Friday, April 5, 2013

Review: The Apparition (2012)

Review By Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Todd Lincoln
Stars: Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton
Writer: Todd Lincoln

When I saw this trailer originally I can tell you I was pretty excited. It’s no secret that I love the Slenderman and while this isn’t specifically about that particular entity, it did share some similar themes. Most notably in regards to a group of people conjuring up the thing that haunts them from their collective imaginations.

Unfortunately for me, The Apparition is an exercise in disappointment. The initial premise is strong; with the characters facing something that they themselves created being an ingenious idea full of potential. My hopes, however, were crushed as there was barely anything that kept my focus.

The main problem seems to be a lack of momentum. While the movie quickly puts its characters in peril, I’m never sure why we should care. The stakes at the heart of the movie are very cloudy and not a lot of thought is given to fleshing out the characters enough for us to give a damn. 

This seems to be made even worse by situating the film in a dull suburban location. With the right kind of horror movie a gated community could be an interesting setting; however a haunted house premise isn’t really the right one. Each shot of the dreary landscape couldn’t help but yet again draw my attention away from the story.

I’m not going to rag on the actors too much as I believe a significant amount of the blame can be laid at the footsteps of the writer/director. Most characters are given nothing to work with, and the only one who has a mildly interesting role is Tom Felton. Mr Felton plays Patrick, the main scientist behind the experiment that created the supernatural entity, however, what could have been an interesting character arc amounts to nothing as we hardly spend any time with him.

Finally we have the effects of the haunting themselves. They are all pretty standard fare, never offer anything new. Shadows in the corner, things going bump in the night, furniture moving. Oh and one original thing, mold. Yep mold. When mold is the most original thing you can come up with, there is a problem. Not really having a physical presence causes the viewer to never establish a real sense of dread related to the haunting. Happenings just seem to be random.

As you can tell I wasn’t a fan of this movie. It’s not only dull and uninteresting, but offers nothing original to the genre. The greatest offence it makes however is the mishandling of the unusual idea at the heart of this film. It’s great and to be squandered in such a way can only make me weep. Skip The Apparition and look up some Creepy Pasta youtube clips, it’ll be a better use of your time.

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