I’m always interested in a good ghost story which takes a unique look at the subject of the supernatural. Although I wouldn’t necessarily call “The Apparition” completely original, it’s an interesting enough blend of different ideas that makes it engrossing. There’s a little Asian horror ala “The Grudge” and “Pulse,” a very small pinch (thankfully) of “Paranormal Activity,” and a bit of “Poltergeist” to top it off.
The movie is stemmed in the idea that not only are there ghosts of actual dead people who haunt the living, but also evil entities that feed off people’s beliefs. The more someone believes in a supernatural force, the stronger it gets. If it gets a foothold into someone, it can gain a greater entry into our physical world.
The students in “The Apparition” use scientific equipment to amplify their beliefs by 400 times. This unleashes a hellish force into our realm that wants to stay here permanently. One of the students (Sebastian Stan) chooses to leave his research behind and move on with his life. He soon finds this to be more difficult than he imagined when the entity starts wreaking havoc on his girlfriend (Ashley Greene) and new house.
I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of spirits being attached to people and not places. That’s one thing that really fascinated me about this movie. It’s not the typical film where a presence is affixed to the house and the tenants have to get away. These people try to escape by leaving the house and find the entity follows them no matter where they go.
One concept in the film I had a problem with is if you believe in the spirits they become stronger. Demons or evil entities have power whether we admit their existence or not. Kevin Spacey said it best in “The Usual Suspects:” “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing everyone he doesn’t exist.”
The cast of “The Apparition” is an interesting mix of different talents. Ashley Green (“The Twilight Saga”) takes on the role of Girlfriend Kelly. Sebastian Stan (Bucky in “Captain America: The First Avenger”) plays her boyfriend, Ben, with a sinister past. Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” movies) portrays the scientist trying to find a way to capture the spirit and keep it from entering the human world.
The audio and video quality of the Blu-ray release looks wonderful. The picture is clean and, although most of the movie is dark, it’s visually easy on the eyes. The 5.1 surround sound mix helps all the creepy bangs and bumps in the night to be well-distributed throughout a home theater setting.
The extra features have very little to do with the actual movie. They’re mostly made up of featurettes in which real life ghost hunter Joshua P. Warren investigates a couple of haunted spots and then tries to re-create the experiment that goes wrong in the film. “‘The Apparition:’ A Cinematic Specter” is a short behind-the-scenes look at what the cast thought about the experiment that serves as the catalyst for the entire film.
“The Apparition” on Blu-ray isn’t the greatest supernatural thriller you’ll ever see. However, it gets extra points for blending together some different takes on the haunted house genre we haven’t seen mashed together yet. It will definitely keep some viewers on edge if you hear strange noises in your house when you go to bed.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
Blu-ray Review: “Night of Dark Shadows”
Blu-ray Review: “They Live: Collector’s Edition”
Lot 13 Comic Book Review