110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Rated PG-13 for frightening scenes and violence
posted Aug 31, 2012 - 2:40:03pm
Horror may be the strangest genre, because even the worst ones are almost forgivable if they can manage to make you jump a few times.
This year’s spooky ghost film is The Apparition, and it does have plenty of foreboding moments, but for some reason it feels like we’ve seen all this before: It plays like a mash-up of every other horror film before it. Taking elements from Paranormal Activity, The Grudge, Pulse and even Poltergeist, it takes so much from successful franchises you’d think it might be able to pull in a little of the good for itself. Alas.
The film follows Ben (Sebastian Stan) and Kelly (Ashley Greene), who are renting a big house from their parents. Long story short, creepy stuff starts happening around the house, all because Ben went through a “phase” in college. You see, he might have ripped open a doorway to allow a malevolent entity onto this plane of existence with his college chum Draco Malfoy - I’m sorry, I mean Tom Felton. Anyway, the being starts off with relatively small (killing a dog in their laundry room), but quickly escalates. And finally, when both their lives are in danger, Ben decides to call his partner in crime to see if something might be going on.
Popcorn represents how fun a film is to watch—how funny it is, how exciting the special effects are, and how enjoyable the story is on repeated viewings. The perfect popcorn movie would be one that never got stale regardless of how many times you’ve seen it.
On top of that, writer/director Todd Lincoln seems to have taken a lot from those that came before him. The evil spirit looks an awful lot like the creature from The Grudge and pulls people into walls and leaves dark splotches like the creepers from Pulse. In fact, this film doesn’t offer anything new to the genre. It's just more recycled concepts and weak dialogue.
And yet it still creeped me out more than once. While Lincoln used a lot of stuff we’ve seen before, it’s stuff that we were just finally getting over. Just because I’ve seen a dark-haired, pale-skinned ghost before doesn’t mean that I’m going to be O.K. the next time I see it crawl out from the shadows.
Most horror films are garbage, but some of them are enjoyable garbage. The Apparition lurks somewhere in between the two categories. Was it awful? Yeah, pretty much. Was it scary? At times. Was it technically proficient? (This is a big deal when it comes to scary flicks.) Yeah, it really was solid in that aspect. So: Do you like horror movies? If yes, then it’s not going to hurt to check this one out; if no, then it might.
Stars & Popcorn grade: 1 star, 2 1/2 popcorn
— Born and raised in the sunshine state, Patrick grew up loving movies. He’s currently attending the University of Central Florida and is a Cinema Studies major. Along with being the president of Stars and Popcorn, he’s a player in the independent comics scene.
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