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The wonderfully well crafted and superbly acted Apartment 212 proves that sometimes trying to start over can literally eat you alive.

Apartment 212I must admit, this movie made me itchy; my skin literally crawling as I nervously waited to see what was preying on folks in the horror thriller Apartment 212. It really brought the phrase, “What’s eating you?” to life!

Originally titled Gnaw, (for reasons that will become quickly apparent to the viewer) Apartment 212 is a surprisingly fun yet terrifying film. A favorite at many of the film fests this last past year, it has collected quite a few well-deserved awards.

Official Synopsis: “Jennifer Conrad is a small-town girl starting over in the big city. Fleeing an abusive relationship, all she wants is a chance to begin again. But it is hard to start over when something is eating you while you sleep . . . one painful bite at a time.”

Apartment 212, directed by Haylar Garcia, is a new twist on a story we’ve seen before.

Jennifer (Penelope Mitchell) just wanted a new start. She manages to get away from her controlling, asshole of a husband, Boyd (Chris Johnson). Our small-town girl moves to a new place, finds a job opportunity, makes a new friend (Kyle Gass) — and things start looking positive. But sadly, it isn’t long until it all falls apart and everything ends up worse than it was before.

What in the world is trying to derail her now? If she had just picked another apartment, had a different neighbor… well, who knows.

This is one of my favorites so far this year! The writing was amazing, and that isn’t always the case in horror films. It didn’t feel forced; the dialogue was believable and heart felt. Everyone in the cast was perfect for their roles. The chemistry between all the characters was strong, and I especially loved Penelope Mitchell as our heroine. I call her that because I love how she ultimately handles everything.

Jennifer seems so sweet, fragile and helpless (I mean, she never figures out how to unhook the trailer from her car) — making her pain so real, and we feel what she feels. I love her growth, her tenacity and her strength of character, despite so much trying to destroy her. I recently caught her on Netflix in Curve; another strong, survival performance.

Kyle Gass (You might remember him as half of Tenacious D), is another favorite of mine as the goofy neighbor Terry, who seems too good to be true. Thankfully, he wasn’t though. A funny and sweet friend ’til the end, I really enjoyed the scenes with him and Jennifer. I was so glad he didn’t turn out to be a bad guy.

Chris Johnson was terrifying as the abusive dick-head ex. He was really easy to hate, and I was so hoping someone would put him in his place.

I adored Sally Kirkland as Claudette. Sally has had a huge acting career since the 1960s. She’s been in everything. Her cameo as the bitchy apartment manager was priceless. She has, hands-down, the funniest scene in the movie.

Everything about the special effects was phenomenal.

The transformation of Jennifer from pretty young thing to a paranoid, sleep deprived, bite-covered leper (who most of us would walk across the street to avoid) was fantastic. And the creature…OMG! That’s all I want to say. I don’t want to give anything up, as you need to watch this for yourself. All I will say is that it harkens back to a favorite movie of mine from long ago: Trilogy of Terror. I loved that creature, and I loved this one even more.

What a great story that goes with it, too! The final battle was epic. Jennifer kicks some ass!! A perfect ending for a super entertaining, scary and funny horror flick.

Maybe the crazy experience is exactly what Jennifer had to go through to become a survivor instead of a victim. What happened, in a round about way, was exactly what she needed to face the fears in her life and finally be free. ‘Apartment 212′ seems to be a metaphor for how you must hit bottom before you can truly take your life to the next stage. Jennifer barely makes it out alive, but with the things that bugged her gone (pun intended), she is able to move forward. I cheered for her, and I think you will too.

So, if you decide to take something that doesn’t belong to you, beware. Sleep tight, but do not, for any reason, let the bed bugs bite! Actually, my advice is, if you find you are covered in bite marks, do not sleep where you are — get out, get out now!

Gravitas Ventures will release the horror film APARTMENT 212 in Theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on March 16, 2018.

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