A woman attempts to solve her friend’s murder while finding herself haunted by a supernatural entity in this film from the man who completed New York Ninja.
Laura lives in an apartment with her roommate Elizabeth. When she hears a strange noise from Elizabeth’s room, she is shocked to find that her roommate has dropped dead. No foul play, no marks, nothing. Laura calls 911 and Detectives Richards and Miller are on the case. Laura has no explanation for what has happened, and Richards begins to suspect Laura may have something to do with Elizabeth’s death.
Meanwhile, still terrified and shocked, Laura reaches out to her ex-boyfriend Christian, who despite having broken up, still harbors some feelings for her. When Elizabeth’s boyfriend Derrick is trying to figure things out as well, Laura finds herself not only being haunted by Elizabeth’s ghost, but the ghost may be helping Laura by revealing some clues that could be the key to finding out what has happened to Elizabeth.
While many today will know Kurtis Spieler for reviving a lost 1984 martial arts movie, New York Ninja, an unfinished John Liu film which he took two years to complete, Spieler’s real love comes in his work in “atmospheric” horror films. For his latest, Spieler takes us to an apartment where someone had died and the dead person’s roommate must solve the mystery behind her death. It may seem a bit of a slow burn, but when you see the ghost appears in the background on numerous occasions, it does add a bit of tension and to the viewer, a taste of “oh My God, oh My God”.
There are a total of six characters in the film that are of importance. Laura Dooling is excellent in the role of the woman who suffers from a sense of PTSD after seeing her roommate die and yet, finds herself trying to solve the mysterious circumstances revolving around her roommate’s death. Bryan Manley Davis brings some great support as Christian, Laura’s ex-boyfriend who despite the breakup, still is willing to help her, perhaps because he still has feelings for her. After all, it was she who initiated the breakup as revealed in a phone call.
While Frank Wihbey (who also serves as a producer on the film) is great as Detective Miller, one of the detectives in charge, genre fans will be delighted to see Adrienne King as the tough Detective Richards. King, who will be known for her role as the iconic final girl in the original Friday the 13th, is welcomed back this time in a role that is a polar opposite of her F13 role. She is tougher and convinced that Laura may have had a role in the death of Elizabeth, as told in a dialogue to Miller about why he shouldn’t even attempt to pursue her.
The role of Elizabeth herself is played by two actresses. Jennie Osterman and Jasmine Peck are great to bring up the scares with Peck doing more of the physical stunt work, including a back body bend in the role of the ghostly figure. Once Michael Schantz’s Derek, Elizabeth’s boyfriend, comes into the picture, this is where things get to get amped up and while it leaves a little sense of predictability, it does leave for something very shocking and at the time, set to please genre fans.
The Dead Girl in Apartment 03 makes the best of its 70-minute runtime. It may have a little bit of a slow burn but does have its creepy moments and amps up with the arrival of our titular character’s boyfriend. A great cast makes this one watchable.
WFG RATING: B
Wild Eye Releasing presents an Invasive Image production in association with Factory Underground. Director: Kurtis M. Spieler. Producers: Nicholas Papazoglou, Kurtis M. Spieler, and Frank Wihbey. Writer: Kurtis M. Spieler. Cinematography: Shannon Madden. Editing: Kurtis M. Spieler and Nicholas Papazoglou.
Cast: Laura Dooling, Frank Wihbey, Adrienne King, Bryan Manley Davis, Michael Schantz, Jennie Osterman, Jasmine Peck.
The film will be released on Digital on August 9 from Wild Eye Releasing.