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Tubi Tuesday: 1BR (2019)

1BR has been on my watch list for ages, and I'm glad I finally gave it time. This movie takes a concept as simple as trying to start life with a clean slate, and taking care of a basic necessity (finding somewhere to live), and twists it into a terrifying new reality I wasn't prepared for. We all want to feel like we belong somewhere, right?

After her mother's death, Sarah packs up and heads west to sunny SoCal, pursuing her dreams like so many other people wanting a fresh start. She manages to secure an apartment in a fantastic, close-knit community where everyone looks after each other... probably a little too much.

The acting was fantastic. Nicole Brydon Bloom as Sarah was such a believable character. At one point, I was that shy, trusting person who found themselves in a horrible situation too (but clearly not the same situation lol), and it was eerie how much of "old me" I saw in Sarah. Taylor Nichols was brilliant as Jerry - that calm, logical, caring father figure people tend to naturally gravitate to. One of the most emotional scenes involves an incredibly charged performance from Naomi Grossman playing Janice - you don't agree with her character's motivations in the least, but she leaves no question of how recent events had impacted her. (And who would I be if I didn't mention Giles Matthey - Brian - who proves you can never trust a friendly, attractive man😂)

The environment was a solid reminder that not all horror happens in dark, dingy places. There's no shortage of sunshine that should expose the secrets surrounding the community she's become a part of, and yet the truth is wholly unexpected. So many people imagine California to be this beautiful, sunny place where everyone is happy and life is like being on vacation all the time, but my own experiences living out there proved otherwise.

This movie struck a very strong chord with me, as someone who quit their job and packed up to move from quiet upstate NY to the hustle, bustle, glitz, and glamour of southern California. I was more sheltered than I realized, and once the glitter faded, I found myself very disillusioned with the culture I found myself in the midst of. A lot of people I met appeared happy as could be with their lives on the surface (and on their social media accounts), but as I got to know them, it was rather terrifying to discover how many were just putting on a show and conforming to what they thought was expected. Keeping Up with the Joneses was a very real thing, and because I wasn't into that lifestyle, I was a weirdo.

*Disclaimer here, because I have some wonderful friends out in California and clearly not everyone is like this, but that was a large portion of my experience and why I ultimately left.

The revelation at the end felt spot on for what I ran into while I was living there, and my GOODNESS it threw me for a loop.

They're in the process of filming the sequel now (we may or may not be working on an interview with some wonderful folks involved in this project, once my life settles back in😎), and I'm looking forward to seeing what will be headed our way!

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