Running Time: 80 minutes
Starring: Rick Gonzalez, Fionna Glascott, Kai Lennox, Gia Mantegna, Michael O’Keefe
Directed By: Carles Torrens
Rating: 1.5 out of 10
A team of paranormal researches head out to a supposedly haunted building to investigate.
When the DVD cover art is the creepiest thing about a movie, you know you are in trouble. I will always defend the found footage style, as I am a big fan of the genre. I will not defend laziness though, and that is where we find ourselves with this film. Apartment 143 is the story of a small group of parapsychologists. They are investigating a building that has a history of paranormal activity. They are there to determine if the family that lives there is in any danger from the unexplained haunting.
As the film plays its self out, the viewer will notice many things wrong with it, but the most glaring is the lack of frights. Sure there is the odd moment where something pops out from the darkness, or a loud bang happens at an opportune moment, but nothing we haven’t seen before. Pots and pans that move, pictures that are turned upside down, and ghostly apparitions caught on camera will not raise the hair on the back of your neck. As the paranormal team pries deeper into the family’s history, and gathers more information with their mostly unexplained instruments, the viewer sits in anticipation for anything to happen and yet nothing really does. When the film comes to a sudden end (where the movie Poltergeist was clearly an influence) they don’t entirely explain what you just watched, leaving the viewer scratching their head. In conclusion, this movie tries to be different but doesn’t have the budget to make it work. The family is obnoxious, the story is way too complicated, the buildup is non-existent, the building itself isn’t scary, and the scares are mundane (sometimes unintentionally comical.) The positive is the story has a little twist to it and that a run time of only 80 minutes means it is not hard to sit through.
It is hard to judge director Carles Torrens effectively as this film has such a small budget. He seems to have the basics down and the camera work is okay if not good. There is just too much going on with this film to be truly appreciated. One moment there are odd sounds, the next moment a séance. Then there are ghostly apparitions, then a therapy session. All this flip flopping leaves the viewer tired and frankly uninterested in the cause of the buildings paranormal activity. I would watch another one of Torrens films if only to get a proper gauge of his techniques.
I cannot recommend this film as its lack of scares will have you hating this genre if you don’t already do.
T Factor + If you like low budget horror then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you do not like found footage movies then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Grave Encounters, REC