Watch or Don’t: Apartment 1303

Why do haunted apartment movies suck me in? Name your movie Apartment Whatever Number, and I’m there, even when I know better.

Summary

Overwhelmed by the antics of her fading star, alcoholic mother (Rebecca De Mornay), Janet (Julianne Michelle) moves into her own apartment. She misses all the warning signs that it will be an awful place to live, finds out it’s haunted, and is killed in a matter of days when the ghost haunting the place pushes her off the balcony (what a view!). Her sister, played by Mischa Barton, sets out to solve the mystery.

Where It Went Wrong

  • Only Rebecca De Mornay can act.
  • It escalates too quickly. It’s obvious from the graffiti-covered elevator that this isn’t a nice place. Then Janet hears a few sounds in the apartment, and that sets her mascara running down her cheeks. The problem is the story is really about her sister. Janet should have died in the opening scene, and they should have gotten Drew Barrymore to do the scene a la Scream.
  • Low-budget is the glory of the horror movie. You don’t need to spend millions of dollars to make a good one, but make sure your ghost isn’t just a woman in a soaking-wet dress. Also, actually renting an apartment in Detroit for the week it probably took to make this movie would have been cheaper than building a set and making a bad green screen.

What to Watch Instead

  • Scream
  • 1408
  • Rosemary’s Baby
  • The Shining
  • The Conjuring
  • Sinister
  • Let the Right One In
  • House at the End of the Street
  • Disturbing Behavior
  • What Lies Beneath
  • The Others
  • Insidious

Verdict: Don’t Watch

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