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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Those who dismiss this film as unoriginal aren't looking beyond the surface
I can't say that I completely agree with those critics who classify Apartment 1303 as a derivative film that does nothing more than combine and repeat many of the clichés that have come to define early 21st century Asian horror. Yes, there are similarities with J-Horror flicks such as Ju-on: an evil, long-haired female ghost tied to a specific, seemingly cursed...
Published on 26 Jan 2008 by Daniel Jolley

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watchable Horror
The previous reviewer exclaims 'it was all in Japanese!', as if she was tricked in to thinking otherwise.

What gave it away? The Japanese names of the cast?, the term J-Horror (J=Japanese)?

Perhaps 'one' is not the sharpest tool in the box, but the movie itself is a relatively well crafted Japanese horror, which has its good moments and a good...
Published on 4 Nov 2007 by James J


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Those who dismiss this film as unoriginal aren't looking beyond the surface, 26 Jan 2008
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Apartment 1303 [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
I can't say that I completely agree with those critics who classify Apartment 1303 as a derivative film that does nothing more than combine and repeat many of the clichés that have come to define early 21st century Asian horror. Yes, there are similarities with J-Horror flicks such as Ju-on: an evil, long-haired female ghost tied to a specific, seemingly cursed dwelling; an attempt by a haunted young woman to learn the story of the ghost and thereby free it from its deadly anger; the revelation of the haunting's origins via flashback deep into the movie; a few Ringu-like facial expressions; the presence of a mysteriously creepy little kid; etc. Still, I think this film ultimately moves in a different kind of direction, giving birth to an atmosphere all its own. In doing so, it helps to reveal the true magic of Asian horror, which I can sum up in one word: emotion. While I enjoyed Apartment 1303, it's a far cry from the best that Asian Horror has to offer, yet it still manages to touch the viewer on an emotional level, generating sympathy for the deadly ghost as well as the young girl caught up in its horrors. I don't remember the last time I really cared about any character in an American horror film. As I said, though, Apartment 1303 is far from perfect. I found the plot to be rather ambiguous in places, and I'll admit that I can't completely come to grips with the ending - one aspect of it in particular. Still, though, I was not nearly as disappointed with this film as a lot of Asian horror fans seem to be.

We learn right from the start that something just ain't right about Apartment 1303. After watching one young woman fall to her death from its balcony, we are treated to the sight of another young woman who's seemingly normal one minute, anything but normal the next, and stone cold dead right after that. In the middle of a party celebrating her acquisition of such a great place at such a low price, Sayaka (Naoko Otani) suddenly develops an appetite for dog food, then dons a helmet and flings herself off the balcony. The only person who is not shocked beyond belief by this is a creepy little girl I would dub "the body counter." Whenever a victim nosedives from the 13th floor apartment, she's always there to point out that another one just bit the dust. Sayaka's sister, Mariko (Noriko Nakagoshi), experiences some harrowing little frights of her own after coming to the apartment to collect her sister's things. She soon learns that Sayaka was only the latest of several young women to leap to their deaths from the balcony of Apartment 1303. With the help of a detective (whose presence in the film never really gains a solid footing), she comes to learn the story of Yumiko and her mother. Yumiko's story is an emotionally wrenching one that really tore at my heartstrings, and that may well be why I felt more emotionally committed to this film than most other viewers.

Apartment 1303 is all about atmosphere. I don't think director Ataru Oikawa really tried to scare the audience at all, which may be a primary source for some others' discontent with the film. At the center of everything is this terribly dysfunctional relationship between Yumiko and her mother. Not only is this the source of the haunting, it serves as a much darker reflection of Mariko's relationship with her own mother. That makes for a lot more psychological complexity than a lot of pedestrian horror fans are used to dealing with. Apartment 1303 doesn't cater to the "scare me" crowd, and it doesn't represent the best that Asian horror (or Tartan Asia Extreme in particular) has to offer, but this is in no way, shape, or form a bad movie.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watchable Horror, 4 Nov 2007
By 
This review is from: Apartment 1303 [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
The previous reviewer exclaims 'it was all in Japanese!', as if she was tricked in to thinking otherwise.

What gave it away? The Japanese names of the cast?, the term J-Horror (J=Japanese)?

Perhaps 'one' is not the sharpest tool in the box, but the movie itself is a relatively well crafted Japanese horror, which has its good moments and a good leading lady.

The problem with this movie is that, it's hindered by a low budget which really shows in the movie, from cheap sets, to some 'hammy' acting by supporting actors (the estate agent was a particularly hammy actor). The film tries to be too clever, but most viewers will have guessed the plot by the middle of the film , and then will have to endure some unnecessary extended scenes three quarters of the way in which can bore the viewer.

