Monday, February 4, 2013

George Bell versus The Apparition

The Apparition embodies everything that is wrong with modern horror movies. There's no getting around the fact that the cast is unlikable, and the movie just isn't scary in the least. I almost want to call the the runtime out as a lie, because somehow a one-hour-and-twenty-two-minute minute movie felt like double that. Someone on Twitter told me they fell asleep after 10 minutes, and not only do I believe them, but I fully support their subconscious decision to tune this garbage out.

Ashley Greene plays Kelly, a vet in training (or something), and if I never see her in another movie again, it would be cause for celebration. She's the definition of the "attractive" lead with no acting ability and one who doesn't seem capable of nuance; she's either her normal self or totally scared. Having recently watched Lovely Molly, which boasts an extremely talented and believable actress, the difference couldn't be any clearer. I'll put it this way: I'm not surprised that the only other movies of note Greene has been in is the Twilight series. If she had shown some titties in her obligatory shower scene, I would at least have that to offer as a positive outcome to watching this atrocity. But no, this is PG-13 horror, and that's just beyond the pale. Her boyfriend, Ben (Sebastian Stan), isn't much better, and the only guy that can actually act (Tom Felton) is hardly ever around. If I didn't know any better, I would guess that they were all cast to be as boring as possible.

Here's a gem of a quote from Tom Felton in one of the special features on the DVD: "I think ultimately what it was, is part of the subconscious of all the guys in the group, and the girl. Fear and pain - we all have something in the subconscious that we don't know about and we're not aware of it, and I think that's why it specifically has targeted each one of them."

I have no idea what the hell he's on about. There's literally nobody in the movie that fits the description he just gave, and the ghost or demon or whatever doesn't seem to be targeting anyone for any reason other than because they held a seance. I don't fault actors for trying to make their movie sound awesome, but c'mon, man. You just made up a whole lot of bullshit.

The score is another aspect that screams modern, PG-13 horror. Since around the very late '90s, mainstream horror soundtracks have consisted of generic, awful rock music. There's some of that in The Apparition, but even when it tries to get eerie, it still fails. Think of some classic horror scores, like Halloween, The Thing, The Exorcist, etc. They're not about being complex or hip to the times; all that matters is getting under your skin. If that was the intention here, I don't know what to tell you. It didn't work, and the fact that there's nothing creepy about any of the surroundings or atmosphere voids the entire production of anything meaningful or lasting.

I'll give the movie a small amount of half-credit on a single point. Toward the end, it shows objects and people combining to other objects, such as a couch fusing with a bannister and a person getting frozen halfway into a wall. Those precious few moments are inspired, but they never use them to any real effect. I guess all of the combined creative brainpower was squeezed out just for those couple of minutes.

If you're really in the mood for a movie about ghost/poltergeists haunting people, I recommend skipping this one and going straight for The Entity, Poltergeist, or for more modern sensibilities, Insidious or Sinister. You'll have a lot more fun with any of those movies than you ever will with The Apparition. It's bad, bad, bad, bad, Bad. Stay as far away as possible.
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  1. Yow! I am so glad I never finished this movie. I wonder who that person was that fell asleep after 10 minutes? :)

    1. I'm glad you did. It gave even more evidence against this POS.

  2. I had considered watching this until I read George's review. Now, no way! - J