The Haunted Apartments

The Haunted Apartment poster

If the Japanese are not busy retailing their schoolgirls’ worn panties, they’ll be busy concocting ways to hide their dead bodies. B-grade Jap horror movie, The Haunted Apartments, just added another place to stash these fetish icons, and guarantee their return as mindlessly vengeful spirits.

Places to hide corpses [preferably female Japanese teenage schoolgirls] for an excuse to make a horror movie :

The Ring

Teenage schoolgirl drowned in an old well became dial-in video conferencing ghost. Her body was trapped in the forgotten well.

Dark Water

Young schoolgirl drowned in water tank haunts to get a mother to accompany her lonely soul. Her body was trapped in the apartment’s water container on the roof top.

Ju-On

Once a schoolgirl murdered by husband crawls around like spastic lizard to kill anyone who stepped into her house. Her body was dispose of in her house’s attic.

AND NOW…

The Haunted Apartments

Teenage schoolgirl raped and murdered by her father kills tenants who don’t return home by her midnight curfew. Her body was trapped within her apartment’s bedroom wall.

Except for the really fake looking pincer-arm of the ghost, The Haunted Apartments is actually not too bad a watch. The story develops at a pace that is easy to follow and achieved what it sets out to do without out-smarting itself. The twist at the end, though cliché and tired, delivered a wasabi high… it hits you with a surprise, then tatter out with choking discomfort… but leaves a temporary satisfaction nonetheless.

Spun around the issue of sexual abuse by family members, this Jap horror captivated me not with its measly digital effects, but with well-planted creeps that sprang up at unexpected moments. My favorite scene is the one where a small girl was dragged across her parents’ bedroom by unseen forces while she was sleeping. It spooked my body hair right out of their follicles! The other scene was where the ghost came out of a handphone video conferencing. It sets you up for relief that the terror is over, then the real horror seeps through. It would’ve been even scarier if not spoilt by the comical ghost fingers that looked more giant crab pincers than menacing killing appendage.

How the apartments became haunted was because a teenage schoolgirl, sexually abused by her father, was accidentally killed during an incest encounter. Her body was then concealed in their apartment’s wall. The innocent dying a violent death always makes for sinister revenge and so that began the haunting of the whole apartment building. All inhabitants within it must return by midnight or they’ll face mysterious deaths. So why don’t the dwellers move out? The catch is, only the oldest residents can move out, provided there is a new tenant that moves in. By fate (how else?), the female protagonist, Aimi, and her father moves in, and can’t leave; until Aimi surrendered her father’s life to the vengeful claws of that spirit. As it turns out, Aimi was also abused by her father sexually so the cathartic similarity between her and the ghost finally freed all the other tenants.

As an entertainment piece, The Haunted Apartments fulfils its mission. It even tried to be funny with doses of over-acting. But that’s more than welcomed when compared to the puppet emotions of the movie’s lead cast. Put a long-haired wig on Kermit the Frog and he could’ve done a better job anytime. Otherwise, this is not a bad show to shave time off if your only other alternative is count the grains in a 5kg rice sack.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. czerin
    Sep 30, 2006 @ 20:37:05

    Man, you’re brave. I evade horrer genres like fire.

    Reply

  2. goldentrey
    Oct 01, 2006 @ 12:36:18

    wow. I see that you really like doing movie reviews, especially horror ones. I am a great movie fan myself, also doing reviews for every movie I watch. Cool review on ‘The Haunted Apartments’.

    Reply

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