Apartment 212 follows a young woman who moves into a low-end apartment complex to escape her abusive husband. After her neighbor turns up dead, she begins to receive small wounds all over her body in the middle of the night. Suffering from the wounds and sleep deprivation, she has to try and stop the malevolent force before it destroys her life.
Apartment 212 Review
It's important not to set expectations too high on a film with an obviously small budget and lacking the word-of-mouth of an indie festival run, but I really wanted to like this flick about a creature that slowly feasts on its victims night after night, piece by piece. I have a soft spot for creature features and monster movies, as I have regularly admitted to, and in this case it came back to bite me...pun intended.
The movie on the surface isn't terribly promising, but at the same time, it's potential criminally missed. The story, in particular its progression, is nothing short of cliche. The creature design is fun and somewhat unique, if severely underutilized and underwhelming. But what killed this movie is the directorial glue failing to hold everything together.
The acting (in particular Penelope Mitchell and Kyle Gass) ranges from on-par to superior to what you'd expect from a film of this caliber. The effects work, however strictly limited to the final act, is above average as well for the production's budget. And these two elements alone should have made for a more effective film. We simply don't get that, as the positives are lost in a sea of negatives.
The story's ordinary structure constricts a decent parallel of marital abuse with the creature. The downward spiral feels reminiscent of The Babadook, but without the emotional connection and necessary tone to draw you into the situation. While I feel for the protagonist, the story's inability to progress through meaningful events that don't feel forced is excruciatingly painful to the viewer. We're dragged through too much of the mundane nature and gradual realization of the story that we're barely hanging on by the time the climax swings around.
I appreciate the creature design, but not enough to warrant applause. The significant lack of screen time simply leaves far too much to be desired and hardly makes up for the first three-quarters of the film. Everywhere I look, I see so much promise. There is a truly impactful and magical film here. But so little of it is realized that it's hardly worth appreciating the potential it had. It leaves more room for disappointment than acknowledgement of a good try or respect for the attempt.