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by David Marmor

I’m all about cults in my horror movies; I love ‘em! Especially when done well, and that’s why I definitely recommend the recently released 1BR to anyone who is a fan of creepy cults, especially creepy cults who basically give you no choice in joining them. I mean, really, do the manipulative bastards that recruit for the cults and prey upon the weak really give them a choice when it all comes down to it? No, not really, not at all, but the way they go about it in 1BR is surely a rough ride for main character Sarah (Nicole Brydon Bloom) when she moves into a quaint little apartment in LA, and she’s about to get a weird welcome to the neighborhood that she won’t be soon forgetting.

1BR is a pretty low budget film that works. There’s no elaborate set pieces or crazy special effects that a bunch of money needed to be blown on, so everyone involved worked with what they had and pulled it off in a great way. The acting was good, the writing was strong, and the story unfolded in an entertaining enough way with a satisfying conclusion reminiscent of The Invitation.

There isn’t an overwhelming amount of blood or gore, but there’s a good amount of violence that contributes to the story in a necessary way. Nothing felt empty or too tropey and I found it to be a unique take on the cult sub-genre with a curious take on human conditioning. All around I enjoyed this film and appreciated the creepy vibe that held my interest throughout. I would totally be down if they took this in a new direction, continuing Sarah’s story, and spawned a sequel. I’d totally like to see a wild dystopian-type spin off that comes out of left field.

I think from now on, I’m going to go into watching films knowing as little about them as possible and with semi-low expectations. It seems to have worked out in everyone’s favor the last few times I’ve done this. Check out 1BR if cult fiction is your thing, it’s streaming now.

Stevie Kopas, HMS

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