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The Apparition – 4

Director – Todd Lincoln

Cast – Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton, Julianna Guill, Luke Pasqualino, Rick Gomez, Anna Clark

Release Year – 2012

Reviewed by John of the Dead

The Apparition is a flick I had no interest in seeing when it debuted, partly because I had never heard of it and because it just seemed lame after doing a tiny bit of research. I did not view a trailer going into this film, but I knew better than to pay top dollar theater prices and waited for this to hit my local dollar theater, and even then it was not worth the price. The script is dull, lazy, and the direction suffers the same fate, becoming evident when the viewer comes across the numerous “scare” sequences yet leaves the viewer afraid to waste their money on another modern day horror film.

After moving into a home together Kelly and Ben begin to experience odd supernatural events going on around their home, and as days go by and the hauntings grow more dire they learn the root of the problem is much closer to home than they ever imagined.

It really pains me to see this mess achieve a wide theater release when supreme efforts like Trick’r Treat and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon can only mutter Direct-to-Video or film festival releases at best, but that is the current state of the horror craposphere. I’m not sure what Warner Brothers had to gain in giving this the smallest wide release it has been to a major motion picture, but they must have owed Dark Castle a big one to even give this a wide release after the falling out between the two companies. The film sat on the shelf for two years as a result of that, and on the shelf is where this crap should have stayed.

Things start off quickly as the viewers they are given important details during the opening sequence that will later aid the film in making more sense, although the flick never really makes enough sense anyway. After the opening sequence we are introduced to our two main characters, Kelly and Ben, a young couple moving into Kelly’s parents’ home while they are away for a good while. It does not take long for the supernatural events to begin appearing on screen, and with the events subtle at first the film follows the usual template of them becoming increasingly vile until things get out of hand for the young couple. Eventually we learn (spoilers approaching) that the haunting stems from a college experiment Ben took part in years prior, an experiment that took the life of one of the participants and inadvertently brought a malevolent force to their world – a force looking to ensure he and Kelly suffer the same demise as his old friend. There are plenty of scare scenes during the film, and it being an 80 minute watch makes for a fast and non-dragging experience on the surface. The scares are nothing special and never once put a smile on my face, and on top of a lame storyline that offers nothing new to the genre I found this a dragging film after all.

Writer Todd Lincoln also serves as the film’s director, and as usual, when a writer’s story sucks it is near impossible for him to sell it with his own direction. The film does come well shot and the atmosphere is positive, but those are really the only positives for the film. The acting is decent and the actors were enjoyable to look at for both sexes, but naturally eye candy doesn’t undo poor horror. So what if a film come with lots of scares? His poor execution of the cheap scares did nothing to save the film from the mess he created for himself with a pencil and paper – or in this day and age, an insincere screenwriting program on a laptop. Had the cheap scares been enjoyable ones I could have lived with them and found this a much more enjoyable experience, but he failed where it mattered most.

Overall, The Apparition is a film not even worth dollar theater prices of $1.50 per showing. If you have nothing better to do then I still suggest you do nothing better and skip this one. It isn’t horrendously bad and we have all seen worse, but it’s time to not give such films the time of day when other premium efforts are passed over due to distribution stupidity.

Rating: 4/10

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