Apartment 1303 (2012) Movie Review
Written By: JASR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Michael Taverna
Producers: Cindy Nelson-Mullen, Scott M. Rosenfelt, et al.
Writers: Kei Ôishi, Michael Taverna
Date Released: June 17, 2013
Mischa Barton as Lara Slate
Julianne Michelle as Janet Slate
Rebecca De Mornay as Maddie Slate
Corey Sevier as Mark Taylor
Madison McAleer as Emily
Gordon Masten as O’Neil
Grace Savage as Joyce
John Diehl as Detective
Kathleen Mackey as Jennifer Logan
Rating = 1/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Wanting to get away from her alcoholic mother, Janet (Julianne Michelle) moves into an apartment. Her sister Lara (Mischa Barton) tells her she should not have signed a lease on the first apartment she sees, but Janet disregards Lara’s remarks. Janet begins to have malevolent encounters in the apartment until a spirit causes her to fall from her balcony – instantly killing her. It appears to be a suicide, but Lara tries to find out the real cause of her sister’s death as she learns about the apartment’s history in the process.
The image of Janet’s fall from her balcony is gory yet manageable. Other scenes involve some blood, but nothing beyond revolting. As long as viewers can tolerate brief images of blood, nothing in the movie appears to be gory.
The Grave Review
Apartment 1303 (2012) is the American remake of a Japanese horror movie of the same name, and frankly another proof why people should avoid producing remakes.
The casting of the two sisters was good because Mischa Barton and Julianne Michelle do have a lot of noticeably similar physical traits. However, the acting is painful to watch and seems to be an insult to horror movies in the world of filmmaking.
An example of the movie’s awful acting and senselessness is the scene where Janet checks out the apartment after signing the lease. The way she is moving, acting, and reacting seems like it was her first time to see the apartment. Another example is Lara’s response to Janet’s call after the latter’s death. She asks, “Is it really you?” which is a senseless question – especially since Lara already knew about her sister’s death. No quality horror movie would have that kind of dialogue.
The computer-generated imagery (CGI) in the movie is so painful to watch as well. The scene where Janet is about to fall from the balcony looks so painfully fake that it felt like the crew did not exert effort in the movie at all. More than this, as Janet holds on to the railing before falling, we can see how fake it is. The director could have given the actress points on how to make it look and feel realistic. The scene looks like the actress was just relaxing her arm on a school desk.
When Mark checks his phone, he sees a message from “Ex.” That is the actual name on his phone, and it is extremely unrealistic that his ex’s name on his phone is just “Ex.” If that was the director’s way of making it clear to the audience, I would say there was no point. Mark could have simply mentioned later on that his ex sent him a message. Why name her as “Ex” on his phone? Shouldn’t it at least be her first name? Watching it was painfully unrealistic.
Unrealistic scenes do not stop there. When we see the message on the phone, we do not see realistic graphics. It does not seem like a message that the character got. It appears to be a weirdly bright graphic taken from the internet.
The movie has other issues such as poor continuity and uncoordinated lip syncs. In one frame, we see Janet sleeping with her head facing a certain way. In the next frame, it suddenly faces a different direction when the scene does not imply any time gap between the two frames. There is also terrible lip-syncing in the scene where Lara is crying. Her mouth does not open at all, but we hear her say something as she cries.
Apartment 1303 is unfortunately 1 hour and 30 minutes that viewers can never get back. The story could pass up as a 300-word short story – maybe then, the scenes would make more sense.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Apartment 1303 (2012) one grave out of five graves.
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