See it or Skip It: The Apparition

Is Ashley Greene sad because the house is haunted or because the movie is so awful? The world may never know . . .

A parapsychological experiment in the 70’s calls forth an entity, and afterwards most of the participants die. Flash forward 20 years or so, and four college students aim to repeat the experiment with modern technology. It still goes wrong like the other one, just more spectacularly. One of the students is pulled into darkness by the entity and never heard from again. Running from his participation in the experiment is Ben, who lives with his new girlfriend, Kelly, in her parent’s expensive house in the middle of nowhere. When things start to go wrong, neither Ben or Kelly is eager to say the H word, but they eventually come to the conclusion that the house is haunted, despite the fact that it’s brand new construction. It didn’t stop the spirits in Poltergeist after all.

All this sounds as if The Apparition should be a chilling movie full of jump scares and maybe even a few genuine moments of horror. None of that happens in The Apparition. The movie instead just steals from a slew of better horror films like Paranormal Activity, Poltergeist, Insidious and others. There’s one interesting moment that happens when Ben and Kelly sleep outside their house in a tent. Ben’s already put up security cameras around the house, but he exits the tent to investigate a noise, leaving Kelly to sleep alone and vulnerable, with the tent flap wide open. We watch, on the computer inside, all the cameras but the one watching Kelly go blank as they are crushed. The security camera near her falls from the house and crawls over to where she’s sleeping, accompanied by appropriate ghostly shuffling noises.

Nothing ever comes of it, which is ultimately disappointing, because it was the one original thing in the entire movie. The rest of the movie is bad pseudo-science and non-scary ghost attacks that left me wondering why I was watching it.

Ashley Greene, Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter movies) and Sebastian Stan do the best acting jobs they can with the material they have, and their performances are fine if not inspired. Acting isn’t the problem in this movie, the script is.

There didn’t seem to be a continuity checker on this film, because Ashley Greene’s hair changes visibly in scenes where it should have remained unchanged.

Ultimately, this movie ends up being scareless and the end is worse than I’d imagined it would be.

What annoys me more than all of this is that the tag line from the film “Once you believe, you die” plays absolutely no part in the film at all! And once again, just like in Quarantine, they show you the end shot of the movie in the trailer.

Skip this one, even on video. It commits the worst sin a horror film can be guilty of: It’s Simply Not Scary.