An Average Movie-Goer’s Review
Spoilers! If you don’t want spoilers – check out the Spoiler-Free post
I love horror movies and if I’m going to watch them anyway, why not write an entertaining/funny review from the POV of an average movie-goer and not a professional critic.
Today we’re looking at the 2022’s The Dead Girl in Apartment 03
After finding her roommate dead, Laura (Laura Dooling) is haunted by her spirit and the thing responsible for her death.
Is The Dead Girl in Apartment 03 Scary?
The Dead Girl in Apartment 03 has several jump scares and does a good job of creating a lurking sense of dread. At several points during the movie, you’re focused on the background because you’re pretty sure there might be something hiding there. Unfortunately, the movie is really dark in some places so even if there is something there, you won’t notice it.
Overall you’ll probably leave The Dead Girl in Apartment 03 a bit scared especially if you just recently moved to a new apartment with bad lighting.
The Dead Girl in Apartment 03 Full Plot Summary:
The movie opens with one of our main characters Christian (played by Bryan Manly Davis) sitting in an interrogation room as he’s questioned by a cop. We learn he was the last one to talk to his missing ex-girlfriend and there’s also a little problem of three dead bodies being found; so Christian isn’t having the best day.
In his defense, Christian says the cop won’t believe his story and that’s always a good way to respond to a cop who is presumably questioning you for murder. Always let them know they shouldn’t believe you from the start. The cop, obviously, tells him to spill the beans and Christian asks if he believes in ghosts before we cut to black.
Title screen and opening credits! In between the credits, we see black-and-white shots of someone painting a circle on their floor and lighting some candles. As the credits end we flashback to Queens, New York, 9 hours earlier (around 10 pm) which means unless we’re about to see 3 dead bodies, the movie just spoiled itself a bit.
Our main character Laura (played by Laura Dooling) is listening to some loud music on headphones when she somehow hears scratching coming from her roommate, Elizabeth’s, room.
After calling out to Elizabeth and not getting a response, Laura breaks roommate protocol and enters Elizabeth’s room. Turns out Elizabeth didn’t answer because she was dead. Cut to a short time later and we get a quick flash of Elizabeth’s terrified face as the police bag her up.
Meanwhile, in the living room, Detective Richards (played by Adrienne King of Friday the 13th fame) and Detective Miller (played by Frank Wihbey) ask Laura some questions. We learn Laura and Elizabeth had only been roommates for a couple of months, Elizabeth had been dead for around 2 days, there was no sign of trauma, and Elizabeth has a boyfriend named Derek.
Before the detectives leave, Detective Miller gives Laura a card for a crime scene clean-up service and puts his own number on the card for her to call just in case. Outside Miller and Richards have a quick scene discussing the case and Richards accuses Miller of trying to hit on Laura. Though he refuses, Richards warns him not to get involved with a possible suspect.
Inside, Laura calls her mom back in Massachusetts and puts a kettle on the stove to make some tea. While she fills the kettle with tap water, she doesn’t notice someone or something outside the kitchen window. To be fair, I could only tell there was something there because the background music got creepy all of a sudden.
As Laura waits for the water to heat up, she walks to the living room and calls the crime scene clean-up service who tell her they won’t be available till morning. Behind her, the very dead Elizabeth shows up and patiently waits for Laura to get off the phone.
Laura decides to clean up the crime scene on her own which feels kind of illegal when the cause of death hasn’t been determined yet but hey, I’m not a screenwriter who presumably did their research. After hanging up, Laura turns around and Elizabeth is now gone probably because she didn’t want to be asked to help clean.
As she takes her cup of tea to her room, Laura spots a picture of Elizabeth hanging on the wall and flips it over. Meanwhile, Detective Richards and Miller are at a pizzeria where Richards once again warns Miller not to get involved with Laura.
She then tells Miller about her own experience when she got involved with a suspect and subsequently ruined a case. At the request of Richards, Miller tells him the story of the “most messed up” case she ever worked on. Is there any point to these scenes? Nope but when you pay for horror icon Adrienne King, you put her in as many scenes as you can.
