IF YOU watch films to escape to a make-belief fantasy world, this one is not for you. But if you are not afraid to peer into the dark recesses of the human mind and to face the ugly truth that lies therein, you will ‘enjoy’ the journey number 13 undertakes and the chilling consequences of this compelling mistake.

Written and directed by Georgian filmmaker Géla Babluani, 13 Tzameti (tzameti is 13 in Georgian) is the story of a 20-something lad, Sébastien, who gives in to temptation to make a quick buck and is impelled towards a point of no return with that first misstep.

Sébastien (played by director Géla Babluani’s brother, Georges Babluani) overhears a conversation that a certain job could bring in a lot of money. What that job is, he does not know, but when he chances upon the envelope containing instructions for the mysterious work, he pockets it and decides to try his luck. Little does he know that he is treading a deadly path and that his greed will exact a heavy price.

But Sébastien is a poor immigrant who works as a handyman for a living and his taking a chance to make some easy money comes as no surprise, especially as the owner of the house he is repairing dies and he is refused payment for the work already done. The real shock comes when Sébastien reaches the unknown destination, in the shape of a gambling ring and the game of death they indulge in.

Grab a DVD of this 2005 film if you want to find out what the game is all about, and if you do not mind squirming in your chair rather than remain comfortably seated in it. Leave out the popcorn, though, because you may want to throw up at the shocking nature of naked greed and numbing violence it brings in its wake.

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