1BR (2019) Reviews and overview

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‘Welcome to the neighborhood’

1BR is a 2019 American horror thriller feature film in which a supposed dream apartment in Hollywood becomes a waking nightmare when the terrified young female tenant starts to wonder if she’s actually home alone.

Written and directed by David Marmor, making his feature debut, the Malevolent Films production stars Nicole Brydon Bloom, Alan Blumenfeld, Taylor Nichols (Jurassic Park III), Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story), Giles Matthey, Earnestine Phillips and Susan Davis.

The soundtrack score was composed by Ronen Landa (The Pact; At the Devil’s Door).


After leaving behind a painful past to follow her dreams, Sarah (Nicole Brydon Bloom) scores the perfect Hollywood apartment. However, something is not right. Unable to sleep, tormented by strange noises, and threatening notes, her new life quickly starts to unravel. By the time she learns the horrifying truth, it’s too late.

Caught in a waking nightmare, Sarah must find the strength to hold onto her crumbling sanity…or be trapped forever in an existential hell…

Release [click links to read more]:

1BR had its world premiere on July 18th at the 2019 Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, Canada. Released on Digital to buy or rent by Dark Sky Films on April 24th and DVD on June 2nd 2020.


“The progression of the story and the cult hierarchy felt organic, and it’s the film’s strongest aspect, but when it came down to compelling and captivating performances, 1BR is mostly the promise of something more with little in return. I can appreciate the effort, but this needed to bring it home, and it never came close.” Arrow in the Head

1BR works so well due to the believability of its lead. Bloom impresses as Sarah who oscillates between rabbit in the headlights and grim determination. So desperate to move on and be independent that she can’t see what’s happening around her. Marmor’s film is a very modern fable.” Backseat Mafia

” …grounded in character, with tense, dramatically unfolding set-pieces, and scenes that make me squirm with equal parts terror and delight. Its themes involving cult mentalities, toxic relationships, and assisted suicide make the film an interesting companion to this year’s Midsommar…” Birth. Movies. Death.

“Overall the film boasts a great lead performance, a series of surprising twists and great use of sound. At its core, 1BR is a smart, satisfying thriller that will make audiences reevaluate the true cost of “the perfect apartment.” Bloody Disgusting

“First and foremost, 1BR functions as a strong psychological shocker. Some implications are open to interpretation, but this isn’t an ambiguously arty exercise in auteur indulgence. Even with its emphasis on smoldering terror, 1BR tells a frightening fable about loneliness, paranoia, independence, and identity.” Culture Crypt


1BR is a constantly shifting nightmare that surprises at every turn […] Marmor puts his protagonist through hell and forces the viewer to voyeuristically participate, before twisting again to bring everything together in a hauntingly effective way.” Gayly Dreadful

“Marmor’s feature debut […] is a cousin of Rosemary’s Baby in which the occult is replaced by mere brainwashing and the eerie glamour of Central Park luxury decomposes into the generic architecture of a Los Angeles starter apartment. Taken on its own terms, it’s a solid if hardly revolutionary thriller that bodes well for the filmmaker’s future in genre films.” The Hollywood Reporter

” …the clumsy execution paired with uneven and unfocused approach make it feel like an unfinished product: this is one of those frustrating cases where you could tell there were elements to make a great film, but the end result was just a mildly entertaining compilation of great ideas.” Horror World and Reviews

“The side characters and larger motivations are only half-baked, to the point where you don’t entirely buy the core concept. Those familiar with this subgenre will be able to predict where it’s headed. A solid first film that shows potential, with a strong grasp of mood, it doesn’t entirely develop or cohere into a complete whole.” The Last Thing I See

“Drawing on a fascination with cults and utopian communities, the director and co-writer, David Marmor, has created a mildly entertaining survival story whose depiction of psychological indoctrination far outstrips its generic dips into torture.” The New York Times

“Although 1BR spent a little more time showing me what was behind door #3 than throwing me into that room, it’s still worth crediting the team for making 3 films wrapped into 1, with a single location that can feel welcoming, claustrophobic, and of another world in a short period of time.” Nightmare on Film Street

” …it takes the bolder route of immersing us in the horror of losing free-will, while Bloom’s nimble, frightened and then submissive performance does not lose sight of the woman she once was before she started to accept the ways of the group. All of this boldness pays off—the film’s third act might end at an expected place, but 1BR stands out with how it gets there, and the unique horror along the way.” RogerEbert.com

“Marmor’s narrative takes the concept and goes to a really interesting extreme place with it, but the film feels somewhat subdued in execution. Throw in a bit more chaos, some aggressive camerawork, perhaps a bit more tension building, and I think 1BRcould’ve worked better.” Screen Anarchy

“It takes the viewer through a gauntlet of emotions and responses, many of them by all metrics deeply unpleasant, and because of this, it falls very firmly in the ‘not for everyone’ camp. But audience members willing to plumb the darker end of the emotional spectrum will find much to like in 1BR. It’s a harrowing, unnerving, experience, but one nevertheless worth having.” Sordid Cinema

“Without revealing too much, David Marmor’s directorial debut is a well-executed and thrilling 90 minutes. While there are some horror tropes and obvious bits of familiar in the beginning, this is an effective psychological thriller that doesn’t play into the expected. Its themes are in your face and the Marmor’s script is tight and well-paced, keeping the audience guessing throughout.” That Moment In

“It would be overwhelming and ultimately unsatisfying, as well as impossible if every movie we saw was Completely New. 1BR captures the suffocation of the coercive integration of a fully free individual into a monolithic social unit.” 366 Weird Movies

“The film is developed from a solid foundation, leading to real terror. Along the way, 1BR offers a surprise or two. Suspense and drama are left behind in favour of more horror and thriller elements. The reasons for Sarah’s torture is not immediately known. Meanwhile, the scenes of torture are graphic.” 28 Days Later Analysis

“With its aspects of human captivity, brainwashing, collective insanity and ersatz utopianism, Marmor could have taken his story in myriad tonal directions. But instead of a wild ride, his film emerges a competent one that holds the attention, yet also feels like a missed chance at something truly memorable from a promisingly offbeat premise.” Variety

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Cast and characters:

  • Nicole Brydon Bloom … Sarah
  • Alan Blumenfeld … Gus
  • Giles Matthey … Brian
  • Taylor Nichols … Jerry
  • Earnestine Phillips … Ester
  • Susan Davis … Miss Stanhope
  • Andrea Gabriel … Cristina
  • Mark Krenik … BBQ Guest Hungry
  • Celeste Sully … Lisa
  • Tracy Déchaux … Neighbour
  • Hailey Giles … Diane
  • Curtis Webster … Charles D. Ellerby
  • Jerry Ying … Officer Cho
  • Clayton Hoff … Lester
  • Luke Pacheco … Apartment Hunter

Filming locations:

Los Angeles, California

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