Back to the actual movie, Laura cleans up Elizabeth’s room and takes a shower. The shower is rudely interrupted when Elizabeth walks past the hall in a jump scare and slams a door. After getting out and searching the apartment, Laura decides to call her ex-boyfriend, Christian; the guy from the beginning. Laura tells him what happened and asks him to visit her but he refuses.
We learn that Christian is in Massachusetts and explains that by the time he gets there, it will be morning. He also adds that he’s been at a party drinking so it’s not a good idea for him to drive. Finally, he says that had Laura not broken up with him to leave for New York City, things would be different and he may have been willing to drive there. Alright dude, one excuse was enough.
The two briefly argue about how their relationship ended before Laura apologizes for calling and ends the call. As she starts to cry, she lays on the couch and covers her face which is something you should never do after you’ve found a dead body in your apartment.
Laura opens her eyes and Elizabeth is gone dun dun dunnn! Laura decides to call Detective Miller and tells him she remembers hearing scratching before finding Elizabeth’s body. Miller finds this interesting enough to decide to head back to Laura’s place.
While Laura waits for Miller and Richards to arrive, she gets changed and witnesses her closet door open on its own. After closing it, she leaves the room and we see it open again… and then close which I guess is fine, it’s not really a nuisance.
In the living room, Laura puts on some music and we see Elizabeth rise up from behind Laura.
We cut to a short time later as Laura takes Richards and Miller to Elizabeth’s room. Where did dead-Elizabeth go? She could have killed Laura like 3 times already. Richards and Miller check behind the door and find three scratch marks by the base. They take pictures and leave without mentioning anything about the room now being clean which feels like a criticism of Laura’s cleaning skills.
Laura decides to try to sleep but as she lays down, she hears scratching and sees three scratch marks appear on her wall. Getting up to look, she’s attacked by… a blanket but it’s a dream! When you start having nightmares of killer blankets, you know you’ve had a rough day.
Laura gets a call from Christian and the two talk about their relationship until Laura hears a knock at the door. Thinking it’s the cops she hangs up and answers the door to Elizabeth’s boyfriend Derrick (played by Michael Schantz).
Derrick says the police told him what happened and couldn’t sleep so he decided to pay a visit. Totally not weird. Laura invites him in and offers to make him tea but as they pass the living room, she notices the picture of Elizabeth she flipped around earlier, is now flipped back.
Derrick stares at the picture and there’s a tense scene when he questions Laura why she went to check on Elizabeth, almost implying that he doesn’t trust her story. Laura then asks him some questions regarding Elizabeth’s health, almost implying that he might have had something to do with her death.
Derrick tells Laura that at first he wasn’t interested in Elizabeth but suddenly, he couldn’t get her out of his head and couldn’t stop thinking about her. Laura excuses herself and heads to the bathroom where she calls Miller to inform him of Derrick being super weird. Miller advises her to kick Derrick out although he says it in a nicer way.
After hanging up, Laura finds Derrick in Elizabeth’s room and overhears him telling Elizabeth he’s going to make it up to her. Laura politely kicks Derrick out and he leaves without incident if you consider creeping everyone out “not an incident”.
Laura calls Christian and she decides it would be a good idea to search Elizabeth’s room for clues because she’s Nancy Drew all of a sudden. Inside the room, Laura finds a chest of some obvious witchcraft stuff and a sigil painted on the floor under the bed.
As Laura takes some pictures of the sigil to send to Christian, the clown doll on the dresser starts laughing on its own. This is exactly why you don’t try solving a creepy murder on your own without backup.
Laura stuffs the clown doll in the drawer and you know what, that actually solves that problem. On the phone with Christian, the two use the internet to search the image but Laura has to hang up when her phone starts to die.
As she grabs her charger in her room, Elizabeth appears behind her and shuts the lights which also somehow short-circuits all the lights in the apartment. Now armed with a lantern, Laura calls Christian in a panic and tells him the lights are gone.
