Monday, November 19, 2012

The Apparition Fails to Materialize: A Movie Review (Blu-Ray)

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*full disclosure: a Blu-ray screener of this film was provided by Warner Bros. for review.

**some spoilers are below.

Director/writer: Todd Lincoln.

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

The Apparition is a dreadful film. It seems created by a machine as the film lacks soul and power. This title is ineffective as a horror film on so many levels. The characters are drab, the premise is bare bones and there is almost nothing in this film that creates for any thrills. The Apparition is likely targeted towards the tween market with its PG-13 rating. Even this audience might find themselves yawning at this lackluster production.

The weak story centrally focuses on Ben (Sebastian Stan) and Kelly (Ashley Greene). This couple has recently moved into an abode outside of Los Angeles. Their new house begins to sprout mold and dirty ash as a ghost comes haunting from Ben's past. Previously, Ben was a psychology major and he was researching paranormal activity. Seemingly, he released a spirit from the supernatural into the physical world. How this feat was accomplished is never really explained in the film. Ben and Kelly must now fight off a demon until the credits finally roll.

All of the characters in this title are flat. Patrick is a friend of Ben's. They performed the experiment together, which released the spirit. Patrick, played by Tom Felton, is your typical neurotic scientist. He seems jacked up on Redbulls and pseudo-science. His explanations for the spirit's existence are unclear and his only meaningful scene involves his departure into the abyss. Good bye Patrick; you will not be missed. Ben is the most drab character in the film. Actor Sebastian Stan plays Ben as if he is asleep on his feet. There is no passion in his performance and this actor seems to just go through the motions. Ashley Greene tries a little harder, but her character is truly one-dimensional. Greene only has the barest of character structures to work with. She can only scream in a few scenes, while praying that this film will not try for a sequel. The characterizations and acting in this production are uninspiring.

Is this really even a horror movie? This title can drum up few scares. Its PG-13 rating also signals that this will be a fairly mediocre production. The Apparition does not test neither the extremes of horror, nor exciting plotlines. This title is a very tepid affair. It almost seems as if director Todd Lincoln used a cookie cutter to shape his script. This title is so generic. As well, the film attempts few thrills. But, is mold really scary? Is moving furniture exciting? Is an open door going to leave you breathless? The ghost ties up Kelly's clothes and this reviewer simply groaned. Where are the thrills in this feature? The Apparition is not a horror film by any stretch of the imagination; it is nothing, really.

The Apparition gets a Worst Film for 2012 nomination for being so utterly terrible. This title has no heart and Lincoln has no appreciation for the genre at all. Who would give this first time filmmaker 17 million to make a movie? The premise is dull, characters are waxy, and there is no dark tone in this picture. The film is mostly shot during the day and this does not create for any terror whatsoever. The film's conflict is inadequate and the explanation for the events occurring onscreen are poorly contrived. The Apparition is simply dismal.

Horror fans should avoid this title at all costs as Warner Bros. releases The Apparition on home video formats later this month. Truly generic, this film is poorly created, structured and executed. This film does not stand out in any regard and the director really needs to rethink his career choices if he is going to continue to produce this sort of cinematic garbage. The Apparition is best left untouched on video store shelves and Netflix queues as this viewing experience is not worth mentioning (outside of a warning).

Overall: 5.25 out of 10.

*this title was released in only 800 theatres, the smallest release for Warner Bros. in its distribution history.

**this was the final film produced by Dark Castle Entertainment for Warner Bros. Thus, its release was delayed by two years.

The Vocabularist gives this film a drumming at Movie Cynics:

The Apparition Reviewed at Movie Cynics

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