Apparition, The (2012): Trashy, Ghastly Ghost Story

“The Apparition,” the shortest film this summer, is also the season’s worst flick.

This trashy, ghastly ghost story, which makes no sense on any level and fails to deliver the basic goods, is written and directed by a novice, Todd Lincoln.

Warner, which is releasing the Joel Silver production, is obviously dumping the film on the market in the last week of the summer season, hoping for quick returns, and praying that the negative reviews on opening day would not have much impact on the grosses.

Poorly conceived and executed, “The Apparition” is a picture that comes from a pretty respectable studio, the kind of low-budget B-movie that used to be made in the 1950s.

Generic to a fault, the preposterous tale belongs to the traditions of the countless ghost stories and haunted houses we have seen.

Scary events start to occur in the home of a young couple Kelly (Ashley Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan), who lo and behold discover they are being haunted by a presence that was accidentally conjured during a university parapsychology experiment.

Conceptually, the tale’s horror is set against a backdrop of America in transition, and a young couple in transition, aiming to deal with the potentially intriguing issue of the power of belief and disbelief.

The two are besieged by a mysterious and malicious force, which was “thought” to life during a college lab experiment years ago, but the entity has never really gone away.

The apparition, which unfortunately is not as shocking or horrifying as the filmmakers would like it to be, feeds on their fear and torments them wherever they go.

Just like the flick in which they are contained, the couple soon runs out of ideas. Their last resort seems to be an expert in the supernatural, Patrick (Tom Felton). But time is running out and it might be too late to save themselves from the irrational force.

Todd Lincoln, who makes his feature directorial debut, shows no technical skills or understanding of the genre to which his amateurish movie belongs. And it’s hard to tell by the results whether he is a worse writer than a director.

The actors go through their silly lines mechanically, generating no suspense, tension, or fear. Ashley Greene (of the “Twilight” series), Sebastian Stan (of “Captain America: The First Avenger”) and Tom Felton (of the “Harry Potter” films, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”) have all done better work in former movies.