He suggests she go to the basement to flip the breaker and that’s a dumb idea in a horror movie so of course Laura does it. In the basement, her phone dies just as she reaches the breaker, while some guy with a weird hat appears behind a nearby door.
Meanwhile Christian does one Google search for demonic symbols and immediately finds the most useful webpage for his purposes. As he finds the sigil, he hears scratching coming from another room but ignores it.
Turns out the sigil under Elizabeth’s bed is that of the demon Myzraak who can be used to create love and obsession in others. Also, based on him now haunting Christian, Myzraak stays up to date on who is researching him.
Christian immediately calls Laura and leaves a message telling her to get out of the apartment and that he’s on his way. Just as he hangs up, his power goes out and the demon appears at the end of the hall. Oh no, what will happen to the character that we saw completely fine and alive at the start of the movie?
At the precinct, Detective Miller tries calling Laura but gets her voicemail. Assuming something fishy is going on, he leaves to make his way to her apartment.
Meanwhile, Laura finds her front door open and for some reason decides to walk in. Inside she finds the clown doll on the table but there’s no time to wonder about that because someone in a goat skull mask appears behind her. Laura runs to her room and hides in the closet; you know, the most obvious place to hide in a room.
Laura turns her lantern back on and we see Elizabeth is now behind her which causes Laura to nope out of the closet. In the living room, the man in the goat skull mask approaches Laura as Elizabeth appears behind Laura again. Elizabeth finally does something, and by that I mean she does the bare minimum, as she screams in Laura’s face and we cut to black.
A short time later Laura wakes up tied to a chair with the sigil drawn under her feet. The man in the goat skull mask is revealed to be Derrick and it’s time for a villain monologue! Derrick reveals that Elizabeth summoned Myzraak and used his demonic powers to have Derrick fall in love with her. Who knew demons loved love?
Despite Derrick immediately falling in love with her, Elizabeth didn’t take Myzraak seriously and didn’t keep up her end of the deal. We don’t learn what her end of the deal was but because of her failure, Myzraak killed her. Completely obsessed with getting Elizabeth back, Derrick plans to offer up Laura’s soul in exchange for Myzraak letting Elizabeth inhabit Laura’s body.
Meanwhile, Detective Miller arrives outside and rushes in suspecting something is wrong. Miller sees Derrick lifting a knife over Laura and immediately shoots him earning him the ability to say “I told you so” to Detective Richards.
Miller unties Laura and calls in the ambulance. Behind him Laura picks up the knife and reveals to Miller she isn’t Laura anymore; she’s Elizabeth. Cut to the start of the movie where Christian is being interrogated and has told the cop he saw a ghost in his apartment. We learn from the cop that Miller was killed and Laura/Elizabeth is missing.
The cop is called away leaving Christian alone in the interrogation room as the lights start to flicker. The film ends as Myzraak appears behind Christian probably insulted that Christian referred to him as a ghost and not as a demon.
The Dead Girl in Apartment 03 Spoiler Review:
The Dead Girl in Apartment 03 is good overall and at around 75 minutes, it doesn’t overstay its welcome. Laura Dooling does a great job in the film which is a good thing since she’s essentially the only character for 60 minutes.
The rest of the cast is okay although the acting and dialogue felt unnatural and stiff at times. This is most apparent in the scenes with the detectives. At times some of their dialogue felt like they were unnaturally announcing what they were going to do before they do it.
For example, after questioning Laura, Detective Richards literally says “Okay we’ll be going now.” and later announces to Miller that they need to get something to eat. Both lines weren’t transitioned well into by dialogue or action so it felt jarring. Admittingly this is a little nitpicky and probably won’t be as distracting to others.
The movie had some effective scares and while they’re scares you’ve seen before in other movies, they’re still done well. The main problem I had with this film was that it was too dark. The lighting made it difficult to see some scenes. If you look at the screenshots above and thought, “yea that’s dark”, you should know they look like that after I turned up the brightness.
Overall I highly recommend giving The Dead Girl in Apartment 03 a watch, it’s only 75 minutes, and it’s a well-told story with some good jump scares and acting.
Stuff to Ignore
Metacritic – No Page