Saturday, March 15, 2014

Oh, Japan: Apartment 1303

I think I've already seen this movie- like 100 times.  Today's film is Apartment 1303, the original version from Japan that is.  Right away, I have a problem.  Like I said, this movie is very familiar.  I'm not even the biggest watcher of J-Horror/K-Horror Films either.  I've tried to touch upon the classics like Ringu (and related films in the series), but generally avoid the more standard fare.  I tend to like my Japanese films to be crazy as shit.  Flying (and size-changing) sharks, tuna rolls humping each other and Japanese people talking about how they want to kill those damn Japanese- that's what I want!  So what is this film about?  It's about a ghost or two in an Apartment that leads to Japanese girls/ladies being killed.  How unique.  I did agree to watch this and the American Remake, so let me just jump right in without more stalling...
Girl moves into the titular Apartment.  Stall, stall, stall.  Ghost shows up and she falls off of the balcony just as the boyfriend arrives.
A month later, a new girl moves into the same apartment.  Stall, stall stall.  Ghost appears and makes her go crazy.  She eats some dog food, puts on a helmet (for a good reason) and...
...jumps off of the balcony.  Sadly, this is the best that the visual effects for falling people get.
The Sister moves in to figure out what happened.  Her Mother is a bit manic-depressive and tends to lash out.  Throw that in with the angry people at the Funeral and you have a really-bleak movie.  Yeah...
In Plot Cliche #457, she talks to a Police Officer/Expert about all of the mysterious deaths.  If you think that this will actually affect the plot in any major way, then you are sorely-mistaken.

At least when Suspiria did this 30 years earlier, it was a bit more fresh.
Eventually we get a clear glimpse on what happened.

Basically, a lady and her young daughter moved into the Apartment.  The mom went crazy- for no clear reason- and eventually had to be killed by the Daughter, who, in turn, killed herself by jumping out the Window.  That help?
It is also worth noting that she gets this information from a book written about the series of mysterious suicides that seem to keep taking place in the Apartment. does nobody in the film know about this beforehand?
For the climax, she arrives after more deaths (see a future Poor Bastards of Cinema for that) and decides to go up by herself...even though the Police are downstairs.  She meets the angry ghosts, which seem to include the Mother, the little girl and the adult form of the same girl.

This visual is neat and all, but how can you have BOTH ghosts of the same person there?  Is that how ghosts work now?
Since the whole film has been bleak and dreary, we get a dark ending that solves nothing.  Joy.  The End.
I don't hate it.  I really don't.  I just...well, I just don't care.  No offense to those involved, but you made nothing new.  They managed to do the same old shit pretty well, but it is still the same old shit.  I know that some people don't mind this- good for you.  I just want more in a film than 'here is what worked before' and nothing more.  The pacing is still off.  The tone is still super-bleak (even by J-Horror standards).  I will say that it was easier to follow than the last few of these I saw like Reincarnation (released as an After Dark film for some reason) and The Wig.  Am I the audience for this one?  Probably not.  I just watched a film today and got two Horror previews with it- Deliver Us From Evil (not the one with horny French girls) and Oculus (which is just Mirror, Mirror)  When I saw them, I called every 'jump scare' and just felt ashamed.  They were uninspired.  That is the biggest problem: apathy.  You may like this film alot more than I do.  I can live with that.  I will stick with the bat-shit insane stuff like ass-chainsaws and sword-boobs that Japan puts out.  Kudos for the silly Production Company name though...
Next, let's celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  I will either touch upon a weird kid's film or re-visit a quirky gem.  Stay tuned...

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