Greytober Reviews: The 13th Unit

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Day two of Greytober is upon us, and I’ve got another movie! I have not a damn clue what it’s about, and I don’t know if it’s any good, but hey, that’s half the fun, right? What is The 13th Unit?

Oh goody, the movie starts with ominous music over background text. Something about mutilated bodies in Chicago in 1937, and them all being suspects in a robbery. A robbery of ancient artifacts! The killer and artifacts were never found, and the case went unsolved. Fast forward to NOW!

Storage lockers and squeaky noises. Someone getting ready for an auction? Where’s Barry? Alright, this guy doesn’t look too happy, looks like he had a bad day at work. Then there’s a dude brushing his teeth, and now we’ve got a couple where the guy is getting kinda handsy for a public storage locker. Death must be imminent.

Angry woman on a cell phone, pretty clearly a lawyer. Back to disheveled guy with his not-so disheveled boss, and it’s been a long eight years by the sound of it. Boss talks to him about the one promotion available, and why it’s going to someone else, and I’d probably punch this guy. Especially after he owns that he hired his nephew.

Jackass Boss and Lawyer Lady both have cell phone issues. Lawyer Lady sees legs hanging out of a hallway, asks if dude is okay, they move pretty quickly down the hall. She, dumbly, goes to investigate and just finds a shoe. Kick the shoe! Jackass Boss can’t find screwed over employee (Chris), and I’d bail on dude too.

YES! Chris attacks his boss with a two-by-four! Lawyer Lady gets sucked into a half opened storage locker! Chris taunts his boss while he beats him, with the same words that the Boss used on him after admitting to screwing him over. Beats that man to death! Lawyer Lady? All that’s left of her...is a shoe.

Handsy couple alert, the girl wants to go, and I want four deaths in the first five minutes...no dice.

Oh god, did i just put on a horror movie about a haunted storage locker facility?

The opening credits are some guy drawing symbols on the ground while recording it with a hand camera. With metal playing. Of course. Wait, what? Some monster just killed dude.

Handsy couple running scared and bloody, and then we go back a day.

Two guys and a girl sitting at a table, thrillseekers, and one wants to go looking for the artifacts, and the others think he’s an idiot. Mike, the idiot, thinks this is a sure thing and that they’re going to get rich. His friends still think he’s an idiot. The girl starts reading the article he brought, and something about stones whistling when covered in blood. Girl is Kendra, and she’s turned off by the “voodoo” circle he hands over. Last guy is Floyd, and they talk her into it because the payout would be crazy good and she has money problems. That...was really simple.

Storage locker! Sweaty scared woman hiding, and then running around screaming. Jump back ten hours, and here she is with her friend trying to get a replacement key from the guy at the facility so they can get into their locker. He leaves, they take his bolt cutters, and this won’t go well. The one who took the cutters apparently is on meds, and other girl thinks she skipped that day. I, too, think she skipped that day.

Now some other dude running scared through the tunnels and hiding from something in a locker, what do you want to bet they jump back in...HEY! TIME JUMP! NINE HOURS EARLIER! Him with some other dude, and this device is getting tired and I really hope they stop jumping around and just start actually using the characters they’re introducing. Or at least naming them (save for the trio).

Trio is back! Yay! His guy at the facility is the dude who wouldn’t help the girls about two paragraphs up from here.

Other two dudes are brothers, and one isn’t saying much, and the other wants to get him talking. I guess Greg is the older brother, and one whose name I haven’t caught is the guy hiding in a locker in nine hours.

The girls are back, and they keep finding clothes on the ground, which means whatever is there is just going to town on eating everyone there. Big crash, squishy fleshy noise, and now I see a hand getting slowly dragged away.

Trio time! STOP JUMPING AROUND SO MUCH! I’m twenty minutes into this movie and I don’t think any character has had more than four minutes of screen time. There are seven people in the facility, eight if you include the attendant, and I’ve picked up all of four names. SLOW DOWN!

This storage facility goes nine stories underground. And it has no stairs. Attendant talks about how the elevator has never ever broken, so that is obviously going to change soon. This is Alcatraz. Fitting name.

Back to the brothers, who aren’t brothers, and Greg is trying to get Todd (thank you, IMDB! This movie has no wiki page!) to cheer up, and apparently someone died like two years ago and Todd isn’t totally over it. I’m assuming his girlfriend.

Tooth brushing guy from the beginning is back, and on a phone, and he’s homeless and talking to his daughter who misses him. Phone dies, he’s probably about to. I feel bad for dude, I think he’s living in this place. Lots of low shots to make you think something is spying on him. He fins some shit on the ground, the door slams shut, and yep, he’s screaming as something mauls him. He tries to crawl out, but nope, pulled right back in. That thing murdered the shit out of him.

Trio is back, Attendant is named Franco, and he lets them know that he’s gotta go up and lock up, so he’s leaving them nine floors underground without the elevator.

