The Apparition

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The Apparition
The Apparition poster.jpg
Official theatrical release poster
Directed byTodd Lincoln
Produced byAlex Heineman
Andrew Rona
Joel Silver
Written byTodd Lincoln
StarringAshley Greene
Sebastian Stan
Tom Felton
Julianna Guill
Music byTomandandy
CinematographyDaniel Pearl
Edited byJeff Betancourt
Tom Elkins
Harold Parker
Distributed by
Release date
  • August 24, 2012 (2012-08-24)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$17 million[1]
Box office$9,627,492[2]

The Apparition is a 2012 American-German supernatural horror film, written and directed by Todd Lincoln, making his directorial debut, and starring Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton, Julianna Guill and Rick Gomez.[3] The plot follows three college students who, after the death of their friend, must battle a supernatural force they summoned themselves. The film was loosely inspired by the Philip experiment conducted in 1972.[4] The film was a box office bomb and was cited by critics as one of the worst horror movies of 2012. It was also the last Warner Bros. Pictures horror film to date to be released under its own label before resorting to New Line Cinema to release all future horror movies made by Warner Bros until 2019's Doctor Sleep.


On May 21, 1973, six people conduct The Charles Experiment, a parapsychological experiment, in which they stare at a drawing of a deceased man, Charles Reamer, hoping to summon his spirit. Years later, four college students, Patrick (Tom Felton), Lydia (Julianna Guill), Ben (Sebastian Stan) and Greg (Luke Pasqualino) attempt to recreate the Charles Experiment on a larger scale by using modern technology. During the experiment, something attacks the students and pulls Lydia into the wall.

Some time later, Ben and his girlfriend Kelly (Ashley Greene) are living together. One evening, they discover strange burn marks on their counters. Kelly finds both doors wide open, even though they had locked them. They decide to change the locks and install surveillance cameras. Later, Kelly finds a large amount of mold and spores on the laundry room floor while Ben finds even more in a crawlspace. Ben gets 36 "urgent" emails from Patrick that first inform him of a new attempt at the Charles Experiment, followed by a warning that "containment failed" and finally "you are in danger".

After witnessing an apparition, the couple go to a hotel, but they are attacked there as well. As they flee, they receive a call from Patrick and meet him. Patrick explains that the initial experiment enabled a malevolent entity to enter their world, but that he has built a room surrounded by a negative current that he believes protects him from it. They return to Kelly and Ben's house to try a new experiment to contain the entity. During the experiment, the house begins to shake and break apart, then abruptly stops. While Kelly and Ben are outside, Patrick is pulled into the darkness and vanishes. Unable to find Patrick, they flee to the safety chamber in his house.

Inside the house, they hear Patrick's personal log being played back, including information about the members of the original experiment. Of the original six, two died, one committed suicide and the other three disappeared. After entering the safety chamber, Ben disappears. Kelly exits the chamber and finds Ben's contorted corpse. Patrick's narration explains that the entity gets stronger with each person it claims, and that it will wear its victims down until they are too weak to resist.

With no escape, Kelly wanders around, and enters an empty Costco. She walks to the camping section, enters a tent and waits to be killed by the entity, having fully given up resisting. A number of hands appear from behind and the entity slowly grabs hold of her as the movie cuts to black.



In May 2009, Todd Lincoln was named as the director and screenwriter of the project.[5] Joel Silver cast Twilight actress Ashley Greene for the lead role of Kelly on November 5, 2009.[6] On December 9, Lincoln announced via Twitter that pre-production had begun on the project,[7] which was financed by Dark Castle Entertainment.[8] On January 26, 2010, Friday the 13th actress Julianna Guill was cast in the role of Lydia.[9] Harry Potter star Tom Felton was cast on February 8,[10] and was joined one week later by Sebastian Stan and Luke Pasqualino.[11] Filming began on February 26, 2010 in Berlin, Germany,[12] with other scenes being shot in Los Angeles.[13] On March 25, Greene shot some scenes in the Anaverde neighborhood of Palmdale, California.[14][15] The project marked Lincoln's directorial debut.[16] Silver produced with Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman.[17]


The film was released on August 24, 2012, in 810 theaters.[2]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 27, 2012.


