Movie Review: The Apparition – by Brandon Bray

What do we expect when we watch a horror film? We expect to be surprised, shocked, frightened, intrigued, in awe (maybe) and most likely we will laugh quite a bit. Not because it’s funny, but because of how ridiculous some of the goings on happen to be. Some of the great  horror films turn out to be truly incredible pieces of filmmaking, IE. The Shining or The Exorcist, and some turn out to be fun cult classics complete with all the b-movie horror, shocks, blood and general disregard for any common decency, which I thoroughly enjoy, such as Evil Dead, Dead Alive, Re Animator, and the list goes on. The Apparition doesn’t fall into either category… at all.

So, on to the film. The Apparition focuses on a young couple named Kelly and Ben (played by Ashley Greene and Sebastian Stan), surprise, that take residence in Kelly’s parents investment home and start to experience paranormal happenings, surprise again.  Kelly and Ben do what most do when faced with clothes tied in knots, weird mold and all the doors opening on their home at the same time, they sleep in a tent in the backyard and try to figure out exactly what they need to do to exorcise the demon. I would tell you more but you already know what happens, or you should. Yes, I’m looking at you. Oh, and yes you get a small cameo from Tom Felton of Harry Potter fame. If you don’t know who he is then here’s a hint, he isn’t Harry.

To me, The Apparition is a self serious, self involved PG-13 horror movie that shouldn’t have ever been made. Writer/Director Todd Lincoln somehow convinced super producer Joel Silver, I’m guessing, to take a chance on his movie and he bit. While Joel Silver has produced many great films he’s also responsible for many great tragedies of filmmaking but I will save that for another time. So, to say I’m surprised that he agreed to make this forgettable dribble would be a reach but then, there I was watching Todd Lincoln’s Apparition and I found myself very upset by the fact that this movie even exists. Let’s be clear though, I’m not surprised.

When I watch a movie, I sometimes like to put myself in the shoes of the director. Mostly because being a director would be the pinnacle in the great institution of awesome, in my opinion. So this would mean managing the script, picking the right actors, and scouting for the perfect location among many other things. In my opinion, and what do I know, the script and the actors handling that script are two of the most important things in your movie. Without those you have nothing. So if your profession was making movies then you think these two things would have mattered but they obviously didn’t. Both were obvious after thoughts and usually these things are overlooked for things like explosions, car chases, CGI and whatever else can take your mind off the atrocity unfolding in front of you. Of course in a low budget horror movie you usually aren’t going to have any of those things at all and thats ok when capable, creative hands are handling the film. Again, this wasn’t the case for The Apparition.

Some of the things I found upsetting were the actors, who were clearly picked for their ability to be good looking people, while their ability to actually act was an afterthought. The script that handles character development with little to no interest and actor chemistry was obviously a completely foreign term. No, you’re right, Todd Lincoln, no one wants to know or care about the people the “apparition” is haunting, they just want to see cheap, worthless scares and camera tricks. The score seemed to do two things, play the scary song and fart around forgettably. The climax of the movie was silly and under explained. I think they must have realized this during the editing process and then added a voiceover to Kelly running through the woods scared. Which then takes you completely out of the moment and for nothing because the end still really didn’t make any sense. I could go on but what’s the point. I’ve already said enough.

In the end I think Hollywood is telling us what they think of us when they make movies like this. They think we are stupid, silly people that wouldn’t be able to understand a thought provoking film with strong acting, character development and a compelling story if it kicked us in the face. Are they doing this to us because everyone bought tickets to see Transformers Revenge of the Dark of the Moon. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great muscle bound, brainless, adrenaline fueled thrill ride as much as the next guy but there comes a point where you have to draw the line and say “Hollywood, I’m demanding more.” The Apparition is not a good film. If you appreciate horror movies you won’t like this. If you appreciate film, you won’t like this. If you have any respect for yourself, don’t see this.

I give the movie 1 out 5 mainly because Ashley Greene is attractive but not attractive enough to get a 2

By Brandon Bray

 

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