No, really. I think they put more thought into the trailer than into the movie itself. I don’t pay to see movies anymore, but the dollar I spent to park at Gateway was still too much to see this movie. I’d gladly pay that dollar – or the full price, even – to writer/director Todd Lincoln to never make another such movie again.
Nearly anything that could go wrong with a movie did go wrong with “The Apparition.” Thankfully, the found-footage and “Paranormal Activity” security-cam style was kept to minimum, but that’s one of its few saving graces. That, and the over-obvious shots of Ashley Greene’s legs and cleavage. Too bad the obligatory shower scene was also PG-13, or it might have been worth the price of admission.
The whole idea of how the apparition is created was laughable (with machines that “electronically capture our belief”), but not as funny as how they thought they could get rid of the apparition, later! The dialog is terrible – insipid and stunted – with just more dumb people reacting badly to extraordinary things, and not responding at all the way you would think people would. For instance, at one point, the mysterious apparition manifests itself as (surprises!) a pale-faced girl with long stringy black hair to “Kelly” (Greene’s character), and Kelly… forgets to mention anything about it to our other young heroes.
Some inadvertently great lines (“Your house killed my dog”) didn’t help, either; especially with the music trying REALLY HARD to set an almost action-oriented mood, even when not much was happening. The SFX were pretty decent as far as sounds go; but then most of the movie consisted of people reacting to off-screen sounds, and then walking around to investigate them. The visuals weren’t that great, and unexplained. For example, as the apparition closes in, this mold shows up, and no one knows why. It is later found to have the consistency of Styrofoam (convenient), and its sole purpose seems to be as a delivery system for a small statue that was shattered during the original experiment that created the apparition (which has no business being there; it’s not like the statue vanished into the void along with one of the facilitators of the experiment. It was shattered and just sitting on the table). Luckily, this mysterious foamold is easily removed with a broom handle, tossed into the garbage and… is never seen nor heard from again. Comparatively, the various manifestations in something like “The Ring” eventually tied into the entity’s back story. Ghosts apparently also can’t reach you in cars, since it always waits to attack them until after they arrive at the next set piece. I was thinking high-tension power lines would figure more into the actual story since they shown so often and prominently in both the movie itself and its titles, but no. I guess they just… look creepy in sepia tone? Malfoy is pretty much there so a British accent can sound knowledgeable about delivering the dumbest explanations for supernatural phenomena ever uttered in a movie. he seems to invent explanations for things as the movie went along, with no verification offered other than his British accent to provide weight.
The ending is the worst, though. As a particular scene approached (that I knew was coming because they give it away in the trailer AND the poster), I wondered “wait – already? Where can they go from here?” and then they went nowhere; it just ended, at about 80 minutes. They put more time into the visual end credits than their ending But at least “The Apparition” is short, and thereby doesn’t waste too much of your time.
Overall Score for “The Apparition” from Rich Bonaduce: D
“The Apparition” is rated PG-13 for terror/frightening images, money-shots of Ashley Greene, and gratuitous use of high-tension power lines.
Directed by: Todd Lincoln
Written by: Todd Lincoln