Review of The Apparition


Movie Reviews: "The Apparition"

-- Rating: PG-13 (for frightening images and some sensuality)
Length: 82 minutes
Release Date: August 24, 2012
Directed by: Todd Lincoln
Genre: Horror / Thriller

"The Apparition" is a hauntingly good film portraying a group of intelligent graduate students who unsuspectingly open a gateway to a supernatural realm and release an apparition into the world. Although there is no real evidence of ghosts or other apparitions in the real world, the idea is captivating, and the release of such a being is horrifying. On May 21, 1973, six scientists attempt a parapsychological experiment known as The Charles Experiment. They look at a drawing of a man and, with enough concentration, attempt to bring his spirit into the room. After their failure, a group of entirely new students attempts the same experiment and succeeds.

"The Apparition" is directed by Todd Lincoln and produced by Joel Silver ("House of Wax" and "Ninja Assassin"), Alex Heineman, Todd Lincoln, and Andrew Rona. Lincoln is blessed with accomplished actors to direct. The storyline, filled with horror and suspense, provides a look at the unknown. Patrick (Tom Felton, "Harry Potter") is a paranormal-obsessed goon with high intelligence. He attempts to conduct the same experiment as the scientists from the 1970s with a group of interesting characters but with better technology. Surprisingly, this time the experiment is a success, but it is not what they were expecting. It ends when one of the participants goes into another realm and cannot escape.

After several years pass, one of the other participants of the experiment, Ben (Sebastian Stan, "Captain America"), is attempting to start a new life with his girlfriend, Kelly (Ashley Greene, "Twilight"). The couple just moved into a new house in a mostly empty development area in Palmdale, California. Unexpectedly, not soon after the couple move in, strange things begin to happen around the house. First, smudges appear on the kitchen counter, but later, mold begins to grow in unusual places, doors open on their own, and things begin to move. Kelly tries to seek answers on why such things are occurring, and while doing so, learns about Ben's past as a paranormal geek. She learns that not only did a girl disappear after Ben's experiment but that the girl who disappeared was his girlfriend at the time.

The strange happenings around the house give Patrick a reason to reenter his friend's life. Finally, after observing the house, Patrick readies his ghost-hunting equipment to rid their home of the creature. They attempt to use Patrick's equipment to simulate the power of 400,000 people. However, something goes wrong. The house begins to shake, and Kelly becomes trapped inside the laundry room with the spirit. Soon though, the spirit seems to have disappeared.

After the experiment is over, Kelly and Ben start to clean out the house, but while doing so, something pulls Patrick into the other realm, and he vanishes. They attempt to find him, but they only discover an empty chair with various objects merged with pieces of the house. Afterwards, they decide to leave and head to Patrick's house where he has a safety chamber. Inside the chamber, Ben finds a video with information regarding the original experiment. He finds that of the six original participants, three are dead and the others have disappeared. After viewing it, the chamber darkens. When the lights reappear, Ben is gone. Kelly frantically leaves the chamber but finds his corpse. As she leaves Patrick's house, she sees her vehicle get sucked into the ground.

Kelly tries to escape, but as Patrick's narration explains, the apparition becomes stronger each time it claims a person. She finds a store and takes shelter for the night, but as she sits, a number of hands appear and grab her.

Lydia (Julianna Guill, "Crazy, Stupid, Love" and "Friday the 13th") was the other participant of the original experiment. Although her part as a human was short, her importance to the film is perhaps the greatest. If it were not for her, the apparition would not have appeared, because she was the one who gets into the other realm.

Even though the film starts out with lots of science and big words, it is not overwhelming. The movie consists of tons of horror-filled action, suspense, and downright creepiness. The script is amazing, the directing is excellent, and the actors are convincing. If you like horror films, especially ones about ghosts, "The Apparition" is definitely for you.

Rating 3 out of 5