INVESTIGATION 13 ** USA 2019 Dir: Krisstian de Lara. 90 mins
A group of science students believe they have found a way to explain the paranormal. Through a series of investigations they think this final investigation (the thirteenth) will be the one that blows the whole thing open, prove their findings and launch the very first parapsychology course at their university. Investigation 13 starts at Black Grove Asylum, in its time a place of torture for the mentally ill. The students are particularly interested in one patient, Leonard Craven. His crimes were well documented as was his treatment, he became something of an urban legend known as The Mole Man and is rumoured to live within the walls of the asylum to this day. They meet with the now empty asylums caretaker who shows them around and let’s them set up their cameras and stuff then locks them into the asylum for the night arranging to let them out the following morning. Will the group successfully prove their tested theory or will escape be number one on their agenda? Only time will tell. Incorporating large segments of animated backstory of the inmates, mostly Craven before and during his incarceration, sandwiched inbetween scenes of the students wandering around the abandoned asylum bitching about each other and freaking out neither scenes go together or add anything to this movie. If anything it just makes it that bit more disjointed. Apart from a few cheap jump scares early on there is nothing scary about this at all. The acting from the younger cast as the students is unconvincing and sketchy, but it’s one saving grace was casting Meg Foster as the asylums caretaker Layla Parrish. Even though she doesn’t feature in it much she does a good job. Peter Aratari cast as the Mole Man certainly looks the part (if a bit like Alice Cooper) but doesn’t really do anything other then hover around in doorways. It’s low budget inhibits any kind of FX with all kills off screen and only a few blood trails that lead our students on endless wild goose chases. The poor animation seeming to be their solution for the FX problems doesn’t really cut it. It’s unfortunately just another generic (kind of) paranormal asylum movie that follows a story without really going into any detail and just bogging it down with bad acting, misplaced profanities and endless hyperventilating. Reading into it, the makers of Investigation 13 are currently looking into a spin off series of this and at least 3 more Mole Man movies. This is ambitious and best of luck to them with this endeavour but after this one I do not plan on seeing anymore of them.
Review by Sarah Budd