sham. There is no purpose of this scene, it adds nothing new to the narrative, and is very underwhelming. The movie is an amalgamation of similar scenes that just come and go and don’t make you feel anything.
There’s a set of revelations that we come across at the end of Mane Number 13 which you probably can guess from a mile away. However, if you did not figure it out, knowing them doesn’t incite any surprise either because the movie conveniently forgot to add suspects to the list of perpetrators. So, you have a handful of people to pick from to guess who is behind all of this stupid fuss. Then again, the movie decides to deliver an open end as to whether there actually is a ghost or not. Unfortunately, no one cares.
Mane Number 13 tries to pull The Conjuring on us for a brief moment before getting bored with it. In this sequence, we see a “Paapi Gudiya” for a minute which a character stabs repeatedly like a maniac and then we move on to something else. I don’t know why this was added, since it doesn’t add anything to the narrative. The direction and scripting are awful and the dubbing equally bad. There’s no sense of coherence in this film, and the camera angles and shots are very underwhelming, to put it mildly.
The cast including Varsha Bollamma, Aishwarya Gowda, Praveen Prem, Chethan Gandharva, Ramana and Sanjeiv are equally underwhelming at embodying these characters. Their reactions lack depth and their dialogue deliveries are equally bad. You don’t feel or relate to them because they lack real emotion and are just extremely unlikeable characters in general.
Summing up: Mane Number 13
There are a lot of good horror movies out there that will scare you and fill you with a sense of dread. Mane Number 13 doesn’t really know what it wants to be, and it, thus, is nothing. It doesn’t scare you, it doesn’t make you laugh – you just feel this cold sense of shame for taking part in this experience.
Mane Number 13 is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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