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True to its title, 'The Apparition' arrives almost too quietly in
cinemas this week though rather than being a marketing gimmick like
how the first 'Paranormal Activity' built its cult status, there is a
much more straightforward reason why this low-budget B-grade horror
flick has come without any fanfare. It is flat out bad, no less than
bottom of the barrel stuff, even if you approach it with the kind of
lowered standards you typically take to such fly-by-night productions
from Joel Silver's Dark Castle Entertainment or Sam Raimi's Ghost House
Indeed, it is from the former that this first-time feature by writer/director Todd Lincoln hails from, and suffice to say that despite being bestowed the rare honour of shouldering dual responsibilities on this film, it is unlikely that Lincoln will find himself with similar luck soon. His 'Apparition' shows none of the ingenuity or even coherence of Oren Peli's 'Paranormal Activity', one of the few horror classics that he tries to emulate in the course of a muddled and practically nonexistent plot.
After setting the scene with a 1970s séance experiment where a group of researchers used their minds to conjure the spirit of a lost colleague back into this world, the film opens with a similar procedure carried out by three amateur parapsychology students - Patrick (Tom Felton), Ben (Sebastian Stan), and Lydia (Julianna Guill). Successful they may have been, their efforts have opened a portal for a spirit to grab Lydia back into the netherworld. Fast forward four years later, and the story picks up with Ben moving into a new house with his current girlfriend Kelly (Ashley Greene).
Playing like a teen friendly version of 'Paranormal Activity', strange occurrences start happening around their home, including the obligatory flickering lights, shadows in the dark and moving furniture. Then Lincoln remembers a certain horror movie he watched called 'Dark Water', and the said apparition begins appearing as a black mouldy patch on the ceilings and below the linoleum floors. Further on, Lincoln recalls 'Ju- On' and the apparition turns into a black-skinned long-haired girl moving on all fours. But more frustrating than its derivativeness is how lethargic the whole affair is.
Never once do you feel that the threat to Kelly or Ben is real, nor in fact do you care for their predicament. That's partly because Lincoln doesn't know how to build tension even with a brief 75 minutes running time (sans the protracted end credits), and partly because the actors involved look plain uninvolved. And really how do you identify with characters who spout lines as inane as "Our house is too new to be haunted. It has no history." or the utter obvious like "Your house isn't haunted. You are."?
It is also too daft to realise its own stupidity, pretending to be much smarter than it really is by reintroducing science into the mix about half an hour before the picture's end with a lot of mambo-jumbo about electromagnetic waves and reversing polarity. In truth, the science in the movie is bullshit, and the more it tries to act intelligent about it, the sillier it comes off. Finally, when it has one of its characters Patrick urgently say that the apparition is some entity even older and more sinister than demons, you know that it is just grabbing at straws to try to reinstate its credibility.
The only consolation you get is that its ending is as terrible as you expect it to since the rest of movie is already that atrocious, no climax however bad can be considered a copout. No wonder then that 'The Apparition' has emerged like a ghost into theatres, without publicity and without any press previews. It has but one aim to lure unsuspecting moviegoers hoping to have a ghost of a scare before 'Paranormal Activity 4' swings around for Halloween - and the only scare it will offer is how shockingly inept it is. Yes, you won't find much of a movie here, just an apparition of several much more superior classics that have come before it.
Look out Tommy Wiseau / "The Room", "The Apparition" might be a close
runner up for the greatest worse film of all time. Seriously...I have
never seen a worse film shown in a theatre than "The Apparition" - it
is THAT bad.
I honestly can't even believe what I saw was an actual movie. I thought it perhaps may have been an experiment in seeing how much product placement could be put into one film and still have some semblance of a plot (it doesn't though).
This film, however, does have real potential to become a fun "interactive" film like "The Room" or "Rocky Horror Picture Show"
But man...wow...unbelievably awful. And I'm a huge horror fan, so I know to set my bar low...
This movie is bad. There is one scene where my brother and I literally face palmed simultaneously. Please do not go see this. Please do not wait for blockbuster. Please do not wait for red box. Please do not wait for netflix. Don't even pirate this. It's that bad. The only good reason to go and see this is if you want something to complain about later. In fact, I had more fun complaining about how bad this movie is than actually watching it. And I like this genre. I'm stoked for Paranormal 4, Resident Evil 5, and Silent Hill 2. If your looking for decent alternatives, check out The Innkeepers, Grave Encounters (cheesy, but cool), or the Tunnel. That one scared the hell out of me. The Tunnel is available to torrent legally too.