Other girls are back, and Rachel is the one not on her meds, and struggling to cut the lock. She really wants in this locker for some reason. Boyfriend cheated on her, other girl is way hotter, still don’t know her name, but she talks Rachel into leaving. Which I know doesn’t happen because in a few hours Rachel is going to be bloody and sweaty and running like hell.

Greg and Todd walk through the random clothes, don’t see Lawyer Lady’s corpse.

Dudes from the trio are going through a little tunnel with headlamps, Kendra is back by the exit on a walkie talkie with a map. Time for a jump?

Yep, here’s the girls walking around with the lights flickering, and some symbol on a door.

Dudes are back, flickery lights for them, too. And here’s something shadowy and hairy going through the vents.

Floyd and Mike are at the end of the tunnel, and there’s a crate that’s apparently what they want.

Dana is Rachel’s friend! DANA! And they’re at the exit! Only it won’t open! Take that, bitches! Franco told you he was closing and you snuck in, this is what happens! Dana sees something move at the bottom of a spooky staircase, Rachel makes jokes, they walk a different way. Inevitable delayed.

Trio is checking out their finds, and Kendra provides the voice of reason (and even says as much), with her wanting to leave and check this out somewhere else. Mike won’t let them, he says they have to wait until Monday, and this a pretty big issue apparently. Mike is kind of a prick, to be honest, he doesn’t tell anybody anything. They get back up, put it in a locker, and hey look, flickery lights.

I should probably watch the timecodes the movie gives closer, because right now I’m having a hard time dealing with nobody ever running into each other. I mean, the trio is nine floors down, so there’s that. They’re also stuck down there and can’t find the way out, or Franco, or cell reception. This place has exit signs everywhere, but has no exits. This place is hell, even without random locker murder.

Franco! Flickery lights! Then the dudes about half an hour later as the lights flat out cut out and the flashlights are in the locker. I’ve had a flashlight app on my phone for four years, no excuse for neither dude to have one.

Floyd is freaking out about the lights and no doors working, Mike is super cool and is probably on drugs. Franco this, Franco that, everybody relax. Yeah, drugs. He reminds me of Mike Damone from Fast Times. BAM LIGHTS ARE OUT!

DANA AND RACHEL, TOO! NOISES! SPOOKINESS! Rachel is alone! BLOOD! She sees something, probably a corpse (they don’t show us, cheap asses), and runs like hell.

Franco goes to fix the power, the timecodes aren’t around anymore, damnit. He hears some moaning, or something, probably a half dead person looking for help. He pops open the fuse box, and something charges him.

I’m ashamed of Greg and Todd. They went back for the flashlights. Now they’re having a moment, and fuzzy skittery thing in the shadows is moving around.

Trio is arguing, and Floyd yells out that he isn’t yelling, and oh shit, Mike is gone! The bros are upstairs and something smells bad, they’re lost too. Everyone is lost. More circles, this time on the ground. “We’re in a building, and every building has a way out.” A body falls on one of them! Is that Lawyer Lady? There’s the weird gunk on her, and she isn’t dead (or they haven’t checked, she’s shaking a bit). Todd wants to help her, Greg is freaked.

Rachel is off using the bolt cutters to try and escape, every noise rightfully freaking her out. Jump cut to the bros with Lawyer Lady on a cart! Fucking jump cuts. Lawyer Lady wakes up and starts babbling the word kill up until she attacks Todd, then she runs like hell screaming. The lesson? Never help anyone. “She just ragged out on us!” “Someone probably tried to rape her!” “More like she tried to rape somebody!” Jesus, the dialog is hilarious. “What are we, Batman and Robin?! When’s someone going to come and save me?”

Floyd and Kendra still can’t find Mike. Probably dead. Or crazy like Lawyer Lady. Kendra wants to find him, Floyd is pissed and wants to leave him. Now Floyd is the reasonable one. He’s pissed, freaked out, and royally disturbed, and MORE CIRCLES ON THE GROUND! The ones Kendra didn’t like from Mike’s original info. There’s something running around, and they can hear it, and more circles, and something is going to happen to them soon.

Todd is a fucking idiot. He wants to split up and he and Greg go looking for crazed Lawyer Lady separately. In the dark. “Here crazy bitch crazy bitch crazy bitch!” Greg finds her in a locker, shoeless, shaking, fetal position. “I’ll help you, but I swear to god if you jump out at me I’ll punch you in the face. I am not afraid to punch a chick, especially a crazy one.” Then Greg looks up, gets lifted up, blood starts running down….yep, he dead.

Floyd and Kendra get spooked, hear something, and oh shit, Floyd vanishes! More circles! Back over to Todd who is looking for dead Greg, and he finds the blood….and what’s left of the body strung up from the ceiling. And then he gets got too.

Kendra finds someone strangling a woman to death, lets it happen. He’s got ooze in his ear, and I think he’s the guy that was getting handsy earlier. Fuzzy thing drags the woman away, and he goes victim hunting. Kendra...got the fuck out. Oh, hey, Todd, not got yet, but running from something and OH SHIT! THIS IS THE SCENE FROM EARLIER! HE’S GOT A SHOVEL! AND HE CAN’T AIM!

