Film Review – The Apparition

The Apparition Movie PosterWhat if paranormal events only occurred because we believed they could? What if ghosts could be conjured up simply by imagining them? The Apparition, out today, hints at such a premise in its opening moments, only to then completely dismiss it for the remainder of its running time.

Clocking in at a scant 82 minutes, The Apparition follows young would-be veterinarian Kelly (Ashley Greene of the Twilight movies) and her suspiciously perfect boyfriend Ben (Sebastian Shaw, Gossip Girl, Captain America) as they settle into a swank new housing development owned by her parents. Kelly and Ben seem to have nondescript jobs that allow them to lounge around all day, vacantly smiling at one another. Now, I’m not especially familiar with either actor’s previous work, but the chemistry on display here is non-existent at best. Beautiful as they may be, a showcased shopping trip to Costco proved to be one of the most depressingly dull scenes I’ve seen in a movie this year.

Back at the house, things start to get spooky. A newly bought cactus dies overnight. Furniture begins moving on its own. A mysterious mold slowly overtakes the kitchen. Creepy stuff, right? Not in the clumsy hands of first-time director Todd Lincoln, unfortunately. From the stilted dialogue to the painfully poor pacing, the movie falls flat on just about every level. Even the cheap jump scares are so poorly orchestrated they only resulted in laughter at the screening I attended.

The movie threatens to become bearable with the introduction of Ben’s college friend Patrick (Tom Felton, slumming it post-Potter). He brings a sense of fun to the picture, albeit far too late in to save it. He and Ben concoct a solution to their ghost problem so convoluted I feel I’m owed an apology.

The Apparition 1

An exposition-laden narration kicks in to assist those still awake. Finally, we’re given a clip montage reminding us what happened in the previous 20 minutes. The Apparition is essentially daring us to see it through to the end.

I accepted that dare, and here’s my advice to you: stick with the trailer. Any thrills to be had can be found there, and you’ll be 10 to 12 bucks happier.

Final Grade: D


Nick's eyes were opened to a film's capabilities with his first viewing of L.A. Confidential and he's spent every day since then doggedly pursuing impactful movies big and small.

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