Sarah (Nicole Brydon Bloom) has just moved into a new apartment in L.A., having career aspirations and finally setting out on her own. She’s estranged from her father (Alan Blumenfeld) who calls, belittling her choices and suggests she just gives up on her pipe dream.
Undeterred by her father’s passive aggression, Sarah settles into her new apartment block and even makes a new friend, Lisa (Celeste Sully) at her temp job. Sarah’s also delighted when she meets her new neighbours who are all charming and friendly, especially Miss Stanhope (Susan Davis) and her handsome neighbour, Brian (Giles Matthey). However, it soon turns out that Sarah’s neighbours may not be all that they seem.
1BR is a psychological horror movie written and directed by David Marmor. Setting up what seems to be a straightforward psychological horror, 1BR soon turns into a deep and realistic look at how people are unwillingly pushed into cults. Everything Sarah’s neighbours do to her are not all that out of the ordinary, using techniques that the audience could easily see happening to anyone at any time.
As Sarah’s torture continues, her conditioning takes effect and the bulk of the movie shows what Sarah has truly gotten herself into, whilst continuing its level of realism so that the audience can feel fully immersed in Sarah’s new world.
Bloom does a fantastic job as Sarah is put through the psychological and sometimes physical torture, managing to convey a realistic change when she finally submits to the cult. The rest of the cast are also particularly good at putting the audience into a false sense of confidence as they’re all introduced during the movie’s slow burning first half hour.
However, after everything that Sarah endures and even learning about their beloved leader, the final act is disappointing. It unfortunately throws all of that out the window in favour of a dramatic, climactic ending which relies on horror tropes that it could have done much earlier.
The final twist in the movie’s final moments also seems a little unnecessary as prior to this, the audience may have been taken in and put under the spell of Sarah’s experiences with the cult.
We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on our social channels, subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.