When a couple’s (Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan) house becomes the site of several supernatural occurrences, they seek the help of a paranormal psychologist (Tom Felton) who reveals that the couple is being haunted by a malevolent force unleashed by an experiment several years earlier.
Not only did “The Apparition” leave me $12 poorer and with many unanswered questions, it also broke every rule of good filmmaking. I have tried to describe the offenses this atrocity transgressed.
Rule #1: Have a plot.
Firstly, the plot was so confusing that anything scary about this movie was overshadowed (this is coming from someone who only needed minimal Wikipedia consulting after watching “Inception”).
This was sad, because there was so much potential for this movie. The tag line of the movie, “once you believe, you die,” seemed to be a new concept for the horror genre. The notion that something inescapable is blurring the lines between reality and illusion, yet kills the victim once they truly believe that something is toying with them, is seriously disturbing.
However, the trailer provided a better show than the actual film, which did little to back up what Warner Brothers advertised the movie to be. The tagline had hardly anything to do with the plot in the end product, which was even more confusing and irritating than the fact that the preview contained all the key footage for the movie.
Rule #2: Don’t kill pets.
Todd Lincoln, in his directorial debut, made a horrific mistake when he killed the dog within the first fifteen minutes of the film. This was a completely unnecessary trauma for the audience, as it did nothing to further the story. It only provided for the little girl next door to growl at Greene’s character “your house killed my dog.” Then that plot line ended, and left me even more confused. How did she know the house killed the dog? Wasn’t Ashley Greene supposed to be haunted, not her house? The questions kept coming, leading me to Rule #3: Don’t leave your audience confused with questions or open plot lines.
I wish this movie would have panned out as they advertised in the preview. There were some points in the film that could have been quite disturbing. Many times the furniture was repositioned of its own accord in a fashion reminiscent of Stephen Spielberg’s “Poltergeist.” Some elements of Oren Peli’s “Paranormal Activity” were also evident and replicated throughout the film, specifically with the damage the entity makes to the couple’s house, including mysterious scratches on the walls, moved furniture and broken video cameras.
I believe this is one of many movies that has tried to mimic Peli’s success with “Paranormal Activity” and the cheap but effective scares that haunted audiences even after they left the theater. This is comparable to the slew of unsuccessful copycats in the 80s after Ridley Scott’s classic “Alien” became a hit. These kinds of spin-offs are inevitable when an original, successful film comes about; I just hoped that “The Apparition” would be the film to lead an era of copycats, not join one.
I guess it should have been a sign that the movie wouldn’t impress when Felton (Malfoy himself) didn’t even show up to the premiere of the movie.
I had a much more enjoyable experience laying in my basement watching “Game of Thrones” while battling meningitis last week than I did watching this movie. If you want to watch something scarier with a richer plot, tune in to TLC’s latest series, the “Toddlers and Tiaras” spin-off “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.”