Okay, I gotta start things off with a little rant. Why is it that whenever a formula works (primarily in the horror industry) it has to be copied to death until everyone could care less? First the slasher movie (one of my personal favorite sub-genres I must admit) started off with classics like Halloween, Black Christmas, and Friday the 13th before every weekend another rip off came out (New Years Evil anyone) and eventually they dried up. Then came the Asian horror remakes which started out pretty good with The Ring and The Grudge, only to eventually be followed up with the likes of Shutter. With that in mind, Magnolia Pictures released Apartment 143 in one theater this past weekend, as well as on demand from the comfort of your own home. It definitely isn’t the worst of the supernatural found footage films out there, but is far from the best as well.
Apartment 143 is the story of a single father living with a teenage daughter (who hates him) and a toddler son. Since their mother died in an automobile accident, the family has been haunted by a spirit from the beyond. So they call in some paranormal experts to set up camera’s and try to figure out exactly what is going on in the dreaded apartment.
Not a whole lot needs to be said about the movie. The characters involved in the story are incredibly unlikable, and do nothing but yell and fight with each other in between scares that really causes the movie to drag. So then all there is to do is sit around and wait for the scares, which are nothing new. I will admit that the effects used in the movie are extremely well done, and there are times that the scares are well worth checking out. But watching a 90 minute movie for what amounts to about five to ten minutes of interesting footage is not my ideal way to spend an evening.
I will admit I was probably expecting a lot more with Apartment 143 than I typically would in a found footage movie. Written by Rodrigo Cortez who directed the fantastic low budget thriller Buried, I had pretty high hopes. Toss in the fact that Magnolia Pictures is releasing it (who has easily been my favorite distributor the past year or two) and I was really looking forward to a new take on the paranormal flicks of the past few years. Unfortunately, for the most part it’s more of the same.