CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’
Film Review: ‘The Apparition’ Terrifies with Shocking Level of Incompetence
CHICAGO – “The Apparition” is so incompetently made on every single level that it’s almost difficult to put its sheer awfulness into words. I’ll do my best. Which is more than what the producers of this pile of clichéd, derivative junk can say.
One could program a film festival in Hell of the awful films that were pure remakes or just rip-offs of Asian horror hits like “Ringu” or “The Eye” but didn’t we all think that trend had died out years ago? No one told Todd Lincoln, the debut writer/director who has made a quasi-Asian horror film so uninspired that it would be a compliment to say that it rips off better films. It doesn’t even really do that much. That would imply enough creativity to steal from superior work. “The Apparition” is a ghost of a movie, a bafflingly bad flick that approaches “The Room” levels of filmmaking ineptitude. You should be warned – this is not merely a sub-par horror flick. It is poorly acted, horrendously written, choppily edited, and lugubriously paced at even just 74 minutes before credits. It’s the longest 74 minutes you’ll spend in a theater this year.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The Apparition” in our reviews section.|
Gorgeous but remarkably dull Ashley Greene plays Kelly, a woman moving into a new California home with her beau Ben (a vapid Sebastian Stan). The scenes that set up these characters are a lesson in how NOT to introduce protagonists. Kelly and Ben eat Mexican food. Kelly and Ben go to Costco to buy a cactus. Kelly and Ben are so freaking boring that you pray for a ghost to haunt them just to spice up their lives and get this molasses-paced movie going. Seriously, I can’t imagine audiences who eventually stumble upon this junk at home not switching channels during the set-up that does absolutely nothing to endear viewers to its leads before setting a haunting upon them. At one point in the film, a cute neighbor dog wanders into the house, looks creepily into a corner of the laundry room, and dies. With the poor mutt’s ridiculous death, we’ve lost the most likable character in the story.
Before you can properly doze off, Kelly and Ben wake up one night to see all the doors in their new house have been opened. They slowly move around the house in the unnatural manner in which movie characters do to attempt to build tension but Lincoln and his team has no idea how to pace these scenes of impending ghostly activity to produce scares. I honestly wanted to scream at the screen, “Hurry up!,” “Do something!” My professionalism didn’t allow it.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.