"The Apparition" is like a horror story told over a dying camp fire, forcing the teller to skip past where the scares are supposed to go.
The film, available Nov. 27 on Blu-ray and DVD, has little time for clarity, logic or interesting characters let alone goose bumps.
The film's running time is mercifully brief, and we're treated to a pair of attractive leads and a supporting player from the "Harry Potter" franchise.
The rewards more or less end there.
The film's prologue shows us a seance gone terribly wrong. A trio of paranormal researchers succeed in breaking through to another realm, and one of the three gets zapped into oblivion before the plug gets pulled.
Flash forward some time later, and one of the researchers has resumed his life and landed a beautiful girlfriend. Kelly (Ashley Greene of "Twilight" fame) lives in a sleek new home courtesy of her parents, and ex-researcher Ben (Sebastian Stan, "Gossip Girl") is more than happy to live there with her.
The home is too new to have a spooky past, we're told, but it appears haunted all the same. The bath soap turns a blackish color, a neighborhood dog wanders in and promptly keels over and the usual door slamming and furniture rattling commence.
It seems that aborted seance isn't over quite yet.
"The Apparition" shrugs its shoulders over essential story elements even crude slasher movies wouldn't avoid. Is Ben tortured by the experiment gone wrong? Were there legal repercussions tied to the disappearance of their ex-partner? Why doesn't Ben call his old research partner (Tom Felton, AKA Draco Malfoy of "Potter" movie fame) when said partner sends him all those warning emails about their paranormal activities?
Here's a hint for the tortured couple - if you think your house is haunted it might not be safe to camp on the front lawn. For once it's a blessing the characters act in such numbskull fashion. It distracts us from that stack of questions left to wither from neglect.
"The Apparition" actually worsens toward the finale, and its final few minutes are jaw-dropping in their banality.
The Blu-ray extras include conversations with paranormal experts and some behind-the-scenes content from the film's production. One extra finds researchers trying to conduct an experiment similar in nature to the one shown on screen. We're told some pretty abnormal events occurred as a result, but we don't see anything save some text telling us so.