‘The Apparition’ is one pulse short of an actual heartbeat

Courtesy of Warner Home Video
Courtesy of Warner Home Video

It needed to happen at some point. The year 2012 has been fairly good to horror movies, but some dud needed to be released that would be positively cringeworthy. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you The Apparition, a simplistic rehash of several far-better horror movies.

Starring Ashley Greene and Sebastian Stan in a cross between The Strangers and Paranormal Activity, the movie follows a boyfriend-girlfriend as they try to escape a hellish supernatural force. Oh, and Tom Felton from the Harry Potter series turns up as some type of supernatural expert. Ahem.

The film, written and directed by Todd Lincoln, has no real purpose to exist. The plot is missing. The characters are thinly drawn. The scares are mild. Even though The Apparition runs 82 minutes, there are several scenes that feel extraneous (did we really need to see our main characters shopping at the beginning?). Everything leads to a finale that is lacking in cinematic quality.

The screenplay is atrocious, featuring unrealistic dialogue. The assembled actors, including Felton, are unable to overcome the story’s contrivances. Everything and everyone feels stilted and manufactured, as if the characters are fully conscious of their presence in a sub-par horror movie.

The genre’s conventions are all utilized, mostly to middling effect. Any individual scare that achieves its purpose is an aberration. There’s just very little here to appreciate. I’m all for popcorn entertainment and well-conceived supernatural thrillers, but The Apparition doesn’t even try.

By John Soltes / Publisher / John@HollywoodSoapbox.com

  • The Apparition

  • 2012


  • Written and directed by Todd Lincoln

  • Starring Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan and Tom Felton

  • Running time: 82 minutes

  • Rated PG-13 for terror/frightening images and some sensuality

  • Rating: ★☆☆☆

John Soltes

John Soltes is an award-winning journalist. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Earth Island Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, New Jersey Monthly and at Time.com, among other publications. E-mail him at john@hollywoodsoapbox.com

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