Though not exactly Oscar material, this film is still worthy of a recommendation if you're a fan of J-Horror, (J being Japanese, just to remind those who need clarification) and can look past the cheap effects.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars scary!, 16 Jun 2008
This review is from: Apartment 1303 [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
i really liked this, I really respect Japenese directors who come up with different and unique ideas like this. I do agree that some Japenese horror does appear similar but i thought this was a really individual performance. It did scare me, but i like the way Japenese horror scares me. And what makes it even better is that i know it will scare me without fail!Only negative point i can add to it is that i was a bit confused as to the ending, and the scenes leading up to it. But overall i did like it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected <3, 22 Feb 2011
By 
REBECCA CUTTER "Bex" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Apartment 1303 [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
After reading the other reviews I didn't really hold out a lot of hope for this film but I really enjoyed it!
The atmosphere portrayed in the film was dramatic and it was full of suspense in all the right places.
The story line was interesting and easy to follow, would definitely recommend to others.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Average Horror Film, 6 May 2012
By 
JennyD (Manchester, Uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Apartment 1303 [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
Young women are dying in Apartment 1303, the deaths all look like suicide since each woman has fell from the balcony. Our protagonist enters the apartment after her sister's death there and soon discovers that it is far from empty. Slowly she uncovers the horrible past of the two former residents and the fight for her life begins. Featuring decent acting, scary music and delightfully spooky atmosphere this film is entertaining enough for a Friday night film fest. However, when the 'ghost' finally reveals itself fully its rather absurd and the element of terror is sadly lost. Plus, i was disappointed and puzzled by the ending which i thought was unneccessary given that it could of easily of turned out differently.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Truly an original, 14 July 2011
This review is from: Apartment 1303 [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
Scratch beyond the surface, and you have a great J-Horror sitting with The Grudge and The Ring.

A good horror always has scenes that make you jump, a sad story and an understandable conclusion, with this film you can tick all those boxes.

Other than the rather funny falling off the balcony and dummies falling into a tree, this film is one of my favorites.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It was very weird horror, 16 Feb 2011
This review is from: Apartment 1303 [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
My opinion is good about this film but it was weird. It was creepy but not realy scary. It's good for horror beginners who did not experience a lot of scary bits. Anyway it keeps You wanting to know more and more at once but You find out at the end so is good to watch but like I've said for Younger horror lovers under 20 years old but not Younger than 15.
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1.0 out of 5 stars AVOID like the plague!, 27 Jan 2011
This review is from: Apartment 1303 [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
This is the biggest load of **** I have seen! It is an embarrassment to the asian film industry and should never be in the same category as films such as 'The Ghost'! Very poorly made, terrible acting, ridiculous plot and a complete waste of a couple of hours viewing time!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 23 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Apartment 1303 [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
This film exceeded expectations. I didn't have much hope for it as many people had said it was very unoriginal but I found it to be a good film. The acting was suspect in places by some of the supporting cast but besides that I thought it was a good film and well worth watching.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars There Goes Another One, 21 Oct 2008
By 
JEY (Largs, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Apartment 1303 [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
Wheeeee! Splat! Yep, there goes another victim pitching herself off her haunted apartment balcony. Apparently the residential creepy ghost lady doesn't like sharing her old stomping ground with shiny happy cute girls. Or maybe she just can't stand their god awful bad acting and wants to put them out of our misery.

Luckily the main actress is actually pretty good and can carry her role as the determined investigating older sister quite well. She's seeking the true reason for her younger sister's 'suicide' and finds herself drawn back to the place her lil sis died. Cue not very scary at all haunted apartment shenanigans.

It's not a great horror but it's not bad. I enjoyed how it tried to give a tentative stab at exploring the undying bond of an estranged mother and daughter and how that also reflected upon the main character and her own domestic situation. It offered interesting possibilities. Too bad about the weak supporting cast and cheap thrill horror scenes.

I found the climax was all a bit too panto and silly to even be taken seriously. Any suspense it might have created during its build up was instantly blown away by the wafting smoke effects and grabby magic hair extensions. At least the residential creepy kid was predictable but fun. She got the best last line in the whole movie.

Overall, nothing we haven't seen before but I suppose it's worth watching... But only if you can stop rolling your eyes at the truly cheesy bits.
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Apartment 1303 [2007] [DVD]
Apartment 1303 [2007] [DVD] by Ataru Oikawa (DVD - 2007)
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