It is understandable why there are still a lot of movies in the found footage horror film sub-genre. One, it is inexpensive to produce. Two, it is easy to direct, since it requires only the minimum of production values.
Thirdly, the hype surrounding successful found footage movies is still positive such that they easily rake in money at the tills. This is despite the staleness of the sub-genre. There's little innovation happening in found footage movies these days; with some claiming that seeing one is akin to seeing all of them.
Even the Paranormal Activity franchise, the series of movies that led to the current found footage boom, feels worn down and now exists only to be a cash cow.
Case in point: Apartment 143, a horror film from Spain now being screened in Philippine theaters.
Apartment 143 tells the story of a family of three living in an apartment that may be haunted. To solve it, three parapsychologists visit the apartment to investigate the strange events, and to find out what caused them.
The thin plot barely develops throughout the movie's short running time, which depicts parapsychologists making use of infra-red filming, digital photography, psychophonic recordings, movement detectors, and magnetic field alteration meters.
Even worse, several red herrings muddle the plot even further that the movie can only offer a confusing conclusion. Are there ghosts, or are the hauntings a result of psychic energy that can be explained by science? The movie does pick one of these options, but a cheap last scene discredits it.
The actors also did not perform that well. The movie is billed to be a true story, but the actors are not competent enough to make them believable.
Still, Apartment 143 should be commended for its strong special effects.
The movie's climax is shocking because the ensuing damage looks believable--the actors get thrown around, walls are torn down, and a strong gust of wind destroys the whole apartment.
All in all, Apartment 143 is an average horror movie in the overused found footage format. The special effects remain to be the reason why this movie is worth a movie ticket.
Ed's Note: The "PEP Review" section carries the views of individual reviewers, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the PEP editorial team.
MOVIE REVIEW: Apartment 143 should be commended for its strong special effects
by Mark Angelo Ching posted on May 28, 2013