Apartment 143 is another in the embarrassingly long list of paranormal/ghostly-goings-on movies whose aim is see how many times it can make it jump. Frustratingly though Apartment 143 has moments where it steps up, creates an atmosphere that chills then screws it up by throwing a lazy jump scare in.
It also has one of the most baffling ‘twists’ that would be admirable if it wasn’t so laughable.
Set in the apartment of the White family, this ‘sigh’ found footage film sees a team of parapsychology experts trying to uncover the truth behind the spooky events occurring inside. The family are made up of Alan, the father, his teenage daughter Caitlin and young son Benny. As a unit they are falling apart, Alan’s wife and mother to the kids died a few months ago and it hit them very hard.
Caitlin blames her dad & pretty much hates his guts, he is trying to keep things together as much as possible but the stress is clear to see. I felt sorry for him.
It’s an awkward setup for the parapsychology team but it doesn’t take long after their arrival for the spooky stuff to start. Small stuff like the doorbell ringing when no-one is there, loud banging and things being moved.
Alan doesn’t know what is going on but Caitlin consistently implies that he is responsible for it. It soon becomes clear that he is hiding the truth about what happened to his wife & that may be the cause of the all the ghostly-goings-on.
The end result, while incredibly well acted turns the entire movie into a farce as we’re led to believe stress, blame, hereditary schizophrenia and teenage hormones could cause the level of paranormal activity that occurs in this apartment. It’s gobsmacking just how idiotic this twist is but to make things worse the film won’t even commit to its own dumb idea dropping in a infuriating final jump scare to try and leave you guessing.
Just think about this for a second…the film spends most of its time trying to convince you that the apartment is haunted, then it pulls the rug out on that (which is admirable if it wasn’t so absurd) before leaving you with the possibility that it was a haunting all along! Make up your freakin’ mind!
Some of the scares are good with a brooding atmosphere hanging over all events, the found footage element is not the worst I’ve seen and it does create some cool moments…that are invariably ruined by a jump scare. Take the flash camera moment for example. They set up this camera in the pitch dark that can take fast flash pictures of an entire room in the hope that it might pick up some spiritual energy.
As the camera quickly sweeps the room it’s obvious a jump scare is coming but it builds tension fantastically as the it completes one rotation, then another then another…boom, there is your jump scare. It’s a terrible one too, a ghostly figure rushing towards the camera. Such a disappointment especially after such a good build.
That kind of sums up the movie as whole…a big disappointment especially after it makes such efforts early on. I just can’t quite get past that twist though.
Are we done with paranormal movies yet?
The Final Score - 5/10
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