Critical response[edit]

The Apparition was criticized for its lack of originality, overuse of jump scares, poor acting and screenplay, and bad plot. It has an overall approval rating of 3% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 62 reviews, with an average rating of 2.33/10. The consensus says, "The Apparition fails to offer anything original, isn't particularly scary, and offers so little in the way of dramatic momentum that it's more likely to put you to sleep than thrill you."[18] On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 18 out of 100, indicating "Overwhelming dislike".[19] Much of the film's criticisms referred to a lack of originality, and similarities to other horror films, including Ju-on: The Grudge, Ring, Paranormal Activity, and Pulse. Brian Orndof from said, "The trailer for The Apparition contained more story than the picture it was promoting. In fact, I think the trailer for The Apparition is actually more of a movie than The Apparition." Mark Dujsik agreed, saying, "It's so terrible that there might actually be more tension in the numbing first act of monotonous chores than there is in anything that follows."[20] IndieWire called the film a "hauntingly inept chiller", feeling that the film "makes no attempts to transcend or even enliven its genre".[21] RedEye Chicago called the film "hilariously non-scary".[22]

Box office[edit]

The Apparition was a box office bomb. The film came in at #12 in its opening weekend at the box office, with a gross of $2.84 million.[2] According to Box Office Mojo, "With the unusually-low theater count and a practically non-existent marketing effort, it's clear Warner Bros. was trying to bury this movie, and they appear to have succeeded."[23] As of November 2012, it grossed $4.9 million domestically and $9.6 million worldwide.[2][24]


The film was nominated for Worst Film at the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards 2013.


  1. ^ Kaufman, By Amy. "'Expendables 2' could be No. 1 again on slow box office weekend".
  2. ^ a b c d "The Apparition". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  3. ^ Yamato, Jen (March 19, 2010). "The Kick-Ass Ladies of SXSW: Ashley Greene". Cinematical / Moviefone. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  4. ^ Clark Collis (2012-08-23). "'The Apparition' director Todd Lincoln talks about his new horror movie — and terrorizing 'Twilight' fans". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2015-01-16.
  5. ^ Sciretta, Peter (May 9, 2009). "Todd Lincoln To Direct The Apparition". /Film. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  6. ^ "Twilight Saga's Ashley Greene May Be Seeing an Apparition".
  7. ^ "Horror Movies: Reviews, Trailers, News - Shock Till You Drop".
  8. ^ "Todd Lincoln Prepping Shoot for The Apparition".
  9. ^ "'Friday the 13th' Hottie Joins Lincoln's 'The Apparition'".
  10. ^ "Harry Potter Star Tom Felton to Wave His Wand at The Apparition".
  11. ^ "Two More Catch a Glimpse of Dark Castle's 'Apparition'".
  12. ^ "The Apparition Starts Filming". Archived from the original on 2013-06-14.
  13. ^ "First Look at Ashley Greene on the Set of The Apparition".
  14. ^ "Ashley Greene Gets to Work on 'The Apparition'". Archived from the original on 2010-03-29.
  15. ^ "Ashley Greene: Working the Day Away". Archived from the original on 2011-07-11.
  16. ^ "Todd Lincoln Ready For The Apparition –". Archived from the original on 2009-11-30.
  17. ^ "The Apparition : starts production for Warner Bros and Dark Castle Entertainment".
  18. ^ The Apparition at Rotten Tomatoes
  19. ^ "The Apparition".
  20. ^ Mark Dujsik (August 23, 2012). "THE APPARITION". Mark Reviews Movies. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  21. ^ Taylor, Drew (24 August 2012). "Review: 'The Apparition' Is A Hauntingly Inept Chiller".
  22. ^ "Movie review: 'The Apparition'".
  23. ^ Ray Subers (August 26, 2012). "Weekend Report: 'Expendables' Repeats on Awful Late-August Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  24. ^ "IMDb Link to The Apparition Information Page".

External links[edit]