I’m going to have a hard time talking about this film without spoiling it. Which I will endeavor not to do so. Though it won’t leave much to talk about, as the Apartment 143 was basically a giant groan fest for me. Though I did like a handful of aspects of this film, but mostly it feels like a film that’s cobbled together with elements that the filmmakers saw work in other films and said “lets just do that, that and lets throw this in for good measure”. Honestly. maybe something was just lost on me as this is a Spanish horror film. Though my gut tells me it’s just a bad movie.
Apartment 143 opens with the arrival of a team of paranormal researchers lead by Dr. Helzer (Michael O’Keefe), his assistant Ellen Keegan (Fiona Glascott) and their lead technician Paul Ortega (Rick Gonzalez) arriving at the residence of the White family. The White’s, headed by Alan (Kai Lennox) a recent widower who as moved to small, dingy apartment with teenage daughter Caitlin (Gia Mantegna) and young son Benny (Damian Roman). The White’s have recently relocated to the apartment after the death of Alan’s wife and the strange occurrences that started taking place in their home. After the disturbances started getting violent, Alan moved his family. But after about a week they started back up and not knowing what to do turned to Dr. Helzer. Dr. Helzer and his crew rig the apartment with cameras, motion sensors and other devices to try to find the cause of the families supernatural disturbance. But as the experiments go on, it becomes clear that they’re not dealing with a haunting at all…
First off, Apartment 143 is short. Incredibly so in fact, with a meager 80 minute run time. Which would be fine if the script was tight and well written but it’s not. So the little time we get in the film, is often wasted. Being used on jump scares and weak explanations.
Now, on the subject of the script. It’s not that good. It’s not awful, as I’ve seen some films with far worse scripts. It’s sad that more care wasn’t taken as there was promise here. But for every good moment of dialogue that makes you feel for character’s you get fifteen of he-hawing and weak exposition and remember the run time is only 80 minutes.
But Apartment 143 isn’t all downside. I really liked the pseudo found footage feel. Apartment 143 defiantly took it notes here and uses the techniques of the sub-genre to their best. The grainy footage, black and white shots and awkward angles all do great jobs heightening the atmosphere.
I also like that the film’s premise and the setting in the old near empty apartment complex. As once again, these elements really add to the film’s over all appeal. But the lack of neighbors, friends or outside characters does feel a bit off.
Final thoughts, it’s ok at best. Which is sad because it does really try to be a decent to good film and at times it does manage to do so. But those times are sparse and spread too far out. The characters lack dimension and like ability, which is always an issue for me. That coupled with the final shot of the film, that I assume was supposed to leave me questioning the validity of what came before. Just left me feeling more underwhelmed and uninterested. 4/10