Apartment Zero (1988)


Colin Firth and Hart Bochner star in this bold drama/thriller from writer/director Martin Donovan and co-screenwriter David Koepp (who teamed together a few years later on Death Becomes Her). Firth stars as a movie theater manager in Buenos Aires who welcomes Hart Bochner as a new roommate in an apartment building full of nosey neighbors. As his roomie wins over the favor of the building, Firth begins to suspect Bochner may actually be an active serial killer. To say anything more about Apartment Zero would rob you of its surprises.

Firth and Bochner are both put to terrific use playing characters who may or may not be what they seem. I also give kudos to Donovan and Koepp for a script that kept me guessing. Contemporary thrillers tend to employ twists and turns as cheap tricks, but Apartment Zero earns its right to pull the rug out from under us. Most of all, I appreciate that the film isn’t just an exercise in form or style — it’s got psychological meat to it. Firth’s and Bochner’s characters are ripe for examination in the ways of masculinity, homophobia, and sociopathy.

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