Movie Review: The Apparition

Stars: Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton

Rated PG-13 for terror/frightening images and some sensuality, Running time 82 minutes, Horror/Thriller

Compare to: Soul Survivors (2000), Pulse (2006)

The Ring. The Grudge. The Eye. The Return. The Messengers. The Unborn. The Uninvited. Do you see where I’m going with this? With the exception of The Ring (and I can’t speak for the sequel), all of these movies have just about everything in common, and none of those similarities are good. So now we have The Apparition. They have tired themselves out of the words to place after “the” and now just put what it is. Next, we’ll be seeing The Ghostand probably “The Demon.” “the huh” could work too, don’t bother with punctuation.

The Apparition may be the laziest movie I’ve seen since I really don’t know when. The entire duration feels like how the first thirty minutes of the ones listed above felt. Boring, and plodding along to get to the parts that make you jump. The difference with this one is that it never gets to the parts that even might make you jump. Keep reading if you want to know about true terror in the form of blandness.

Kelly and Ben are a happy couple who move into a new home. Because we’ve never had a horror movie start out like that before. Before long, weird, unexplained events start happening.

And there you have it. The “story.” I’m trying to think of a single thing the actors could have read in the script to say, “This is it. My next few weeks will be spent doing this.” We even start off with the most basic of introductions to the two main characters as a couple. I’m not going to quote, but create an exchange in which has never been on film before, yet you’ve seen it countless times.

Stacy pulls up to the curb right next to Jason.

Stacy- (SMILING) Hey stranger. Need a ride?

Jason- I would, but there’s this gorgeous brunette coming to get me in a few minutes.

Stacy- (GIGGLES) I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if you spent the night just once (GIGGLES).

The two kiss and Jason gets in the car.

And there you have it. Your introduction to the characters you’re going to waste the next hour and a half on. The dialogue feels like they needed to look down at the page to read it again before they said it. This movie is so boring I started paying attention to the little things that aren’t even supposed to matter and even picking them apart just to keep myself awake. The neighbor’s dog dies, and the main girl just brings her another one. The dad says “Thanks. You really didn’t have to.” The main girl says “No, I did.”

And everybody just accepts it and we move on.

She hadn’t discussed buying a new living creature to take care of with the father once, and he’s just taking it in like it doesn’t matter. If I was that dad I would not have been saying “Thank you,” I would have been saying “Wow, great. You get this thing it’s shots? You have extra dog food back there in your car? Did you train it already? A dog is a big responsibility, lady, it’s not a goldfish.”

We’re told that these things make their way through “energy” which implies electrical devices I guess, they never really say. So while they come through electricity, these things spend most of the movie creating giant mold patches on the soap in the shower and corners of the ceiling. What their abilities are aren’t really explained, we’re just meant to accept whatever happens. Most of it is so blatantly stupid I don’t know if I could describe it if I tried.

The main girl and the boyfriend are trying to lock themselves in a cage that supposed to keep them safe, so they get in and the boyfriend’s head hurts. As it turns out, the girlfriend was imagining that the boyfriend was in the cage with her because he’s actually stuck in the wall. HE’S STUCK IN THE WALLS. I feel embarrassed having typed that. His mouth starts stretching open like something else is going to happen, but no, they felt content leaving it at that.

At one point, in what’s supposed to be a climax, the main girl is locked in the laundry room (don’t ask) and what do ya know, the girl from The Ring or The Grudge starts climbing out of the dryer. It was super freaky lemme tell ya. As soon as you think something’s actually going to happen, the boyfriend and science nerd kick the door open and the cleaning lady is gone.

These things are so freaking scary they run at the slightest noise. I’m calling them “things” because we’re told through the science nerd’s explanation (his only reason for being there as you know) that these things are “older than any ghost, or demon.” We’re never told where he got that bit of brilliance from.

You know why I don’t mind spoiling this movie? Because the selling shot in the trailer and the friggin’ poster are the last shot in the movie. So are the deaths of all three characters. And this “If you believe it you die” thing they’ve got everywhere doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the movie. The ghost are killing people regardless of whether or not they believe.

As soon as the credits pop up and the entire audience moaned, TODD LINCOLN’s name pops up as the writer and director as if he wants to take all the blame. I was shocked to find out that this movie cost not five million, not seven million, but seventeen million. I have no idea where this money went. Last year’s Insidious was by no means genius but its 1.5 million dollar budget had ten times the amount of freakiness. Don’t waste your money or your time. I can’t say enough bad things about this movie.

Grade: F

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