Clay Smith wrote the original draft of the pseudo-found footage horror film Investigation 13. Director Krisstian de Lara and Rolando Vinas rewrote the movie before it went to production proper. The ensuing movie comes across as if it is competing against itself. Before we delve into that more in-depth, here’s the story, for context.
Science students Melanie (Stephanie Hernandez), Jerod (Patrick Flanagan), Nate (Giordan Diaz), and Ernie (Jesse Ramos) seek to find hard scientific data on the existence of ghosts (or spirits, or whatever term you prefer). Not only is this a part of a class they are taking, but it is something they are passionate about. To that end, the friends get permission to film at a long-abandoned asylum. Layla Parrish (Meg Foster), the current owner of the property, gives the group a tour and does an interview about the asylum’s history.
“…the friends get permission to film at a long-abandoned asylum…no one was prepared for the deadly consequences.”
She tells them about the psychiatric hospital’s most infamous patient, Leonard Craven. Craven killed his parents after years of abuse. But his bloodlust was not satiated and eventually, he was locked up. However, Craven’s nickname “Mole Man” came after he escaped through an air duct. But, rumor has it that he stayed in between the walls, coming, going, and killing as he pleases. The students want to make contact with him, but when they do, no one was prepared for the deadly consequences.
Investigation 13 has a few things going for it. First, the cast is pretty good. Everyone is likable and engaging. As they are going on the tour and Melanie insists on bringing up a story about a kid breaking in via the same duct as the Mole Man, and Layla refusal to answer is played with intensity. Mel is after all the fact, Layla would rather not discuss the more sordid details. Both sides come off well, mainly due to the actors.
"…Krisstian de Lara and Rolando Vinas rewrote the movie before it went to production."