When I think of the Amityville Horror films, I don’t normally picture any of the actors or specific scenes. Instead, the iconic image of the house itself comes to mind because this was, in fact, the lead role in the series. In that vein, I thought it might be fun to share some movies and television shows that use apartments or apartment buildings/communities as more than just sets or backdrops. Here’s what I came up with:
CORALINE: In this hip, stop-motion film directed by Henry Selick, Coraline (voiced by Dakota Fanning) moves with her family to an old apartment building in the country. Fantastic adventures ensue when Coraline finds a magic door in her apartment that leads to a parallel universe. The building turns into a sort-of haunted house and the visuals will push your imagination (especially if you watch it in 3D).
SPACED: Before their partnership in SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ, Simon Pegg teamed up with director Edgar Wright for a two-season television series. The show tells the story of two twenty-somethings who are unlucky in love and employment. By a trick of fate, they both meet while looking for apartments in London and decide to move in to a “couples only” place where they pretend to be romantically involved throughout the series. With homages galore (STAR WARS and PULP FICTION, to name a few) this show will keep you laughing long after it ends. The humorous apartment residents seem to cover the spread of eccentric personalities, but you will wish you lived in the building with them by the time the last episode credits roll.
Friends: There is no need for me to explain the premise of this show, but I will say that the two apartments across the hall from each other are the envy of every person from New York City that I’ve ever met. Also, at the end of the last episode, all of the characters symbolically leave the apartment and you are left watching a shot pan across the room to the front door. Tell me you aren’t going to miss that place.
Seinfeld: I still watch this show when I see it on my tv guide. So much of the series takes place from Jerry’s living room that many of us can probably sketch the layout from memory. Also, the uncomfortably close quarters with Kramer and Newman can make you laugh if you’ve ever experienced strange or annoying neighbors.
LADY IN THE WATER: Directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Paul Giamatti, this movie unveils a traditional fairytale amidst a contemporary apartment community setting. Many of the residents have powers unbeknownst to them that will ultimately help in trying to save a mythical creature from a ferocious beast while shining some light on the future of humankind in the process. You will never look at your apartment community the same again after seeing this film.
I hope you liked this list, and feel free to post any movies/shows that you think I might have missed!