This is the real estate conundrum vexing the cute couple at the tell-tale heart of The Apparition, Ben (Sebastian Stan, Captain America: The First Avenger) and Kelly (Ashley Greene, The Twilight Saga). It’s all because, unbeknownst to his beaut beau, Ben took active part in a paranormal psychology experiment headed by a fellow student (Tom Felton, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) that attempted to manifest and contain a spirit. The manifestation part worked; the containment … eh, not so much.
If you don’t ask much of The Apparition, you will be rewarded. It won’t ask much of you, either, with an ending — empty as it is — arriving at the 75-minute mark.
As with other Dark Castle Entertainment fright fare, the proceedings are slick and on-the-surface; this one falls in the realm of arriving-too-late Grudge wannabes that are perfectly acceptable for predictable fare, ready-made for sleepovers and/or late-night viewings.
Written and directed by Tulsa-born Todd Lincoln, The Apparition benefits from an effective score by spooktronica specialists tomandandy (The Mothman Prophecies) and the likable-enough leads. Greene is not a performer of high skill, but she lights up your TV screen with her absolutely adorable perpetual pout. I liked the movie better than its tepid theatrical run suggests; at the same time, I acknowledge it’s no great shakes. —Rod Lott