In 1BR (2019, streaming on Netflix), a shy, insecure young woman flees her doting father after her mother’s death to move to Los Angeles to start a new life as a costume designer. Answering a real estate listing for a one-bedroom apartment in a complex, she moves in to discover herself ensnared by a cult with lofty principles and brutal methods to ensure obedience and harmony. Overall, it’s a solid horror film that reminds us sometimes the scariest horror element is human, including humans who will hurt you believing it will ultimately make you happy.
In some ways, it’s an ordinary horror movie about a cult with few surprises and an unsurprising gotcha in the last scene, but again, in my opinion, it’s a solid telling. It’s a low-budget film but doesn’t feel like it, with competent acting and slow burn if sufficient pacing to the conclusion. I liked how they showed the indoctrination techniques some cults use to brainwash people, though the real thing often goes a lot farther than what’s depicted and is even more horrific. The finale is wonderfully violent, violent in that way that feels real and impactful.
So overall, 1BR is not one I’d gush about, but I liked it a lot, it rings with competence, and I thought it accomplished quite a bit for its resources.