Apartment 1BR introduces us to Sarah (Nicole Brydon Bloom) attempting to make a fresh start in LA to pursue her Hollywood dreams, whilst leaving her troubled upbringing behind. Her move starts out relatively smoothly, after getting a temp job and moving into an apartment complex that’s occupied by a bunch of overly joyful and friendly neighbours (her lack of suspicion around this is questionable!), but that all changes when she’s caught breaking the rules of her lease.
Around the 30 minute mark is where 1BR flips on its head and we see the true nature of her neighbours’ intentions. Sarah is physically and psychologically tortured, which makes for pretty bleak viewing. Although a bit heavy handed with some of the plot twists, there is a sense of intrigue to the way things could potentially unfold; will Sarah continue to slowly fall away from herself and buy into her captures’ ideals? Or is she simply biding her time to escape her hopeless situation?
Directionally David Mormour does a fine job taking inspiration from Roman Polanski’s apartment trilogy (Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Tenant) and delivering a psychologically unsettling tone; featuring an ominous soundtrack, great sound design and disorienting cinematography.
Despite some uneven dialogue and a lacklustre supporting cast, Brydon Bloom’s breakout performance offers enough to make this engrossing cult themed horror thriller worth a watch.
Apartment 1BR will be available digitally in the UK and Ireland on 8 June.