“APARTMENT ZERO”–true suspense

“Apartment Zero”

True Suspense

Amos Lassen

When I first saw “Apartment Zero” some years ago I was literally blown away by the suspense of it. Now that it has finally been released on DVD, you can also have that opportunity. If you think you know what suspense is, you will be awakened to a whole new kind of it.

“Apartment Zero” is set in modern day Buenos Aires and it about the relationship between two roommates who are emotionally crippled. Adrian LeDuc played by Colin Firth is a lonely sociopath who because of financial problems is forced to rent out the room I his home where his mother, who was insane, had lived. His boarder, Jack Carney (Hart Bochner), seems normal enough at first but we learn that all is not what it seems. Adrian suspects that he is a government assassin turned serial killer who has been conducting a raid of terror on the city. The other residents of the house fear that Adrian may be succumbing to the disease that incapacitated hisother.When the movie reaches its climax, we seen the twisted side of deceit, perversion and murder and the dark interior of the human mind.

Colin Firth as Adrian is nervously repressed and emotionally constipated while living in a world of old movies, Bochner’s Jack is on the other hand charming and loose and has a bit of rascal in him. Both are sensational performances. Firth manages to transcend the emotional restrictions of being a non-participant in life and Hochner dazzles with his portrayal of a man with a split personality.

This is a thriller that was done right and you will undoubtedly see the influence of Polanski and Hitchcock. It is creepy aand wild, weird and sinister and sometimes conservative and full of satire.

The wimpy film buff is extreme opposite to the charismatic and handsome roommate who manages to charm everyone he comes into contact with. When he charms Adrian, we all fall under his spell. I felt that at times the tension was so thick I could have cut it with a knife and the two men who maintained a love-hate relationship manage to draw the audience in and to keep their minds in check with the film. It is a cat and mouse game with the cat calling the shots and the mouse responding. The question that I was left with was basically how the two men really felt about each other. Was there physical connection or was there even a desire to have one? Is this the kind of thing that happens when the human mind is driven to despair? Is Buenos representative of something and/or something else? These are questions the movie leaves us to ponder and the uneasiness of what you see here also stays with you for long after the movie ends.

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