The Thing in the Apartment | Film Overview

“The Thing in the Apartment” is a short horror film written, directed, and produced by John Ross and released by Crypt TV. This tense horror film leans on the fear of the dark, giving the viewer that creepy feeling that someone is watching you.

Plot Overview

The 10-minute thriller beings with a sleeping Sam receiving a call from Lindsay. Sam, confused and drowsy, isn’t quite sure what to make of Lindsay’s claim that there was a “thing” in her apartment. Lindsay explained she ran out of her apartment and doesn’t know where she is.

Sam finds Lindsay in the parking lot of a church. There, Lindsay tells Sam that as she was waiting for her sleeping pill to kick in, Lindsay saw a terrifying “thing” standing over her bed. A glimpse of the antagonist monster shows a pale, tall, and thin creature with long arms and legs. Lindsay escaped, running without stopping or thinking.

A woman holding a flashlight in a dark room - a still image from 'the thing in the apartment'

In a true horror trope, Sam ignores Lindsay’s warnings and decides to go back to the apartment. This leads to an anxious exploration of the apartment while a terrified Lindsay waits in the car for her friend to return safely. From there, tension rises in a dark house – is It actually real?

Where can you watch The Thing in the Apartment?

You can find “The Thing in the Apartment” and its sequel on Crypt TV’s Youtube and Facebook channels. Make sure you check out some of their other great films, too.

Cast and Crew

With most of the film taking place in the church parking lot and Lindsay’s apartment, it comes as no surprise that the Makeup Department was the largest and by far the most important, creating the creepy look of the Thing.

The crew included three cast members and a number of producers, music producers, cinematographers, editors, sound mixers, and grips.

Writer, Director, ; Producer John Ross

John Ross studied Cinema-Television Production at the University of South California and eventually earned an MFA in writing from the California Institute of the Arts. His films are often story-driven, whether that is a character-driven drama like his short film “Things are Really Insane” or an intense thriller like “The Thing in the Apartment.”

“Obviously, my main goal was to scare the living sh-t out of people,” he told about the film, “but that never works if you don’t care about the characters.  All my movies are about crazy people who turn out to be right, so I’ve always been interested in the crazy friend/sane friend odd couple character dynamic.”

In his portrayal of Lindsay, Ross developed a timid girl who leans on her friends for support. Sam, who Lindsay seeks out for help, is skeptical of Lindsay’s story. Ross leaves much of their relationship unsaid, but there is enough in the 10 minutes to see that their dynamic would lead to their poor decisions.

“There’s something unsettling but also kind of funny and strangely touching about that relationship,” he continued. “That’s totally the tone I was going for with the short—oppressive but darkly humorous and with a little heart.”

A shadowy image behind a woman - a still image from 'the thing in the apartment'

The Cast of Thing in the Apartment

Carly Jones plays Lindsay, the terrified character whose apartment “the Thing” is inhabiting in the shadows. Her work includes many shorts, TV series, and movies. She is known for her portrayal of Mallory in the TV Series “Lonelygirl15.”

Melia Renee plays Sam, Lindsay’s brave (and perhaps foolish) friend. She has acted in roles in the TV series “Without a Trace,” several short films, and TV movies. 

Ryan Allan Young fits his role as “the Thing” perfectly. His 6’6”, lanky frame gave “the Thing” a creepy, supernatural aspect. He spent six to nine hours in the makeup chair in order to produce this terrifying character. His background as an improvisation comedian has led him to work in unscripted television.

Release and Reception of The Thing in the Apartment

The film was released in October 2015 by Crypt TV, a  digital media company created by Jack Davis and Eli Roth.  Davis and especially Roth produced, wrote, directed, and starred in campy horror films like Hostel and Cabin Fever. “The Thing in the Apartment” was the first short released in Crypt TV’s Crypt Monster Universe. 

Though the short film did not win any awards, it is still rated high on IMDB, averaging a 7 out of 10. 

In 2017, the entertainment company released a sequel, “The Thing in the Apartment II,” which takes place immediately after the end of the original movie.

A still from The thing in the apartment a still image from 'the thing in the apartment'

Final Thoughts

Though the short film isn’t making crazy waves in the horror film genre, it does what many short horror films fail to do well: actually scare the viewer. The film is simple, just like the title suggests, but despite this remains engaging with its rise in tension. The viewer knows a jump scare is coming, but they can’t help and be spooked when it finally does.

The cinematography and interesting angles show the film was well-planned and thought out. Of course, the creature itself is the most impressive thing about the film. It is first introduced by a glimpse of cellphone light, then again later in a truly terrifying nature. Overall, the movie is a solid horror short, well worth the 10-minute viewing.