The Apparition (2012) Dec 6, 2012 12:35:37 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Dec 6, 2012 12:35:37 GMT -5
The Apparition opens with a group of six friends performing a little thing called "The Charles Experiment," where they all stare at a picture of a deceased man hoping to revive his spirits if they all stare potently at the image. It was originally attempted in 1973, so these friends decide to be cool or whatever they'd revive the experiment. Cut to present day, with Ashley Greene's Kelly living in a small home with her boyfriend Ben (Sebastian Stan), where paranormal activity begins to occur in the small, secluded little home and strange things such as burn marks on the countertop, an unknown substance on the walls, and very obscure little ghostly things begin to become more and more apparent to the young couple as they realize they may have something haunting them. Could it be the apparition?
As I watched The Apparition, in complete boredom and bewilderment, my mind couldn't help but drift into thinking why we can not get more independent filmmakers with more ingenious ideas rather than bottom-of-the-barrel studio flicks that fail to deliver on their promises. Here we are given two attractive actors, whose characters are empty and beyond the degree of uninteresting, and spooky activity that isn't at all spooky. Perhaps if we hadn't seen the Paranormal Activity series before watching The Apparition, maybe we would've enjoyed it more, or would we have been wiser to look past something like this?
The $9 million this was lucky to make at the box office must have been out of consumer curiosity or simple desperation. It's rare for the public to see horror films in theaters today, much less good ones, so those who sought this out with optimism should've been greatly rewarded with something other than thoughtless drivel. As the film plays out, we feel it's reading from a book titled something like "How to Make Your Friends Jump." Every primary scare is concocted using a high-chord and a sudden jolt in the pacing.
But quite possibly the most annoying thing about the film is its appalling lack of ambition or effort. It is methodical, robotic, and redundant, tacking on scares in a late, forgetful fashion like it was so consumed with dry pacing that it forgot what it was building up to. The two leads here do nothing to spark chemistry or likability, so what we are left with are cardboard caricatures wandering aimlessly through the screenplay of cliches and loud, abrupt noises. Lastly, even the atmosphere in The Apparition can not hedge it to the level of being passable; it's cheap, wooden, and has an anemic effect on the viewer. This is one of the several horror efforts in the last few years that seems consumed by the banality of its ideas (or lack thereof) that it gives up a third of the way through.
NOTE: It's also pretty apparent that Warner Bros. made almost no marketing campaign for The Apparition, and shoved it into theaters at the end of August (like January, which is where the usually mediocre, unassuming films come out) where it was met with pitiful profits and a critical/social backlash. To put that in the perspective of someone who isn't as "cinema savvy," that would be like Apple releasing the iPad 3, promoting nothing, and repackaging the iPad 2 in shinier, glossier box.
Starring: Ashley Greene and Sebastian Stan. Directed by: Todd Lincoln.