'The Apparition': A Thriller Without The Thrill
One of the last supernatural thrillers of this summer, The Apparition, poses a daunting question: if human imagination is limitless, how powerful is fear when harnessed and used in its pure concentrated form? The feature length dares us to believe once again in the power of the mind and what can be unleashed if we fully believe in the supernatural. Debuting producer Todd Lincoln attempts to mold the complex subject matter of quantum physics and metaphysiology into something thought-provoking yet entertaining, and asks his characters to attempt to measure the virtually immeasurable energy of an abstract figment of the imagination. But somewhere along the way, things go awry. With the premise that ghosts only exist when we believe in them, and that paranormal activity is a product of the human mind, Lincoln offers up a movie that tries — and fails — to mentally and emotionally stimulate.
Ashley Green (Twilight) and Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The First Avenger) play an unsuspecting couple who are haunted by a paranormal entity, accidentally unleashed by him and his tormented partner Patrick (Tom Felton) while performing a university parapsychology experiment. Felton has never taken on a role that is anything short of emotionally charged, and this is no exemption. When paranormal events start taking place in the couple’s home, Patrick tries to guide them along based on the progressing information he has gathered through his studies. As their fear grows, so does the entity feeding off of it — a parasite that grows stronger and smarter as it consumes those in its path.
As the first leading role for Twilight’s Greene and the production debut of Lincoln, this movie presents a great opportunity for firsts. Sadly, the only memorable element of the film is Felton’s performance. Lincoln’s production is an unsuccessful mash-up of The Others, The Grudge and Paranormal Activity, whose poor delivery of the tired premise left viewers in want. The cliffhanger ending added insult to injury with the suggestion of a possible sequel. By choosing to remain in the romantic aspect of the supernatural, rather than adopting a scientific point of view, we're left with a screaming couple and their shady EMF meters investigating around the house only to prove that our imaginations can indeed summon up scary and disappointing illusions. Safe to say that The Apparition isn’t the best way to close the summer's silverscreen thriller season.