APARTMENT 143 (BLU RAY)
Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
What's it about
A parapsychologist and his team of students attempts to help a family beleaguered by what may or may not be a haunting.
Is it good movie?
The White family has some problems. Momís dead, and possibly haunting the rest of the family. Dad and daughter fight tooth and nail, presumably over some buried secret, and young son is caught in the middle. So they do what any family beleaguered by a spiritual entity would do: they call the local college. In comes the Doctor and his two assistants, with all sorts of specialized equipment to assess and prove or disprove the haunting. Stuff flies around the house, then the house flies around the house, then people fly around the house.
Iíve kept the characters and plot synopsis general, because thatís how the movie felt to me. Almost like they threw darts at a plot board, and then assembled the movie from there. Itís a patchwork horror film meant to hit on all the recent trends. It has: found footage; haunting; possession; exorcism; poltergeist activity; and The Ring-style creepery. It also has the not so subtle undercurrent of a femaleís sexuality being a malignant thing that tears families apart.
Mechanically speaking, the film is well done. The SFX are good, there are some nice acting moments, interesting camera work, and it even occasionally takes some time to be slow and quiet, which bucks all the other trends it greedily chomps on. But even though it has some genuinely creepy moments and may provide a few boo scares, the ambiguity of the kitchen sink story is ultimately boring. The twists feel less like twists and more like, ďHow about THIS! No? Then maybe youíll like THIS!Ē By the time you get to the basically non-ending, I highly doubt youíll still care. I know I didnít.
Oh, and then there is the ending after the ending. You know what I mean. That last kind of GOTCHA scene that producers make directors tack on to their films. At least I hope that was the case here. Because itís pretty stupid.
Video / Audio
Video: 1080p, 1,85:1. The film was shot with many different types of cameras, from old school to contemporary, making for a very interesting visual experience.
Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD Audio in English only, with optional Spanish and English SDH subtitles. The sound design is a key component in this film, and one of the few that works consistently well throughout.
Making Emergo (Apartment 143): This is a 16-minute, EPK-style fluff piece. It has some nice behind the scenes footage, and interviews with the cast and crew, letting you know why this is the most amazing film ever.
Special Effects, Levitating, Visual Concept, Art Direction and Makeup: For the sake of space, and your reading patience, Iíve included these four five-minute pieces under one heading. Each is basically an extension of the original making of piece, and concerns specifically what its title implies. They are each interesting, but not terribly in-depth. My favorite part is during the Art Direction and Makeup piece, when the Spanish crew is attempting to recreate an American breakfast, and production designer Maria De La Camara refers to such as ďsilly,Ē and then Michael OíKeefe trying to explain to her how to figure out when to flip a pancake.
Childís Play: This is an absolutely adorable segment about Damian Roman, the four-year old who plays the younger son of the White clan. Heís goddamned cute and precocious.
Interview with director Carles Torrens: Torrens is all over all the over special features segments, but this 18-minute interview was recorded at a different time. It pretty much covers all the same ground, though. Iíll admit that his American accent is pretty interesting, so if that does something for you, this feature is for you.
HDNET: A Look At Apartment 143: This is essentially an extended trailer intercut with footage from the interview with Torrens.
And lastly, we have the actual Theatrical Trailer.
APARTMENT 143, aka EMERGO, may give you a few jumps, and a few of the scenes may creep you out, but it never picks a lane and tries to throw too much in, thus becoming something of a chore to watch. I would say this one is a rental at best, and only if you really like possession/poltergeist/found footage films.