The Apparition (2012)
* (out of 4)
The horror film Warner tried to sneak into theaters and hope no one noticed it. Sadly, I noticed it but thankfully it was only a $5 show (which was still a rip). Couple Kelly (Ashley Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan) arrive in a new home only to discover strange things happening. Kelly is all confused but apparently Ben recognizes this "haunting" due to an experiment he did in college where one of his best friends mysteriously vanished. While watching THE APPARITION my mind started to go back to the mid 90's before SCREAM came along and the horror genre was just delivering some pretty awful movies. This here reminded me of one of them because there's really nothing going right in this picture, which starts with an incredibly boring and unscary pre-credits sequence and sadly things just get worse from here. I'm sure in the writing stages people get an idea, look over it, make changes, take away the bad and add some good. They re-work the process until they come up with a story that they can work with. It really does seem that this film just took the first bad idea and filmed it so that they could get anything in a theater before Halloween. The entire story here is just simply bad, laughable and there were times where I just wanted to walk out on it. The entire situation is something I'll avoid spoiling for those who do decide to see the film but it all adds up to a half-baked idea that never works and the ending is just downright stupid. I'd say the studio should be thankful that no one is watching this or else it would probably be getting some heat. The performances aren't anything to write home about but I enjoyed Greene for the most part. THE APPARITION is obviously trying to follow in the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY foot steps but there's not a single scare to be had here.
A rare horror movie I have ever watched in cinema. The premise and
Ashley Greene are the ones that actually attracted me. I thought the
tag line of 'You believe, you die' could have become something
interesting but unfortunately, it is only touch and go. Ashley Greene
is no doubt hot and her acting is not bad. Unfortunately, the movie is
somewhat disappointing thanks to its so generic story and short
The good: Ashley sizzles up the screen. The music is surprisingly okay for a horror movie. I like how it does not resort to shocking the audience with cheap jump scenes unlike other movies that are eager to make the audience jump often. Sadly, those are what I like about the movie.
The bad: Lots of things for a horror movie. The story is nothing original which is a disappointment. It is very straight-forward with no twist. Just some ghostly events string up together. The runtime is one of the biggest crime. It is only 1 hour and 22 minutes and take away the credit's runtime and you get...nothing much. The story just zip to the ghostly events. Nothing much about the ghostly stuff is said. The climax, I must say, is one of the worst climax I have seen in a horror movie. It is almost anti-climax but I won't spoil anything. It just has no resolution. It is also not that scary nor intense. Acting is okay but fans of Tom Felton and Julianna Guill will be disappointed.
Overall: It is barely worth a watch in cinema. I am sure it could be viewed as better when it is released on DVD/Blu-ray. The Apparition is a disappointingly generic low-budget horror movie which is a pity. The cast and the premise should have more potential to be interesting.
I was waiting for this movie to come out for a while now. The reason being that I'd heard a lot about it on some horror sites. So I finally got it the other day on DVD and although it wasn't great, it wasn't a total waste of time. The story is about a couple (Ben and Kelly) who move in to a newish house on a new estate. But soon after that they discover that they're being haunted by some sort of entity that Ben had released in to the world a year or so earlier with a group of friends. Now I know the story is nothing new but I did like the effects in this movie. There were some good WTF moments and a couple of scary-ish scenes but to me it felt like there was something missing, that it needed a couple of more scenes to tie it all together as I felt left wanting more from the plot, and the film was only 73 minutes long. It could have gone another 10 minutes I thought. So yes I did like the movie but it could have been much better. I give it a 7 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Went in with no expectations att all regarding this. And i must say i was positively amazed. The story centers on a couple moving into a new house. Soon weird things start to happen, things which can only be described as a haunting. Seems like the boyfreind was part of an experiment that went awry. They tried to contact an entity from the other side and succeeded with catastrophic consequences. One of the team was sucked in to the other side. Anyways, now the apparition is out to get the rest of the team, which unfortenatly includes the girlfriend. (I mean what the heck? Why say no to an extra snack) As far as the movie goes its pretty standard haunted house business. But its pretty well done. Jumpscares galore, sure but it does it pretty well. The acting is OK to, fun to see Tom felton again. The effects are sparse but executed well, including spooky shadows and otherwordly noises. SPOILERS! The end reminded me of Kairo, other spirits uses the rift the team created and seem to bring on the end of days! So, I know this movie has taken a lot of crap, but really, how whiny can you get! Its a fun horror flick, no more no less, and i sure recommends it to fans of haunted house movies.
I wish I had seen "The Partition," a movie about grumpy neighbors with
thin walls. Instead, I had to see this movie. I cannot recommend it to
anyone. It seems pretty clear that the studio made a movie on the cheap
so that they could sucker poor bastards like me into paying to see it.
The acting was terrible. I am not particularly attune to bad acting, because I love to watch Horror Films but the dialog was painfully forced. The writer attempted way too much exposition through dialog between the young couple.
The premise was semi-interesting, but the follow through was haphazard and a little silly. The director built tension pretty well, but there was no pay-off. There were a few jumps but they were not the well done.