Kendra is avoiding touching circles, because the last time she saw one it was right where Floyd vanished from. Jesus, every fucking door in this place is locked. Todd is looking at something weird looking and it lets out some gas, and that was stupid. Lots of jump cuts happening now. Rachel is in her locker, which has a bunch of flashlights, but only one of them works. Why does this girl have four flashlights? Anyway, someone is outside the unit yelling and hitting things. Oh, hey, it’s the guy from the beginning still beating his dead boss with a two-by-four! Rachel shines a light right at him, he doesn’t notice or care, he’s enjoying the overkill. Ooze ears. She runs screaming, scene from earlier! She winds up running past Todd, and they have matching flashlights and can be scared together!

THE STORY IS CONNECTING! Todd tries to comfort her, but she’s rightfully freaked out and has seen WAY MORE THAN HE HAS! SKITTERING! RUN RACHEL RUN! Screaming “I don’t want to die” generally gets you killed. Also, yelling “You gotta be quiet” is counterproductive. Todd is keeping it together, Rachel is a complete lost cause at this point. Girl is broken with fear.

Kendra finds Floyd’s body, and someone else's (I want to say Franco), and a video camera! They flashback to the beginning, and Mike’s ears were leaking well before he brought them down there. Anyway, video is something over Mike, and then Mike getting back up. She finds triangles with the stones she went looking for on the points, and Mike is standing behind her staring quietly at her. Then he attacks her and goes for the strangle, which I guess is just a move in this place. TODD TO THE RESCUE! AND RACHEL TOO! Every story is linked, and Mike has super strength! The girls are useless, but Rachel manages to get Todd a crowbar because using it herself wouldn’t be badass at all. Anyway, Todd goes and crunches Mike’s skull, and I feel like the movie was worth it just for that. Not because it was gory or cool looking, but because Mike deserved getting his head smashed with a crowbar.

They go to escape, but something come and stabs Rachel and drags her off. She dead. They can see the monster, but we only get really dumb looking snippets of it before they run away. But hey, there is no exit, everyone knows that. So they try the door that says “Not an exit”, and manage to keep the creature out. Maybe. This movie is pretty vague about what it can do, and I’m not sure what room they’re in.

If I smoked cigarettes still, this movie would have had like four smoke breaks. Instead I just vape through it and regret having no valid excuse to take a five minute break.

Kendra is great at boosting up people, but Todd can’t lift this girl to save his life. Well, her life. They get up just in time, and Todd gets tossed across the room into a pipe. Now they know it’s weakness is light, so she starts blasting it with a flashlight, which is apparently what happened with Todd earlier. Great, now everything is either shaky or smokey, with occasional constipated face shots of Kendra. They back into another room, slam another door, and now we get a fresh time code as it’s almost seven am. Kendra wakes up, Todd is dead thanks to that pipe impalement. Time to finish her off, possibly with Todd coming back to do it. They do hold a shot on him for a while before giving us an ass shot of her slowly crawling away.

Come on, KILL HER ALREADY! She’s almost under sunlight! BAM! Dragged away screaming! Movie over! I can finally go to bed!

DAMNIT! There’s another scene! Kendra gets out with ooze ears and calls a friend to ask her to come help get something out of storage.

I feel like I wasted an hour and a half watching it, but I’ll be damned if bitching about it didn’t make it more passable.

Seriously, nothing happened in this movie, and I still pulled like five pages in my Google Doc talking about it, it’s maddening. There’s minimal blood, no on screen death, and one of the vaguest monster shots I’ve seen in forever. There’s low budget and then there’s cheap. The movie lacked a coherency with the constant jumping around, which, I mean, it did pay off once the stories started to link up, but had they done a little less breaking things up at times, I think there’d be a better impact. Every time I started getting into a groove with one of the character sets, they move on to the next one, and it hurt my ability to give shits about anyone.

According to IMDB, the actor who played Mike is from Chesterfield, Missouri (about fifteen minutes from where I’m sitting, my grandmother and uncle live out there), and voiced Tuxedo Mask on Sailor Moon. Useless factoid is useless, but this movie didn’t have Anthony Anderson or Gary Cole.

So IMDB tells me that the premise of this movie is a demon in the 13th Unit, which would explain the name, but there is no clarified 13th Unit, and the demon runs freely across all nine levels of this place. Nine levels that Franco claimed had no stairs, yet Kendra manages to get all the way to the top without an elevator.

Ugh, I think I’ll have to pick a movie with potential to be halfway decent for day three. Otherwise I’ll probably start talking myself out of spending my (apparently free) weekend watching movies, and into watching more wrestling (though the wrestling will happen regardless).

Anyway! Let’s score this bitch!

Final Score: Two vague shadowy skittery pointless monsters out of ten.

Grade: 
1.0 / 5.0