'The Apparition' Review: Dumb Characters, Recycled Scares Appear in Horror Movie Mess

A college experiment releases a deadly spirit in the stale new horror film "The Apparition."

Franchise faves Ashley Greene ("Twilight") and Tom Felton ("Harry Potter") star in the tale of three college students testing their theories about the supernatural. Their experiment releases a ghost into the world, and they're forced to live with the consequences of their actions.

The students involved in the conjuring include Patrick (Felton), Ben (Sebastian Stan) and Lydia (Julianna Guill). These three conjure up a spirit that quickly turns on them - surprise - and sucks Lydia off into another world. Time passes, and while Patrick fitfully attempts to control the unleashed demon, Ben starts life anew with Kelly (Greene).

Kelly is unaware of Ben’s past supernatural activities when the two of them end up staying together at her parent’s investment home. It’s there where the couple start seeing signs of a strange spirit haunting their home. A cactus that dies minutes after being purchased. A set of doors that are found wide open at night despite the security system. A dog that walks into the apartment and suddenly dies.

From start to finish, the movie basks in horrible horror clichés that will leave viewers straining to find something original in the proceedings. And of course, like other thrillers of its kind, there are characters who speak knowingly about the whole situation.

After the dog dies, for instance, Kelly purchases a new dog for the cute young neighbor whose puppy passed away. After Kelly drops off the pooch, the little girl suddenly appears in the window—in one of those pop-up moments meant to scare audiences—and says, “Your house killed my dog.”

Unless the spirit has been sending out tweets or the little girl did a supernatural autopsy on her pup, one questions how this little girl knows so much about the situation.

Patrick is another character who endlessly spouts foreboding statements about the ghost. When Ben contacts him about the spirit, Patrick arrives talking as if knows exactly what the spirit is thinking. “It wants to be in our world,” he says.

“We never should have done this,” he adds after the spirit starts haunting them.

Captain Obvious clearly knows what he’s talking about.

The story does have a few creepy moments, but the film doesn’t really seem to be going anywhere. Added to the mundane plot are the silly characters who often do and say things that make little sense. From Ben not responding to dozens of e-mails from Patrick telling him about the evil spirit on the loose to Kelly not getting fully-dressed before she leaves the house in a frenzy, these people don't act like real-life individuals would in a similar situation.

It may be true that the house killed the little girl's dog but it's the script that slays "The Apparition," and we can only hope a sequel won't be haunting theaters anytime soon.


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