Fear of 13
“We live the events of our lives as experience, but we recall them as stories.”
The Fear of 13 is a psychological thriller, where Nick, a death row inmate, petitions the court to be executed. As he goes on to tell his story, it gradually becomes clear that nothing is quite what it seems. His story has all the twists and turns of classic crime drama with a final shocking twist casts everything in a new light.
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Questions for Discussion
- As a suspenseful, thrilling campfire story, ‘The Fear of 13’ does not disappoint. What aspects of the movie’s style and content appealed to you?
- A beautiful and poignant song sung in a depressing prison. What effect did it have on Nick? When have you heard a song that transported you into another consciousness?
- Comment on critic Scott Tobias’ summary: “‘The Fear of 13’ is the classic stranger-than-fiction scenario, but it’s also a testament to the power of storytelling, which can make the truth sound like embellishment.”
- What did you make of Nick’s self-education in prison? How and why did he change? Can you name the last book that made a lasting impression on you?
- What do you think is the relationship between storytelling and transformation?
- What do you think is the meaning of the title?
- What biblical story does the movie echo?
- Some reviewers said the movie feels over-rehearsed, and thus less than fully believable. What’s your response?
- What kind of spirituality informs this movie? How do you explain it from your own spiritual perspective?