1BR: The Fine Line Between Cult and Community

How dangerous is a group of people under the influence of wrong or misguided ideals? How far are they willing to go to uphold those beliefs?

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How dangerous is a group of people under the influence of wrong or misguided ideals? How far they’re willing to go to uphold those beliefs?

From writer and director David Marmor, the film 1BR follows homebody Sarah as she takes the leap of moving out on her own to Los Angeles and moves into an apartment in the midst of a seemingly perfect community. What follows after will leave you forever questioning your neighbors motives as Sarah is thrown into a new world she couldn’t have possibly imagined. Along the way, 1BR succeeds in not only leaving you in fear of your neighbors but also questioning the point in which the line is drawn for taking certain beliefs and ideals to an extreme.

1BR Synopsis

New to Los Angeles, a woman (Nicole Brydon Bloom) moves into a seemingly perfect apartment complex, and soon finds out that there are consequences for breaking the rules.

A Cult of a Community

Although the community itself claims to revolve around the basic ideals of “selflessness, openness, acceptance and security” (which would be seemingly obvious choices for what anyone would want in a neighborhood or home), the lengths that it’s members go to in order to achieve these things are truly the most terrifying thing to take away from this film. While this film may not be the most action packed or gory, the use of its slow pace in showing us these methods is more than enough to give any viewer that horrified and sinking feeling as they are pulled into this world alongside Sarah.

The vile and gruesome tactics used by the members (i.e. secret cameras in apartments, baking someone’s cat, and mental manipulation) to uphold their “perfect society” will leave you feeling unsettled and uncomfortable in your own home while keeping your eyes glued to the screen in wonder of what this horrendous group of people could possibly do next.

The actions of this community of people steer directly into cult level territory and are reminiscent of the actions of personalities such as Charles Manson and May Otis Blackburn; both of whom were able to use the beliefs of groups of people to cause terrible harm. The film leads us as the viewers to question exactly how dangerous a group of people under the influence of wrong or misguided ideals can be and how far they’re willing to go to uphold those beliefs.

1BR challenges us as a viewer to not only look at ourselves and our neighbors but also to look at current and past events going on in the world around us. The film gives an incredibly uneasy and almost intrusive feeling to its viewers all while serving up plenty of gory and gruesome moments to its audience along the way.

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