HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
Flesh Feast
Gerald's Game
Crocodile Dundee II
Baaghi
Bat People, The
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Tower
Message from the King
Street Smart
Mountain
   
 
Newest Articles
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
   
 
  Apartment 1303 A Room With A View To A KillBuy this film here.
Year: 2007
Director: Ataru Oikawa
Stars: Noriko Nakagoshi, Arata Furata, Eriko Hatsune, Yuka Itaya, Naoko Itani
Genre: Horror
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: A young Japanese woman has just moved into her new apartment and is settling in happily as she unpacks. Then she receives a telephone call from her boyfriend who is contacting her after attending a funeral, and says he will be over to see her without changing out of his suit. This turns out to be more appropriate than he could possibly imagine as when he arrives at the apartment block he is walking up the steps and is surprised to be taken by the hand by a little girl who points upwards: there is his girlfriend falling from her thirteenth floor balcony...

Apartment 1303 was an identikit chiller from the director of the Tomie films, Ataru Oikawa, here scripting with Kei Oshi and Takamasa Sato. You name the Japanese horror clich├ęs of the 1990s and 2000s and they were here, from the imperiled young heroines and creepy little girls to the tragic villiainess with curtains of long, black hair covering her face. Whether that's a good thing or not depends on how often you've seen this type of thing before and if you have seen it before, if you're sick of it yet.

Apartment 1303 seems designed to be a horror film for young women, as it is actresses who make up most of the cast, and only a couple of them middle aged. After killing off one of the characters who looked to be our lead in the first five minutes, they proceed to do it again when we follow Sayaka who moves into the dreaded place next. She has her friends over for a housewarming, but when talk turns to ghosts she begins to act strangely, eating dog food and looking trancelike.

And promptly jumping over the balcony. After that the focus alters to her sister, Mariko (Noriko Nakagoshi) who is understandably shocked about what has happened, but is coping better than her mother. The filmmakers apparently have issues with their mothers, as it is they who are either too controlling, or in the most extreme case, are able to make the spirit haunting the apartment of the title come into being and cause all those deaths. All our heroines want is independence, but their mums won't comply.

The film is flashback heavy as we gradually find out the reason for the haunting. Those scare sequences rely on a lot of creeping about, mainly towards a sinister cupboard, but resolve themselves into a climax of the sort we've seen many times before. Mariko is a decent enough protagonist, and rightly admonishes the owner of 1303 for renting it to young women over and over again depsite the way that they all take a tumble off the balcony eventually, and sooner rather than later. Didn't anyone think there might be somthing wrong before Mariko came along? But the ending is unsatisfying and bleak, perhaps to leave room for a possible sequel. Music by John Lissauer and Masako Miyoshi.

[The CineAsia Region 2 DVD has trailers as an extra.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6309 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: