Someone Tell That Ghost That This Apartment is Not Haunted.
When I watched Silent House, it was because I’ve had a hankering recently to watch a horror movie with ghosts. Silent House was obviously the wrong choice because it did not involve ghosts or a haunting and also wasn’t very good, but when I went into work shortly after I realized what I was craving, I saw a movie on a shelf that piqued my interest. It seemed to definitely involve ghosts, so that was a good thing, but it could also very easily suck, being a movie that I had never heard of. But I am no stranger to watching horrible movies, so I decided to see what this movie had to offer. And that is what led me up to my review of Apartment 143 [Emergo], written by Rodrigo Cortés, directed by Carles Torrens, and starring Kai Lennox, Gia Mantegna, Michael O’Keefe, Fiona Glascott, and Rick Gonzalez.
A team of parapsychologists – Dr. Helzer (Michael O’Keefe), Ellen Keegan (Fiona Glascott), and equipment tech Paul Ortega (Rick Gonzalez) – enter the house of the White family – father Alan White (Kai Lennox), daughter Caitlin White (Gia Mantegna), and son Benny (Damian Roman) – to investigate a haunting that they believe may be the mother/wife of the White family that died recently in a car crash. And that about covers it…
Well, this was certainly the type of movie I was looking to watch. It was a haunting situation, and even got to be a little found footage. Basically, I just want to watch Paranormal Activity 4, but it’s not out yet. This was intended to hold me over, I guess. How did it do? Meh. It was okay. You can see that I didn’t really have very much to say about the story of the movie because there really wasn’t that much to it. It’s the same story that every such movie has: people find out about a ghost, then shit starts to go down. And then it stops. I guess that’s probably an oversimplification of the story, but it’s a fairly common feeling movie. It takes a little time to try to add some extra parapsychology babble into the script, acting like there’s no such thing as ghosts even though this house seems to have the shit haunted out of it, and saying that the bitchy, broody teen girl is the cause of it. Look here movie: if every bitchy, moody teen caused poltergeist-like manifestations around the house, everyone in the world would think ghosts existed. And I would’ve fuckin’ loved to be able to tear my house up with my mind because of my teenage angst! But it didn’t happen. And that causes me more angst. And yet my house is just as dirty as it always is, and barely anything is levitating. There’s even a part in the middle of the movie where a ghost full-on manifests, but a little bit later the parapsychologist is still saying it’s not a ghost. Why are you even wasting your time being pretty much a ghost hunter when you don’t even believe what you’re hunting exists? I got to thinking about something in this movie though. I understand why a ghost would do something insignificant early on in the movie, such as moving a bench for no reason, but why would the ghost do it in the reality of the movie? From a movie standpoint, if you didn’t do those things early on, the movie wouldn’t really amp up, and the audience would probably be bored with nothing happening until you were ready to tell your story. But in the movie world, why is this ghost moving a bench 3 feet away from where it was when no one’s in the room to see it? Just trying to be annoying or something? Hoping someone will trip over it Dick van Dyke-style? The biggest problem I had with the story was that there was no surprise to it whatsoever. I would call this a spoiler alert, but I thought it was a complete given because of the DVD cover for the movie, but the cover image is a picture of the girl in the movie crawling up a wall, clearly possessed. When it happens in the movie, they seem to reveal it as if I should’ve been surprised by it.
The look of the movie was fine. It really went for the Paranormal Activity style, being occasionally filmed by hand and occasionally filmed by stationary cameras they had set up. I wasn’t quite sure why the quality of the camera seemed to change all the time, though. Sometimes it seemed like it was high definition, sometimes it was grainy, sometimes it was about midway with white dots on the camera that were never explained. It was nothing special though. And they didn’t really do anything I haven’t seen before in the effects either. I liked the little strobe light camera they used, that flashed every other second or so as it rotated around the room taking pictures. Obviously, you know what’s going to happen, but it still got a little jump out of me. Even though I liked that thing, it still fits into the “Seen it before” category.
I was okay with the performances in the movie for the most part. Kai Lennox did a pretty good job as the dad. He really seemed to be barely holding back emotions for the bulk of the movie until the part where he had to release it. Both were well executed. Rick Gonzalez kind of got on my nerves, but that makes sense because he seemed to be the attempt at the comic relief in the movie, and I tend to hate that. Everyone else didn’t make much of an impression except for Gia Mantegna. First of all, she was a lousy bitch in the movie. I wanted to smack her in the mouth for the entire movie! And I don’t think that’s a great choice for that character, since they seem to also want me to feel sorry for her, but I just wanted the ghost to make her jump out a window and be done with the whole thing. On the other hand, she was also kinda hot, which I feel safe saying because I looked her up and she’s 22. Also, she’s much hotter outside of this movie. But I digress…
Apartment 143 [Emergo] turned out to be slightly disappointing, but not as much so because I went in with zero expectations. And it met them! The story was what happens when you saw Paranormal Activity about 5 years ago and forgot about it, but then thought it was an original idea when you remembered it later. The look is fine, but without anything to talk about. And the performances were mostly good. The movie is fine if you have a craving for ghost movies as I had, but mostly unnecessary if you don’t. Even if you do, there are better ones to watch. I’d say you can safely skip this movie. Apartment 143 [Emergo] gets “Paranormal Activity, plus 20 morose and irritating points” out of “Watch out for that bench!”
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