Movie review: 1BR (2019)

When Sarah moves to an ideal place in Los Angeles, she realizes things are not exactly what they seem.

Directed by: David Marmor.

Starring: Giles Matthey, Alan Blumenfeld, Taylor Nichols, Andrea Gabriel, Mark Krenik, Susan Davis, Nicole Brydon Bloom, Hailey Giles, Clayton Hoff, Tracy Déchaux, Curtis Webster, Jerry Ying, Earnestine Phillips, Kevin Mulhare, Suzshi Lang, Luke Pacheco, Celeste Sullivan, Jay Pennick, Maddie Dial, Sean Savadian.

Country: Estados Unidos.

Genre: Horror, thriller.

Running time: 90 minutos.

We could spend hours discussing why a movie like 1BR can be so effective, and so  many movies in the same genre are so hard to accept. This long discussion can only have one outcome: movies are sometimes as basic as they must be and you don’t have to complex territories to explore psychological effects of a movie. 1BR is a great demonstration of power behind the truth that wrings us: we are paranoid and we rarely give credence to that sense that could maybe save us. This is the movie that materializes a primal fear, one that’s hidden in that personal dialog that begins with “this could happen to me”. There is nothing more basic than that.

If you haven’t seen a trailer, or even read about 1BR, and you actually like surprises, I recommend going blindly. This is one of those movies that works better when you know nothing about it.

In 1BR someone is doing something most of us would only dream of. Moving to Los Angeles and “starting a new life”. Sarah has lost her mother and the grudge she holds against her father, allows her to easily disconnect and chase a new experience in this city where everything can happen. First things first: finding a place to live. This is how Sarah arrives to an apartment complex that has everything she’s looking for. The size is ideal, and neighbors appear to be great. After a selection process, Sarah is “chosen” as the new tenant. Everything seems to be great until Sarah starts having sleep issues due to mysterious sounds hidden in the walls. She says nothing, as she has a pet and they are not allowed, and can’t let someone inside the apartment. However, the sounds continue, and one night Sarah wakes up due to a terrible smell in her apartment, and this is when she clashes with a reality that will change her life.

I would love to tell more about 1BR and convince you to give a chance to this gem hidden among the mediocre content that’s flooding VOD services. But I can’t say much. Only that 1BR is not about what you are thinking about. The events are so sinister we can’t remove the eyes from the screen, as chances are open. In 1BR anything, and I mean anything, can happen. The movie is very well directed by someone who truly understand the subject that’s being used as a stage and context. David Marmor does not banalize the situation chasing a spectacle. He manages to cause a wound, and extend the damage by making us imagine how more evil someone can be.

Nicole Brydon Bloom is Sarah, and her role forces her to travel through different emotional levels. She’s a victim of circumstance, but she’s not your typical “final girl”, who runs around screaming and being helpless. The actress makes sure Sarah is credible, her situation is tangible, realistic. A wonderful ending opens a menu of possibilities, and in absolutely all of them, Sarah is valid as a survivor. This does not happen often. And almost never in genre cinema.

I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Star rating: ***1/2

A trailer

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