I've seen worse horror movies, but I expected a touch more from this one and I shouldn't have.
I first heard about this movie by listening to Coast to Coast AM where
the Writer/Director was on talking about this film and how he was
inspired by actual events. So I was really anticipating watching this
At first it started out pretty interesting but then it took a turn for the worse. I started to not care about what was going on, the characters were a bit annoying and I didn't really care about them one way or another.
The film is not scary, it has its thrilling moments but all in all it's just a typical horror film for the new generation which really means its pathetic.
I think the film would have been awesome if it had followed the group doing the experiment on getting a ghost to appear, in fact that's what I was thinking I was getting into but instead got a cheap shot at a horror film that left me feeling like I had completely wasted my time.
It had some good moments but all in all it's not really worth watching.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The ads for "The Apparition" tell us it's about how believing in
supernatural events can make them real. The finished film, on the other
hand, never once says anything about belief or non-belief. There's only
a lot of generic talk about summoning some dark, evil force from "the
other side." Already, we have a huge problem, namely that people will
pay to see a film founded on a premise conjured up by a studio
marketing department rather than by the filmmakers. Did they know their
movie was being so grossly misrepresented, that the prominent tagline,
"Once you believe, you die," does not factor into the storyline as they
conceived it? This is the most infuriating display of bait-and-switch
advertizing since "Case 39," the long-delayed supernatural thriller
about a demonic little girl in the care of Renée Zellweger.
But suppose "The Apparition" hadn't relied on a deceptive ad campaign, that its actual premise had been used to entice audiences. What then? Not much, I'm afraid. Here is a horror movie so narratively tepid, so stylistically derivative, and so conceptually vague that one wonders if it began with anything resembling a screenplay. It has plenty in the way of atmosphere but virtually nothing in the way of plot, character development, theme, or insight. The thrills, while technically competent, are mediocre at best, all drawn from the likes of other, more original, and in most cases more successful horror films. This means that, nine times out of ten, we can see a scare coming long before it finally arrives. Unfortunately, this level of predictability doesn't extend to the overall story, which doesn't even try to be understandable.
We open with Super 8 footage of a paranormal experiment conducted in the 1970s, when a group of people sitting around a table somehow summoned an entity from "the other side." This manifestation, known as The Charles Experiment, was successfully recreated decades later by a group of college students, who had an arsenal of high tech equipment at their disposal. We see their efforts courtesy of their own home video footage; rest assured, the Queasy Cam is utilized, and there's a lot of screaming in the darkness. Flash forward to what I assume is the present day. We meet a young couple, veterinarian-in-training Kelly (Ashley Greene) and tech-company service rep Ben (Sebastian Stan). They begin noticing strange things happening in their new house, such as doors open by themselves without tripping the burglar alarm, lights flickering, mysterious thuds, and large patches of mold growing spontaneously in odd places.
And so continue these "Paranormal Activity"-inspired events until Kelly discovers Ben's connection to the recreated college experiment, which resulted in the disappearance of one of the participants. It's obvious that some kind of supernatural entity is haunting Kelly and Ben. But what is it exactly? Here enters a British parapsychology student named Patrick (Tom Felton), a geeky typecast whose role is to provide the lead characters and vicariously, the audience with technobabble explanations of a wild, paranormal nature. The more he explains, the less sense the situation makes; this entity, whatever it is, operates under rules so random and confusing that no potential audience is likely to make heads or tails of it. We know that a doorway to the other side was opened, that it wants to exist in our world, that it lives off of our fears, that it wants to kill people, and that, at least in one instance, it can take the form of the missing participant. But why? What does any of this mean?
Yet again, I turn my attention back to "Paranormal Activity," which worked so well because nothing was explained. How is it possible that "The Apparition" fails for the exact same reason? The answer is simple: Unlike "Paranormal Activity," which was much more psychologically driven, "The Apparition" is completely story driven, and therefore is required to be clear in its intentions. One cannot make a movie on merely an idea. It must first be honed into something comprehensible, something an audience can actually navigate through. Watching this movie is not at all unlike playing a game without knowing what the rules are; as you struggle to make sense of your surroundings, you're open to attacks from the opposing team.
The final act, while visually engaging, is a maddening collection of twists and revelations that clarify absolutely nothing. The last scene in particular seems intentionally constructed to make as little sense as possible and you should know that the trailer spoils it for you regardless. How could this have become such a mess? What movie did anyone involved believe they were making? It might have helped if the filmmakers had used the plot the ads falsely allude to. "Paranormal events are a product of the human mind," says a small section on the homepage of the film's website, "and ghosts only exist because we believe in them." This is an intriguing idea, and it certainly would have been worth exploring. Apart from not being the film it was advertized to be, "The Apparition" is boring, unoriginal, and nonsensical.
-- Chris Pandolfi (www.atatheaternearyou.net)
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