Monday 30 April 2012

Apartment 143 [Emergo] (2012)

With a VOD release on April 27th and a theatrical run beginning later on June 1st, I took full advantage of the VOD.

This is a found footage / faux documentary, with a feel of Paranormal Activity (2007), Poltergeist (1982) with a touch of The Exorcist (1973) and a mix of a supernatural / possession / psychological thriller. Sounds complicated? I guess so, but the film itself isn't.

A team of high-tech parapsychologists, Dr. Helzer, Paul and Ellen, set out to investigate a series of anomalous phenomena taking place in a an apartment, where widowed father Alan White lives with his two children Caitlin and Benny. The team arrives at the apartment and things kick off pretty much straight away with strange noises, footstep type sounds and banging. It soon dies down as they go about setting up their equipment and make themselves familiar with the White family.

After having suffered similar problems in the house they lived in previous, they up sticks only to have the unexplained phenomenon follow them. With gizmos and gadgets galore, a lot of activity is not only captured, but experienced first hand.

The four year old son believes it to be his dead mother, the teenage daughter seems to be ignoring what's going on and the father is distraught and scared for his kids. There's a quite obvious strain on the relationship between father and daughter and with the truth behind the history of the small family being discovered and how Alan's wife died, things get a whole lot worse as that history is manifesting itself more and more through Caitlin. The team capture everything with a plethora of equipment but also get to close too the action.

OK, so found footage films are becoming more and more present in horror as there's certainly no shortage of them now. By no means is this an original piece of film making but the movie still pulls it off with a certain flare. The effects out weigh anything Paranormal Activity has to offer. The story is solid and there's more to it than just a simple haunting or a mysterious possession.

The well written script is delivered by all the cast in equal measures of good acting. There's no prolonged gaps of uninteresting dialogue. Rather, every conversation relates to what's going on. Which means it's easy to get to know the family in a short period of time and you can connect with each character. Character development in these kinds of films are so important. It can make or break a film, even effecting the shipment of scares. There is certainly a fair share of freaky and jumpy moments, which are not just put there for the sake of it. They tie in with each character's chronicle, namely Allan and daughter Caitlin, who provide a simple yet stand out performance by Kai Lennox and Gia Mantegna respectively.

The Spanish duo of Torrens and Cortés have stepped up to the plate that is found footage and given us a worthy opponent to take on and beat the best of them out there.

Apartment 143 gets an 8/10

The Cast -                                               Director - Carles Torrens
Kai Lennox as Alan White
Michael O'Keefe as Dr. Helzer                    Writer - Rodrigo Cortés
Rick Gonzalez as Paul Ortega
Fiona Glascott as Ellen Keegan
Gia Mantegna as Caitlin White
Damian Roman as Benny White 

Check out the trailer below...

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