Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Local Scene Articles Partners About Us Contest Soundtrack Books


Starring: Mei Kurokawa, Mitsuru Fukikoshi
Director: Akio Yoshida
Rating: NC-16 (Disturbing Scenes)
Year Made: 2005




- Trailer




Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English & Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Letterbox
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 1 hr 33 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Comstar Entertainment




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...

The 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.


While 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.

So 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.

A young 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 arrives.

The distress the poor girl experiences prove to be too intense for her when terrible things begin to happen and people around her begin dying.

Yes, we can imagine you stifling that yawn upon reading the two short paragraphs of plot above.

Like all 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.

And do not even think that kids sliding across the ground and spurting saliva can creep us out in any way.

The 93-minute 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.

The 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 scared too.

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?

Other than that, this blandly shot feature is as forgettable as the many, many, many, many other horror productions that we have seen.

If 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.



Review by John Li



Alternative Opinion:

The movie review by our columnist

Other titles from Comstar:

. Tony Takitani

. Sex & Philosophy

. Factotum

. Me And You And Everyone We Know

. Lemming

. Adam's Apple

. Crazy

. Invisible Waves

. Paradise Now

. She's The Man

. Russian Dolls

. Beyond The Sea

. Kursk

. Voice

. The Last Communist

. Jasmine Women

. Running Wild

. You are my Sunshine

. My Girl & I

. Half Light

. Mur (The Wall)

. Mrs Henderson Presents

. Hidden

. The Descent

. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

. A Season for Love

. Horror Theater Series 2

. Horror Theater Series I

. Capturing the Friedmans

. The Wig

. A Wicked Tale

. As It Is In Heaven

. When I Turned 9



This review is made possible with the kind support from Comstar


DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004-2006, movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.