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Apartment 143 [Blu-ray]

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Apartment 143 [Blu-ray]

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Amazon.com: 283 reviews
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Well done Sept. 21 2012
By Quentin Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Movies that are made from camera point-of-view can be very hit or miss. This one hits for several reasons:

1) The acting is very well done. The people are mostly believable in their roles, and the actor playing the dad does a great job (has some of the weightier emotional scenes).

2) The use of cameras everywhere makes sense in this case. They are a group of paranormal researchers trying to capture what is going on, and the use of lots of well placed cameras would be a good idea. So, cutting between them makes feels natural, and the use of them here really adds to an authentic feeling atmosphere.

3) The paranormal activity that gets captured on film happens very organically, it's not over the top, and folks seem to respond the way their characters would be expected.

4) The story itself isn't trite or hackneyed. It's a story that's hard to predict exactly why the events are taking place, and you feel yourself wondering what's the real cause, especially given how calm in certain cases the lead researcher seems to be (he's pretty confident he knows the real cause, but is trying to eliminate other possibilities).

Overall, I liked it much more than I expected to and if you like horror films, and especially camera-POV type films, this is a good one to watch.
38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
WHO KILLED YOU? Aug. 26 2012
By THE MOVIE GUY - Published on Amazon.com
The main problem with Apartment 143 is not the movie itself, but the fact we have been inundated with a host of hand held ghost stories that are "real" found footage with actors. The production by itself is decent, but given the fact we have seen it before will cause one to quickly get bored.

Three ghost hunters investigate the bizarre events at the apartment of Alan White (Kai Lennox). Paul (Rick Gonzalez) is the technology guy and the one we have to blame for all the cameras. Ellen (Fiona Glascott) is the secretary and assistant but vastly prefers the title "gate keeper." The brains of the operation is Dr. Hezler (Michael O'Keefe). Alan has two children: Benjamin (Damian Roman) who is four and Caitlin (Gia Mantegna) who is at that difficult age. Caitlin has a very cold if not hateful relationship with her father, which immediately makes you think we are headed down the ghost/incest lane, something that has become too much of a substitution for good writing here of late.

The mother Cindy has passed on. They believe she is the haunting spirit. Caitlin blames her father for her death.

This production is subject to the same criticism of all found film productions. This one experiments with an idiotic head mounted camera that gives the film a "fish eye" view. The writing and acting were acceptable "B" grade fair. The scare factor was middle of the road. The main problem with this film is that we didn't get to feel for the characters. We got to know about them, but just didn't care.

PARENTAL GUIDE: F-bomb, no sex or nudity.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Crisp atmosphere, *some* excellent acting, and a mood of real dread Oct. 23 2013
By J from NY - Published on Amazon.com
A lot of viewers seem to have been nonplussed by this film, and I'm not entirely sure why. While the "found footage" technique is getting a bit hackneyed, there's still value in it if the director does it right. And in this case Carlen Torrens seemed to know what he was doing. (People seem to forget that the style originated with "The Last Broadcast" (1998) and not "The Blair Witch Project", tending to blame the latter instead of the former.)

It's not the concept that makes this a really grimy, scary movie, it's the cast of characters Torren brings on board, more specifically two actors who are just generally sinister in whatever roles they play: Michael O' Keefe and Kai Lennox, namely. O' Keefe looks particularly ghastly in this film as Dr. Helzer (a not so subtle reference to Hanz Holzer, the "parapsychologist" who once channeled the spirit of Elvis and wrote a book about it) as the lighting reflects on his constantly sweaty, angst ridden face. Kai Lennox absolutely looks like the malevolent dad with some perverse secret, and his meltdown at one point is great acting.

Keefe plays the parapsychologist called on by Lennox (Alan White, widower) as he needs assistance with his daughter's strange behavior and a poltergeist phenomenon within the home. The movie moves fairly quickly from being lighthearted to sinister without skipping a beat. When the explanations come--a cocktail of mental illness with something else moving around--it is genuinely eerie and packed with atmosphere. The only huge flaw in this production is the ending shot, which was absolutely cliched and just awful. Fortunately, that's after all the important elements of the film have occurred.

I would recommend this to any fan of the horror genre, despite the reservations that may come from some hasty reviews.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Good suspenseful horror April 2 2013
By S. Safreed - Published on Amazon.com
It's not going to win any Oscars, but Apartment 143 was a solid , suspenseful horror film. There were the appropriate bumps, knocks, eerie noises, and confused people. What made it far more interesting was the story itself. While it followed the standard pacing ad formula the characters were engaging, smart and most of all, scared.

I'm not a real fan of horror films but this one was definitely worth the time!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A few good scares derailed by a confusing story and worn-out devices. Sept. 8 2013
By Ben - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Apartment 143 is essentially a combination of Paranormal Activity and The Last Exorcism. Much of the movie is presented from the perspective of the first-person, handheld camera of a paranormal investigative crew of three, but a few stationary cameras are thrown into the mix halfway through the movie to spice things up. In this respect Apartment 143 offers a little more cinematically than either of the two aforementioned films. On the other hand, the camera quality is low and the sound ranges from barely-audible to ouch-turn-it-down depending on the scene. Worse yet, there is only one scene where the paranormal crew puts its fancy technology to use (a stationary camera pans over a dark room using a strobe), making for a bland visual experience.

Visual boredom aside, Apartment 143 falls apart because of its gross lack of identity. Is it a ghost movie? Or is it a possession flick? Is it about apartment 143, or is it about the family that lives there? Is it about a haunting? A demon? A host of demons? Or is it actually a drama about a widower who struggles to be a father? The answer is yes. It tries to be all of these things, and in the process it ends up being none of them. No avenue is taken far enough or explored in enough depth to ground the film's plot. As a result, Apartment 143 is a disjointed, confusing mess, and numerous opportunities to pull off good scares are missed. Peripheral characters come and go without any apparent purpose; the father of the family changes from pushover to self-righteous martyr in a matter of minutes. None of it makes any sense.

In the filmmakers' defense, there are a handful of truly chilling scenes in Apartment 143, and there were moments when I felt like the movie warranted a higher rating than I have given it. The acting is decent enough, but the characters are horribly underdeveloped in light of all the things this film tries to accomplish (particularly the drama aspect I mentioned above). Moreover, Apartment 143 relies much too heavily on tired devices. We have a small child who seems to notice things everyone else does not. We have family conflict that contributes to the severity of the paranormal events. We have ghost-like figures that appear on film and in photographs but not to the naked eye. Some of this same photo and video evidence ends up mysteriously erased... the list goes on.

When I said Apartment 143 is basically a combination of two other films, Paranormal Activity and The Last Exorcism, I was not exaggerating. Its perspective and camera style are nearly identical to that of the former, the possession aspect is very similar to what we see in the latter, and it uses many of the same horror elements of each, even daring to lift a few specific scenes and repeat them verbatim (those who made it to the end of Apartment 143 will note the unoriginality of the last scene). Apartment 143 was not a "bad" horror movie in the same sense that a lot of poorly-acted, unscary B-horrors are, but it also failed to do anything new or original. When I venture into the Blair Witch/"found footage" genre I am rarely impressed by the status quo; I enjoy new takes on the original template, films like V/H/S (which presents multiple perspectives in a variety of original stories) and Cloverfield (basically Godzilla from the first-person perspective) that do something new amidst a host of stale copycats that share and borrow liberally from one another. Apartment 143 is not one of those films. It does nothing new, it jumps around without any sense of identity, and there just are not enough scares to make it worthwhile.

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