Combustible Celluloid
Get the Poster
Stream it:
Download at i-tunes iTunes
Own it:
Download at i-tunes Download on iTunes
Search for streaming:
NetflixHuluGoogle PlayGooglePlayCan I
With: Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton, Julianna Guill, Luke Pasqualino, Rick Gomez, Anna Clark
Written by: Todd Lincoln
Directed by: Todd Lincoln
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for terror/frightening images and some sensuality
Running Time: 82
Date: 08/23/2012

The Apparition (2012)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Ghost Out of the Machine

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The ads for The Apparition imply a lot more story than is actually here: something about "if you believe in them, they can get you." But what actually happens in the movie seems to be left over from some kind of rigorous cutting session. It's less of an arc than a flatline. But something worthwhile might have been here once.

Ben (Sebastian Stan) and Kelly (Ashley Greene) have moved into a brand new residential development area in the middle of nowhere. They seem happy, but before long spooky things start happening in their house: doors suddenly open, mold starts growing and a dog dies in the laundry room. What Kelly doesn't know is that, years earlier in college, Ben participated in an experiment to contact the "other world." The experiment went wrong and unexpectedly opened a door, letting in some kind of malevolent spirit. Now it's up to Ben's old friend Patrick (Tom Felton) to try to set things right again.

Writer/director Todd Lincoln takes great care in establishing the remote, empty living space, dotted with sinister electrical towers, as well as the box stores and strip malls where the characters shop and eat. Moreover, the early, spooky stuff is very old fashioned and nicely effective, relying on suggestion, shadows and sounds rather than overt monsters or blood. One of the scariest moments simply involves the characters waking up and realizing that the doors to the house are wide open. But as the movie goes on, the scares require more special effects and they lose their punch. And the final stretch is as baffling as it is unsatisfying.

Movies Unlimtied