There’s a lot to admire for David Marmor’s slow burn horror. But even with its neat ideas and intriguing plot, you can not help but shake the feeling that one particular fantastic film way back in 2015 did the same crazy notion.
The trouble with writing a review is that you really can’t write what you want to say at times, as you know that it could lead to spoilers for those who are reading.
The classic case for this is Apartment 1BR, a decent horror that will find an audience out there and will no doubt gain a fan-base, but if I mentioned a certain film that started to haunt me soon after the whole “what is going on?” was revealed, then it will no doubt spoil the enjoyment for those who haven’t watched it yet.
Am I being vague? Yes, but its only right that I am because even the ending to 1BR is virtually identical to the final moments of the other film, which is why I need to keep this review, small and virtually basic.
Sarah (Nicole Brydon Bloom), has just moved to Los Angeles for a fresh start in life, with dreams of becoming a costume designer. On the look out for an apartment she attends an open house viewing in which seems like the perfect setting for a new beginning.
An instant attraction with one of the residents Brian (Giles Matthey) and a little white lie about not having a cat (there is a no PET POLICY) she is soon offered the apartment and moves in, despite noticing the strange markings on the wall.
Sounds of the pipes clanging and banging during the night, keeps Sarah awake and soon someone is leaving notes knowing that she has a pet and with shadows in the middle of the night, maybe her perfect residence with helpful neighbours is not quite the dream place she hoped it would be!
The sound of an alarm in the middle of the night and the discovery of a cooked meal in the oven, plunges Sarah head first into a nightmare that there is no escape from. Will she accept her new dwellings or fight back? What would you do?
Apartment 1BR offers an opening that did have me hooked. There is no opening quick horror set-piece as Marmor wisely refuses to show his cards on what terror actually awaits Sarah. The slow burn beginning may put off those wanting cheap shocks to go along with buckets of gore, but there will be those who will no doubt be intrigued by its mystery and will enjoy watching each layer stripped away to reveal the full blown horror!
The plot does dip its toes into the torture-porn genre with an uncomfortable sequence that will delight gore hounds, but soon settles itself back as the plot is more interested with a story to tell than offering a grisly and gruesome experience.
Bloom to her credit in her first feature, carries the film with the much needed sympathy it needs as we desperately want her to survive this ordeal, while Taylor Nichols pulls of a memorable performance as the resident Jerry, who at one moment can be the best friend you need, while the next, a terrifying bogeyman who lives next door.
While the opening half is the strongest part with questions like “Is this going to be a new Rosemary Baby?” running though your mind, once the reveal hits, the film sort of lags until the eventual rush in the final third that will offer up a satisfactory ending for some, even though it sails way to close to the other film which I refuse to mention.
Overall 1BR has an intriguing concept that will keep many interested and offers up a refreshing psychological terror than going down the obvious path of dumbing down on the need for gore-porn and by the time the final credits roll, you’ll neither be blown away or disappointed.
Just check your tenancy agreement before moving in…..