A young woman named Sarah (Nicole Brydon Bloom) is attempting to start a brand-new life and hopes to move forward from her mysterious past. Sarah discovers a vacant apartment which she really likes the look of. She decides to apply for it, competing against many other applicants who are also interested in the same apartment. Soon Sarah is pleased to find out her application has been approved and she gets the apartment. She begins to move in and meet all the people within the large apartment building, and at first everyone around her appears to be quite welcoming and pleasing.
But as Sarah settles in her new apartment, she begins to have several concerns. At night she begins to hear strange noises which she suspects could be just due to the old pipes within the walls. Her fellow neighbours within the apartment block are also doing a few strange and bizarre things which also catches her attention. To make matters worse, someone even begins to put threatening notes under Sarah’s door. You see, the apartment block has a rule which does not allow any pets into the building and Sarah has just snuck in her very own kitty cat for company.
Apartment 1BR has many mysteries and strange occurrences within the first act and this review has barely scratched the surface of most of them. I will state that there is more to Sarah’s neighbours than meets the eye. Sarah is now alone with little support around her and it is up to her to try to survive within this new community.
For the most part, Apartment 1BR feels more of a drama film with an added element of thriller and mystery. As Sarah attempts to move away from her past, it is rather unfortunate she only finds herself in a whole world of new trouble. I thought the performance of Sarah, played by Nicole Brydon Bloom, was great as she handles a large range of emotions and bad situations throughout the film. The film’s third act was also a major highlight for me as it was filled with the most suspenseful and unpredictable moments. The film’s musical score for the most part was positive too.
For those who are not aware, this film has been directed by David Marmor. Apartment 1BR is David’s very first directional feature length debut. I am pleased to say the director has introduced a few new elements, including his choices in pacing style. All these elements were refreshing to see. Visually I also cannot fault the film. Everything was generally easy to view and simple to follow.
While I enjoyed Sarah as a character, I cannot deny that she has been written with some cliches. The film also introduces several mysteries in the first act, but to my surprise, the film decides to reveal most of them within the first act too. It is an unusual and unexpected choice and I did find the mysteries in the first act extremely predictable and not surprising. A couple of editing choices could have made this act more surprising to its viewers. Side characters are certainly a weaker element here too. Naturally, the leading actress carries most of the film’s strength which is great to see.
Overall, this is a gripping drama film with an added element of thriller and even gore. As a directional debut by David Marmor, I was pleased to see several fresh elements in this film. The leading performance by actress Nicole Brydon Bloom was also great as her character goes through many emotions and dramatic situations throughout the film. The film’s third act was most certainly a highlight as it was filled with surprises and unpredictability.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden