Synopsis: A couple are haunted by a supernatural presence that is unleashed during a college experiment.
Stars: Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton, Julianna Guill, Luke Pasqualino, Suzanne Ford
Director: Todd Lincoln
Running Length: 82 minutes
Trailer Review: Here
TMMM Score: (0.5/10)
Review: As the summer ends and we move into the fall movie season, the summer blockbuster goes away in favor of the fright flick. With several spooky films on the horizon (The Possession, Sinister, Paranormal Activity 4), The Apparition tries to beat them to the punch by slipping in at the end of August. After enduring this film for 82 scare-free minutes, the only thing The Apparition could possibly hope to lay claim to is being the worst of the lot.
Now, ask anyone that knows my movie tastes and they’ll tell you I’ll give most anything a fair shake. I’m a sucker for horror films of any type and always have my fingers crossed that a film won’t be as bad as it looks/rumored to be. Sadly, The Apparition is every bit as godawful as it looks. Even the most forgiving of moviegoers should find themselves enraged that a movie so poor was released in theaters. It’s the kind of film that you could more easily shrug off if you watched it on TV or risked a rental from Redbox. Absolutely a contender for worst film of 2012, the movie makes every wrong turn imaginable from casting to direction to script to score…it’s just the worst of the worst.
A whole heap of the blame has to fall on director Lincoln who demonstrates no knowledge of style or editing of a horror film with nearly nil in the way of scares. Also the screenwriter, Lincoln uses every trick in the book for this genre and produces bottom-of-the barrel results at every turn. There are numerous unexplained shots of California landscapes, empty rooms, deserted hallways…almost as a way to say: “Hey…are any of these places a deserted as the theater you are seeing this crap movie in?” The film has no narrative structure with a rushed prologue (actually two prologues) before settling in with our two lead characters.
Dreadful is the kindest way you can classify the acting of Greene and Stan as the couple haunted by the titular apparition. Smart enough to have landed a gigantic rental property from Greene’s mom but dumb enough to not move the heck out when things start to get creepy, Greene and Stan mostly just bask in the glory of their respective hairstyles for much of the film. Even at her most tortured, Greene’s hair is full of volume and style while Stan’s inconsistently coiffed ‘do indicate the film went through a few reshoots.
Both Greene and Stan appear in their undies a few times to wake anyone up that is a visual-only learner. Speaking of undies, in one hilarious scene Greene runs out of the house with just her high cut skivvies and a camisole on because she’s scared of the ghost that messed up her closet. Lacking any sort of chemistry with each other or the acting profession, Greene and Stan are advised to stick to print work.
Draco Malfoy himself (Felton) shows that Harry Potter will be hard to leave behind as he contributes a hysterically awful performance, though in his defense 98% of his expository dialogue sounds like a foreign language of gibberish so he didn’t get much support. Every single actor in the film is terrible…even the dog.
I could mention the weak effects but the low budget nature of the film could have been its saving grace. It’s clear that the central Southern California house where the action is set probably belonged to one of the producers…but how do you explain the fact that both Greene and Stan drive the same make/model/color of car. Since the two cars never appear in the same shot, I’m convinced that they did all the shots involving one car and then added the decals of the Best Buy-esque company that Stan allegedly works for (no one really works in the film you see).
I’ve mentioned it before but it’s worth pointing out again that the film is not scary in the least. Take a look at the creepy poster above…that’s about as creepy as you’re going to get. Even an attack by a hotel sheet (seriously) can’t inject any shivers into your spine though (SPOILER ALERT!) the end of the trailer does spoil the final shot of the movie. A birthday party for Betty White could produce more scares.
Horrendous and offensively awful, The Apparition is the most unhappy waste of time in recent cinematic memory. Embarrassing to all involved, it could make a case to be included in the Historical Film Non-Preservation Registry…an organization I just made up that destroys the negative and all existing prints of the film. Save your money and spend your time doing something more entertaining…like picking up after a St. Bernard. The film gets .05/10 because it did one thing right…it ended.