The Apparition [Blu-Ray]

Directed by Todd Lincoln

> > Dec 07 2012

The Apparition [Blu-Ray] - Directed by Todd Lincoln
By Robert BellIn concept and trajectory, generic PG-13 spook-fest The Apparition holds some promise. It follows lovebirds Kelly (Ashley Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan) on a box store shopping trip while preparing to move into their first home, which is where trouble starts brewing. Implicitly, the very nature of romantic ideals being challenged by quotidian frustrations and personality inconsistencies could take over, being exacerbated by the metaphor of a ghost, or "apparition," present in their lives. And, initially, this thematic vein seems to be the motivation behind the action of Todd Lincoln's directorial debut, with the couple questioning strange happenings, such as moving furniture, opening doors and smashed surveillance cameras, creating a divide in their romantic relationship based on sheer difference in perspective. Since Ashley Greene spends virtually every scene in some form of lingerie, or in a shower, even the standard gender divide comes into play, in a pseudo-misogynist, Paranormal Activity capacity, suggesting that the basic refusal to adhere to married archetypes--wherein the passively-objectified woman agrees with her husband--could mean otherworldly punishment. But The Apparition never develops any genuine conflict, or even character complexities — whether idiosyncrasy or rudimentary neuroses — between the two, leaving them merely to react to the tension-free jump scares that riddle their daily lives. So, in a roundabout, Poltergeist way, given the many establishing shots of a newly built subdivision subject to haunting, the pair trace the happenings — all of which have no consistency or greater context despite mentions of drawing on weirdly undefined "fear" — to past indiscretions, which, when coupled with the excess mould in their home, suggests an STD or sexually-motivated metaphor. If this was the case, and the many mentions of wearing people down with a forced belief, representing AIDS, as suggested, this might explain the weird void where scares and characterizations should be. But not even this peripheral concept remains consistent throughout the film. The past indiscretion isn't so much an instigator of conflict as it is an explanation for the flimsy, superficial ghost plot. At the end of it all, we're left only with the idea that our undoing typically comes from our obsessions and internal projection of self, which, again, could be interesting if handled with any sort of narrative competence. Unfortunately, it appears to be an unintentional assertion that was either tagged on or a complete fluke. Included with the Blu-Ray are an abundance of very short supplements with the film's ghost consultant and functioning schizophrenic, Joshua P. Warren, who talks about how plausible all of the aforementioned nonsense really is.
(Warner)
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