The Apparition (2012) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

The Apparition (2012)

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"Why are we making this film?" is a question I imagine didn't get asked very often during the production of The Apparition. The best answer I can come up was that either the cast had lost some compromising photos that may have ended up in the director's hands, or the idea of combining last year's Fright Night and those Paranormal Activity movies was just too tempting a honeypot.

Anyway, I went and saw this film because I saw that it was getting a 0% over on Rotten Tomatoes. Movies that achieve a consensus like that are the best kind of go to-- if I go and like it, then I'm cool and unique! If I hate it, then I'm cool and fit in! Win-win!

Unfortunately, 0% also means one other thing: no one could even get bribed to give this a positive review. Films like The Apparition don't get reviews like this if it's a so-bad-they're-good; they happen when they're nothing, empty experiences punctuated by empty moments. This is a flick that iMovie made on its own during some downtime.


The plot thusly: young couple Kelly (Ashley Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan) have just moved into a new home. However, it turns out that years ago Ben had participated in a super science seance wherein his last girlfriend got melted into a wall. Ben's friend, Patrick (Tom Felton), decides to try the science seance again-- this time he's using science to make it like 4,000 people are trying to contact the dead!-- and now the ghost apparition is back and better than ever.

So... yeah. I have a laundry list of crap I can complain about, and you're going to hear all of it if you stick around. Yes, I'll even put it in bullet point format for those who've been drinking and wish to skip around. Like me.

  • A fear of electricity and electronics permeates the film. This is nothing new-- I can tell you that for certain considering how much this angle is played up in the Paranormal Activity trailer playing before the movie-- but it's interesting to see what the film does with it. Only by using computers and powers do they summon the demon, and that gives it power over cameras and light bulbs, which, in this film's universe, makes them fucking terrifying. I did like the visual touch of power lines arced over the characters head, though, thinking about it, that may have been the only nice visual touch in the film.
  • Kelly is a veterinary tech studying to be a veterinarian. In the most stupefying scene of the movie, her only neighbor's dog wanders into their house, lays down on the floor, and dies. Kelly can't save the dog, so, to make up for it, goes to the neighbor's family and gives them another dog. No veterinary tech in their right mind would just give a dog as a gift! I mean, shit, I just volunteer at the animal shelter and I know that.

I deeply wish Malfoy had done this entire movie in Patrick from Spongebob's voice. That would have been SOMETHING.

  • Patrick explains everything in this movie. After Patrick is killed, the other characters go to his house, where they find that he left recordings of himself talking on, so that when they arrive they could hear him explain even more stuff. This is even better when you deduce that he'd have to have left that recording on at least three days ago! Dude thought of everything.
  • Speaking of, the whole film is predicated by attempting to apply science to ghost hunting, and, even in the general realm of all the dumb ghost hunting programs that proliferate on television, this is exceptionally dumb. I like the film's final solution; contacting it with science stuff the first time brought the ghost into our world, contacting it with 100 times the power the second time made it ungodly powerful, so the way to solve everything is to attack it with another 100 times that amount of power. That will surely destroy it! No one questions this.
  • The end of the film is the best moment, as it almost attains genuine creepiness, as our incredibly bland heroine is absorbed into purgatory. How Patrick narrowed it down to purgatory is beyond me.
  • This 82 minute movie is expanded by about 40 minutes simply because neither Patrick or Ben at a given time are answering their cell phones.

Greene plays this role like a plasticine version of a human being.

  • I understood the plot of the movie better after watching the trailer than I did after watching the goddamn movie.
  • No attempts are made to give the audience an experience of any uniqueness or even humanity. In the hands of someone with an amount of style or edge, this movie may have achieved a decent level of fun, but here every moment is punctuated by the most generic of music and the dumbest of characters. This wouldn't matter so much if the atmosphere was even remotely creepy, but this is nothing. This is the JCPenny version of a horror movie.

My favorite part of The Apparition were the loud catcalls and the conversations people in the the audience were having about whether or not to stay. A few people left. I think they were the real winners today.

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Posted by Danny

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  1. Great read! I was thinking of seeing The Apparition, but after reading this review, I’m having second thoughts. I was expecting a lot from the movie when I saw the trailer. Some of my friends and Dish coworkers said the trailer made the movie seem worth the cost of admission. I’ll probably check out The Possession when it arrives instead. Perhaps I’ll add The Apparition to my Blockbuster @Home queue and have it mailed to my house when it comes out on DVD. That way I don’t have to make an effort to rent it.

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