With the success of the Paranormal Activity franchise and such films as The Devil Inside (2012) and The Last Exorcism (2010) the found footage or documentary style film has become very popular not only with big budget Hollywood films but with the low budget indie horror films as well which is where Apartment 143 (2011) fits.
The film concerns a parapsychologist team who are asked to investigate what seems to be a genuine haunted house in the White family residence of apartment number 143. The White family has just experienced the tragedy of losing their matriarch and now the father Alan (Kal Lennox) must contend with the possibility that the house he just moved his family into might be haunted. Unlike more subtle films of this nature very little time is spent building up to whether or not the house is haunted because this is made clear almost immediately upon the parapsychology team first entering the apartment. The rest of the film is spent finding the reason why and how to stop it if they can.
One of the elements in this film that I do not believe add to the believability of the film is the fact that the team sets up cameras everywhere as if they have an unending supply of cameras and that all the action can be seen from any and all angels. I believe that this was a mistake. The reason why the Paranormal Activity franchise works so well is because very few cameras are used and the suspense is created from what the audience cannot see that is right out of the eyesight of the cameras. In Apartment 143 the audience sees everything so there is very little suspense. Instead, the film tries to overuse the haunted house angle by having something crazy happen every ten minutes. Some of these “haunting” moments are convincing while others are not.
As directed by Carles Torrens the film is not that bad (he does have lots of camera angles to choose from) and is one of the better low budget films of this ilk but even at 80 minutes the film drags a little but this is more because of the lack of a suitable setup for the parapsychology team than anything else.