Good lord, where do I begin? First off, I really dig the 'found footage' movies that are out there. There have been a few pieces of garbage, but overall, they're pretty solid. 'Apartment 143' was suggested to me by a friend and falls vaguely into the 'found footage' sub-genre. Secondly, It was billed as a 'Paranormal Activity', but with the action those films were missing. Sadly, it was missing all the good stuff from those films and the action they were talking about was horrible.... at best. It showed its low budget shortcomings loud and clear. I've seen countless films that had little to no budget that have pulled off amazing things. This one obviously had some money behind it, but they must have spent it on milky white contacts, instead of a good script or decent actors. Everything felt stiff. It was like watching paint drying on cardboard. This movie was really just an exercise in trying to cash in on a proven sub-genre. The only really new things it brought to the table were.... nothing.
The plot was centered around a guy and his two kids that moved to an apartment. The house they used to live in became haunted after his wife (the kids mother) died suddenly. However, once they moved.... the spirt moved with them. So, they got involved with a paranormal investagative team and soon the team was hunting ghosts. There's some vague sub-plot about murder and possilbe incest. None of it ever really goes anywhere. There is some backstory with the investagators that is bland and unfinished. That's about it. Good guys win.... or do they?
All in all, this movie was a turd. Maybe I missed the hidden nuggets of candy that were wedged in the middle of the movie? Maybe I was not in the right mindset to watch a movie of this type? Maybe it just sucked? I think so. I didn't care about the characters. I lost interest in the movie after about 20 minutes in. The special effects were poor. They location was okay, but there are tons of apartments out there that are kind of creepy. And to top everthing off, there's a little 'surprise' at the end. I only wish I'd turned it off before that part happened. It made an already terrible movie, that much worse.
I think what the reviewer must have missed about the difference between this movie and the 'PA' films was the stuff you didn't see. I hear that said a lot about movies and films that rely on your brain over CGI. 'PA' is so successful because it plays on our fears and only we know what those fears are. So, if you have a fear of spirits or the things that go bump in the night, then you can relate to the films. And since you never really see what's haunting the characters in the film, then you can make that horror anything you want. 'Apartment 143' laid all its card on the table and left you with no room to imagine the horror within. Because what you are afraid of in your mind is FAR scarier than anything a guy behind a computer can create. But if you are someone that has to SEE the scary parts, the maybe 'Grave Encounters' is more for you. It falls into the same sub-genre as 'Apartment 143 and the 'PA' films. It also shows you the stuff you're scared of. The big difference between 'Apartment 143' and 'Grave Encounters' is, the ghosts in 'GE' are unique and actually quite frightening. There's suspense and terror there. 'Apartment 143' just re-hashed every ghostly cliche you've ever seen. Another one that is in the same boat is 'Paranormal Entity'. It's really just a 'PA' knock-off, but it succeeds on so many more levelas that 'Apartment 143'. It feels like something you've seen before, but it still creates tension and horror. I'd recommend that one over this one any day of the week. That's it.... plain and simple. 'Apartment 143'....it sucked.
All in all, I give 'Apartment 143' a 1 out of 5 star rating. It's a ghost story with no real scares and no re-watchability. If you decide to watch it, keep your expectations low and you bottle of Jack Daniels even closer.
Other films that 'Apartment 143' wanted to be like: 'Paranormal Activity' 1 through 4, 'Grave Encounters' and 'Paranormal Entitiy'