Let’s just get this out, THE APPARITION is a strong contender for not only being the worst horror film of the year; but also will likely carry the title of being the most inept. For those of you who haven’t seen or avoided the trailers (I envy you!), THE APPARITION starts off with a trio of college kids who through a parapsychology experiment, succeed in bringing forth a malevolent spirit from the other side. Cut to a couple years later, we find Ben (Sebastian Stan) has put the days of college conjuring behind him and now leads a particularly mundane life with his unaware girlfriend Kelly (Ashley Greene) in a vacant, housing development. Cue a series of ghostly happenings that the couple can’t explain, wait…you know where this is going, right?
Dark Castle’s output of remakes and somewhat original horror films have always had a degree of enjoyability to them. Wildly different from their original counterparts; House on Haunted Hill, Thirteen Ghosts, & House of Wax updates are mindlessly entertaining and plenty gory thanks to an R-Rating. The PG-13 APPARITION is sadly none of the above and is more of a series of random CGI’d scenarios than it is a feature film. The amount of consistent incompetence throughout the film is quite staggering, leading to unintentional laughs instead of any genuine scares. To be honest, I’m dumbfounded how a film exists beyond the films roughly two-minute opener. The group successfully (and easily) brings forth a demonic specter; then has zero idea what to do with it and labels the entire ordeal as a “bad idea”. You damn wild and crazy college kids!
Going back to my initial statement where I said I envied those who’d avoided the trailers, that was because the trailer includes every-single-scare that is present in this film. This is already a constant problem with studio advertisement, but when your entire film is condensed into a two-minute sizzle reel, there’s really no incentive to pay hard earned money to see the padding in between those moments. Especially when the two characters you are supposed to care about for the remaining 70 minutes annoyingly bicker while shopping at Costco and sleep in a tent outside to ignore the supernatural events in their home instead of acting rationally. Hell, call a priest! Fly to the Vatican and take a course at the prestigious exorcism school for tips! Those are cliches this film could have borrowed to at least makes things interesting, but that’s the last thing THE APPARITION is interested in being.
THE APPARITION has direct-to-video written all over it, right down to the atrocious dialogue and the rushed, anti-climactic finale that works on it’s own but in the continuity of the film makes virtually little sense. APPARITION is another botched, studio produced dud that won’t change anyone’s stance and in some cases firm hatred of PG-13 horror. Luckily not all is lost, as in the coming months we have some promising horror films to look forward to that aim to accomplish what should be the main goal of every film that graces this genre; the goal to scare.