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Day 26: Tales of Terror – The Haunted Apartments (2005)

By Sam Reeve

Today’s film for Japanese Horror Month is The Haunted Apartments from the Tales of Terror series. It’s a paranormal j-horror that I found to be surprisingly good.

Aimi and her father move into a new apartment complex a few years after her mother died. The other tenants seem overly friendly and helpful when they arrive – the first tip-off that something is awry. Aimi starts seeing a girl her age around the place, but there’s supposedly only a boy her age living there. Things get stranger when she’s told there’s a curfew – everyone must cross a string that’s tied up between two rocks at the entrance of the complex by midnight. If they don’t make it in time, they’ll die.

Aimi learns from a past tenant that only those who’ve been there the longest can leave, but they must find new people to move in first. If anyone violates this, the ghost of the young girl kills them.

Meanwhile, Aimi’s dad is an alcoholic piece of shit who tries to publish an article about the hauntings, thus jeopardizing everyone’s chance at finding replacement tenants. The others try to attack him, leading to an unexpected ending of a lifted curse and [SPOILER] Aimi’s dad getting killed.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: Though it wasn’t the most horrifying of movies, there were a number of parts that were unnerving and a little freaky. What I loved most about Haunted Apartments were the array of colourfully characters that populated the apartment complex. They seemed to all be like a big weird family in the way they all cheered each other on and looked out for one another if they hadn’t made it back as midnight approached. I actually gave a shit about most of them and usually I hate all the characters in your average horror flick.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK: There’s some stuff you find out at the VERY end which was surprising, and though I may feel differently upon a second viewing, I felt there hadn’t been enough hints  towards what was going on. It seemed so random and almost like the writers themselves hadn’t known how to properly end the story.

Despite that, it’s worth a viewing if you’re looking for a decent j-horror to ring in Halloween. You can find the full movie below with English subtitles.

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