APARTMENT 212 Review – Bed Bugs Are The Least Of Your Worries In This Residence
Starring Penelope Mitchell, Sally Kirkland, Kyle Gass
Directed by Haylar Garcia
A woman simply looking to better her already troubled situation bites off more than she can chew…hold on, let me rephrase that: she has more bitten off than can be chewed in Haylar Garcia’s creepy-crawly infestation flick, Apartment 212.
Tired of the emotional and physical abuse suffered at the hands of her scumbag ex-husband, small-town girl Jennifer (Mitchell) packs up her belongings and makes the move to (hopefully) greener pastures, but even the simplest things don’t come easy to her – minor scrapes with the law, missed employment opportunities and a general sense of “where the hell is my life headed?” are just a few of the issues that hang over her head like a grey cloud of doom. After a short time it appears that this young lady’s worries are just starting to cease – she’s bedded down in a new apartment, befriended the unit’s maintenance man (Gass), and even has a job interview lined up that should bring in some extra bucks – and if you’re hoping for a rosy conclusion to this sad-sack story might I remind you that the former title of this film was Gnaw…not exactly a rags-to-riches tale – we’re talking horror here, people.
A mysterious and ornate jewelry box finds its way into the mix of the story here (it’ll all get laid out for you, I promise), and it appears to be the catalyst for Jennifer’s NEW problems, as if the sad cries of people at night in her building weren’t enough, she’s recently been awakening in the mornings with nasty sores all over her body. Wait a minute – you don’t think it could have something to do with that damned jewelry box do you? Nah, me neither (insert oblivious quip here). Her search for help takes her to a doctor that explains that these sores are anything but – they’re in fact bites, and here comes the insect-repellent defense! Bad enough this poor woman has just escaped the clutches of a douchebag hubby, but with a fresh perspective on life, she’s literally being munched on from the inside out – lovely.
With some laughs sprinkled here and there (courtesy of comedian and Tenacious D member Gass), the film doesn’t take itself too seriously with its theme and premise, but the overall sadness of spousal abuse is something that might not appeal to all viewers, and seemed a bit odd that it was placed so front-and-center in a movie that’s supposed to give you the willies. Also the first half of the film appears to be laid out in a fashion that even the most basic of viewer can ascertain what’s at hand, yet the second half rushes like a track team on speed, inevitably hurrying towards a conclusion that could leave potential viewers with a bad taste in their mouths – it’s not all bad, but then again it’s not all that good, either. Mitchell’s performance is noteworthy, and you’ll find yourself pulling for her as she does the same in a sometimes futile try to spitshine the turd that is her life. Gass’s portrayal as the sweet, slightly bumbling handyman is also fun to watch, and he compliments Mitchell’s character nicely.
Overall, I’d give the nod to Apartment 212 to viewers who want a little humor with their heebie-jeebies, but don’t get too hung up on the Jekyll and Hyde pacing or the ominously dour matrimonial misconduct that acts as a foundation to the story. Otherwise, stock up on the bug spray and please do not under any circumstances pick at those nasty scabs on your skin.
Polarizing pacing and a lack of pure “WTF?” moments unfortunately leave this critter-feature in the middle of the pack.