Aimi, a 17-year-old girl moves with her father into an old
apartment building after they sold their house. For Aimi,
this is supposed to be the start of a new life after the death
of her mother, who was killed in a car accident 2 years ago.
But her father, formerly a top reporter with many scoops to
his credit, has since taken to the bottle, and lost his will
to work. Strange things start to happen in their apartment
building. Aimi discovers an unbreakable rule that every tenant
must return home to the apartment building before midnight—otherwise,
something terrible will happen...
Haunted Apartments is the 1st big screen full feature-length
movie from the producers of the highly popular Tales of Terror
TV Horror series in Japan. Based on true stories collected
all over Japan, it is adapted from the works of Hirokatsu
Kihara and Ichirou Nakayama, two of the greatest horror writers
of present age.
we shall continue to be amazed at how the Japanese can continuously
churn out countless horror flicks, we would also like to constantly
remind ourselves that there is only so much we can take.
when we first saw this review copy when it arrived, frankly
speaking - we did not have too much hope that it’d be
a great horror movie. And how right we were about that.
girl moves into a dilapidated apartment with her drunkard
father and realizes that things do not seem too right. The
tenants look strange, and there are even stranger rules to
abide by. Everyone has to cross a line in front of the building
by midnight, and no one can move out until a new resident
the poor girl experiences prove to be too intense for her
when terrible things begin to happen and people around her
can imagine you stifling that yawn upon reading the two short
paragraphs of plot above.
the other recent slew of horror movies (either from The Land
of the Rising Sun or The Land of Kimchi), this one does not
surprise us in any way. There is the obligated long-haired
vengeful ghost, the unintelligent protagonist who does not
have any ability to detect danger, and the usual bad makeup.
This time, we have kids with talcum powder in their hair and
the sad soul who had to splatter a mud-like substance on his
or her face and hands.
not even think that kids sliding across the ground and spurting
saliva can creep us out in any way.
feature directed by Aiko Yoshida is adapted from a successful
television horror series in Japan. It is no wonder then; that
the full-length version feels like one of those television
movies you chance upon during those late night channel-surfings.
cast does not deliver convincing performances, and they made
us laugh instead of feeling frightened. We even tried switching
off all the lights in the wee hours of the morning while reviewing
this movie, hoping in vain that it would create some creepy
atmosphere. And no, watching it alone didn’t make us
Is there no redeeming factor to this movie? Well, there is
this segment about an old couple in the apartment who gets
haunted by Japanese soldiers every night because of the husband’s
guilty mistake committed decades ago. This short sequence
which takes place almost two thirds into the movie made us
a little touched. You just cannot help but feel for those
old wrinkled folks, do you?
than that, this blandly shot feature is as forgettable as
the many, many, many, many other horror productions that we
there is anything to blame, it isn’t the unkind words
of this reviewer – it is the overproduction of Asian
horror movies in the recent years.
This Code 3 disc comes with a 6-odd minute “trailer”
that sums up the movie’s plot. Upon retrospect, you
may be better off watching this instead.
The dull and dreary colours of the movie aren’t anything
exciting to shout about, no thanks to the visual transfer.
The audio setup is in Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0.
DVD RATING :
by John Li