Apartment 143 (Emergo) (2011)

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Released 24-Oct-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of-Making Of Apartment 143
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Child’s Play
Featurette-Making Of-Levitating - Special Effects
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 76:44 (Case: 80)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Carles Torrens
Studio
Distributor
Nostromo Pictures
Entertainment One
Starring Francesc Garrido
Fiona Glascott
Rick Gonzalez
Kai Lennox
Gia Mantegna
Michael O'Keefe
Damian Roman
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Víctor Reyes


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

   

“Where Evil Resides"

    Apartment 143 (Emergo) is another horror movie involving “found” handy cam footage which should be warning enough for the jaded movie reviewer. This outing is the first main-stream film by Spanish filmmaker Carles Torrens, and features a largely Spanish production team. Any thought that this might herald an innovative take on the handy cam style horror movie is soon put to rest however, as we see the clichés roll in – one after the other.

    The White family – widower Alan (Kai Lennox) and his two children, Benny (Damian Roman) and teenage daughter Caitlin (Gia Mantega) have moved into apartment 143 after a series of unexplained events forced them from their family home. You know the stuff – poltergeist 101 type things such as flying objects, lights working by themselves, temperature changes etcetera. Unfortunately for them however, the events follow them into their new home, and so Alan enlists the local ghostbuster team of Dr. Helzer (Michael O’Keefe), Ellen (Fiona Glascott) and Paul (Rick Gonzalez) to help find out what is going on. The parapsychologists setup various monitoring devices and check all the rooms although the troubled daughter Caitlin offers some resistance. It doesn't take long for the team to run into spookiness and they become convinced that something is indeed going on that they can’t explain. Interviews conducted by the investigators with the family seem to indicate that these events only began happening following the untimely death of Alan’s wife. Young Benny in the interview thinks that the flicking lights and flying objects were being caused by mum who “is not dead, or alive”. Hmm. The ghostbusters decide to move to plan B and enlist the psychic Heseltine (Francesc Garrido) in an effort to flush out the bringer of bad vibes. Needless to say that events take a turn for the worse with a bit of demonic possession manifesting itself in predictable fashion until the final climax and reveal.

    The worst thing about Apartment 143 is that it is not very scary. There are the usual manipulated shocks that you can see coming a mile away, but nothing to really take hold of your imagination. The characters are dull and uninvolved, the acting is wooden, the script is cliché ridden, and direction is so formulaic that it mirrors just about every handy cam type movie ever put to screen. Blair Witch has a lot to answer for. The camera shots vary from shaky cam, to surveillance footage, to talking heads, and all of it is pretty pedestrian. It’s bad when the most interesting footage is from the ceiling mounted CCTV cameras – even when nothing is happening. At least there is a bit of suspense with that. Although only a short film I was fervently wishing that whatever was haunting the family would hurry up and obliterate them all so that I could move on and put this mess behind me.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Apartment 143 is presented here in it cinematic aspect of 1.85:1 and is anamorphically enhanced. It’s a bit hard to judge the video quality as so much of it is intended to look like amateur footage complete with shaky framing, wild zooms, lots of grain and low level noise. There is also what I assume to be deliberately introduced positive and negative artefacts at some times, although it’s not introduced at other times - even when the time frames and cameras would be assumed to be the same. The colours are very much on the muted browns and yellow scale, with not much other colour to break the monotone. Even when we get a bit of blood it is not a vivid red. Anyhow, given that there were no obvious issues with the transfer I’d have to give it a pass on the basis that it looks like what the production team intended.

    This is a dual layer disc but I could not detect the layer change using my equipment.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The default audio track is Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kb/s. There is also a Dolby Digital 2.0 track at 256 Kb/s. Both audio tracks are problem free with clear dialogue which is in synch with the video. The 5.1 track is not too bad with an adequate use of surrounds to create the groans and bangs and bumps in the night. The LFE track was not use prominently but it did spark into action at the appropriate time. Periods of silence as we observed through the surveillance camera were probably the most effective parts in creating tension and there was no score as such with most of the aural action either the spoken word or sound effects.

    This audio presentation is good.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu featured looping video and audio.

Making Of Apartment 143 (15:01)

    1.78:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio recorded at 256 Kb/s. The usual making of featurette with the director and actors talking themselves up. Strangely enough Torrens seems to think he has created something that is innovative.

Child’s Play (3:43)

    1.78:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio recorded at 256 Kb/s. Following young Damian Roman around during the production. I don’t really know why either but assume it was showing how a little kid mixes it in a movie making environment.

Levitating (4:09)

    1.78:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio recorded at 256 Kb/s. A look at how the levitation and associated special effects were achieved.

 

 

   

 

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The R1 version has the extra Interview With Director Carles Torrens and a greater look at the special effects and visual concepts but misses out on Child’s Play.

Summary

    Apartment 143 is a formulaic and cliché ridden excuse for a movie that might have made an interesting short film, but which runs out of interest and outstays it’s welcome by about fifty minutes. If it’s not the worst Paranormal Activity type film to emerge so far – then it would come close.

    The video quality is deliberately poor.

    The audio quality is good.

    The extras are mildly interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mike B (read my bio)
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910 and Panasonic BD-35, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic TH-58PZ850A. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
Amplificationdenon AVR-4311 pre-out to Elektra Theatron 7 channel amp
SpeakersB&W LCR600 centre and 603s3 mains, Niles in ceiling surrounds, SVS PC-Ultra Sub, Definitive Technology Supercube II Sub

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