The Apparition is a 2012 horror/thriller, written and directed by Todd Lincoln. To say that The Apparition performed poorly in theaters is a understatement, as the film was a box office bomb. The film was also widely panned by critics who rarely, if ever, had anything positive thing to say about the film. The Apparition was delayed after filming by Warner Bros after breaking off relations with its production company New Castle Entertainment. Then Warner Bros gave the film smallest release of any major film in its distribution history. Which smacks heavily of douchebaggery to me.
The film opens with a set of students in 1973 doing an experiment later to become known as the Charles Experiment with its goal to contact the deceased Charles Reamer. At the end of the experiment the group takes a photo and a ghostly image can be made out. Then we cut ahead to another group of students in modern day re-enacting the experiment, but of course the experiment goes awry. Now jump ahead again and we get to meet our main protagonists Ben (Sebastian Stan) one of the members of the second group of students and his girlfriend Kelly (Ashley Greene), who is watching Kellys parents house in a near vacant neighborhood. Quickly the two start to take notice of things like the death of Kelly’s cactus and awaking with all the doors to the house open. Ben is contacted by Patrick (Tom Felton) that delivers some bad news. He reveals that the earlier experiment was meant to try and trap an entity and was being re-enacted on a larger scale to try and contain the entity. Things start to get weird again, but Kelly won’t have it and has her and Ben camp outside the house as she fears its haunted. Kelly finds footage of the earlier experiment the next day and confronts Ben with it. The entity attacks Kelly, so the couple flee to a hotel. Where once again the couple are attacked. After the second attack Patrick contacts them and informs of what’s happening and his plans to put a stop it. During the experiment things seem to go smoothly, until the next day.
My main issue with The Apparition has to be the complete lack of charisma between the lead couple. It feels like the two are just reciting lines of dialogue back and forth. This makes it incredibly hard for me to make a connection to the characters in order to care what happens to them. It’s hard to describe as it feels like the filmmakers could of gotten more emotion out of cardboard standees.
The dialogue in this film is cliche at best and ham-handed at worst. the fight between Kelly and Ben standing out among the pack. I could almost recite the dialogue as it was being spoken having never seen this film before. It’s so cliche of a argument I almost want to say it was poking fun at it. But the scene is played 100% serous so it never comes off as that, again this due to the leads lack of chemistry.
One scene that this film did get right was the hotel attack scene. It was well shot with great visuals. Of the whole film it was the only part that truly grabbed hold of my attention. The scene reminded me of the original Nightmare on Elm Street with its dreamlike quality.
So what’s my final thought? Is The Apparition a bad film? Yes, but it’s not as bad I was told it was. With the low ratings and bad reviews I was expecting much worse out of this film. The Apparition only had two real issues for me, how non-ironically cliche it was and the leads lack of chemistry. The pacing was well done for the most part and the film was often nice to look at. But as it offers nothing new, which in its self is not normally an issue. But here it really is, so I feel The Apparition gets a 5/10. It’s not a bad film its just not worth your time as it often feels like it’s just trying to emulate better films.