Friday, August 24

The Apparition Review

The Apparition
Dir: Todd Lincoln
Starring: Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan,
and Tom Felton

Late night television will offer ample amounts of shows investigating the paranormal, all in search of capturing the definitive picture or video of real ghosts employing all varieties of ancient ritual and cutting edge technology to identify these spirits. The Apparition is the latest film to explore these realms, and though the premise might seem familiar there is always room for genre innovation, unfortunately this film falls well short of conjuring up the most important element in a horror film…being scary.

The introduction of the film displays some early promise. A group of college students decide to conduct a séance to manifest a spirit they researched, unfortunately the ritual goes well awry concluding in the release of a particularly angry ghost. Transition a few years later and Kelly (Ashley Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan) are moving into a new home, in a nearly vacant subdivision. Doors begin to close and open on their own, furniture moves, and shadows wander in the deep frames; something is wrong but the resilient couple decides stay put. While Kelly is tormented by the occurrences, Ben is secretive and seems to ignore what is happening in the house. Kelly uncovers Ben’s ghost hunting past, the supernatural manifestations get more threatening, and Ben’s college friend Patrick (Tom Felton), with his ghost hunting gadgets, is called back into the picture to help resolve the situation. Unfortunately for the determined group, this isn’t your typical, run of the mill ghost.

 On the plus, the cast is fairly accomplished and recognizable from other works, and they do their best but ultimately don’t have much to work with. The script is the glaring flaw with this film, offering very little for the characters to expand upon and, notably, not presenting enough frightening material. Many of the horror elements utilized in this film will seem familiar from other films like Poltergeist, Paranormal Activity, and surprisingly enough the imagery used in the J-Horror film Ringu. However, The Apparition lacks the understanding, or invention, of how to develop these properly enough.

At just under the 80-minute mark the film feels long, this mostly due to a rather slow buildup, a disorganized exposition, and too much time lapse between scares, all of which hurts the establishment of tension and environment crucial for a horror film. Though the film has a capable group of actors, The Apparition suffers from poor execution and a flawed script resulting in another lackluster end-of-summer horror film.

Monte’s Rating
1.0 out of 5.0

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