Review – 1BR (2019) : Fantasia International Film Festival!

by Vincent Leblanc

On Day 8 of the Fantasia International Film Festival , I ended the evening with a screening of the World Premiere of the US drama/thriller 1BR.

1BR was written and directed by David Marmor, his first feature film. The film stars Nicole Brydon Bloom, Giles Matthey, Taylor Nichols, Naomi Grossman, Clayton Hoff and Celeste Sully.

The host for the festival came to the stage and proceeded to tell us about his worst apartment horror story to set up the screening. He then welcomed writer/director Marmor to the stage. He talked a little bit about the film, thanked us for being there at the World Premiere and hoped we would enjoy the film. We were invited to stick around after the film for a Q&A with many people from the cast and crew.

If you want to know what 1BR is about, read the following synopsis (copied from the Fantasia website):

“We all have apartment horror stories: annoying roommates, asshole landlords, dilapidated buildings, among many more nightmare scenarios. The search for a nice place to live in a desirable location with reasonable rents, decent neighbours and soundproof walls is more of a challenge than it should be, so when Sarah lucks into a sweet one-bedroom at Asilo Del Mar Apartments, she thinks she’s hit the jackpot. Situated on a quiet street in Los Angeles, it’s got plenty of space, friendly tenants, group BBQs and even a cute neighbour next door. But this being L.A., all is not what it seems: loud noises start keeping her awake at night; her cat is missing; everyone seems to be a little too helpful and friendly, except for the weirdo, Lester. Soon, Sarah learns she didn’t choose this apartment — it chose her.”

I liked 1BR. It’s not necessarily a new story but I thought this was a good setup. The story has some surprises in store and while they’re not entirely jaw-dropping, most of them work. The horror in this film mostly comes in form of psychological torture and that too works pretty well. Overall, the film didn’t exactly keep me on the edge of my seat but it sure convinced me of something: to stay where I’ve been living for the past 13 years and not risk moving to end up in such an apartment building.

The film is shouldered by main actress Nicole Brydon Bloom who did a great job. Her character finds herself in a strange predicament and you can feel her desperation. The rest of the cast was entirely unknown to me but I thought they did a good job.

Being the World Premiere, the film doesn’t have a distribution deal yet.

I am giving 1BR a 3.25 out of 5 Hairpieces!

 

Here’s a short clip of a scene in the film that maybe you shouldn’t watch just to keep yourself the surprise:

#Fantasia2019 #FantasiaFest #1BR

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