The Apparition parents guide

The Apparition Parent Review

With a good chance of haunting video discount bins in the near future, "The Apparition"'s lack of sex and violence likely won't be enough to motivate families to see it.

Overall C+

A group of college students (Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton, Julianna Guill) experiment with the idea that supernatural beings exist if you believe in them -- and end up proving their theory is dead right.

Violence B-
Sexual Content B
Profanity C+
Substance Use B

The Apparition is rated PG-13 for terror/frightening images and some sensuality.

Movie Review

Life in the extreme outer suburbs of Los Angeles is getting scarier than ever. If the foreclosure signs aren’t enough to make the hair stand on the back of your neck, check out the bizarre couple that has just moved in a few houses down.

NEW: Listen to our Parent Previews Podcast and take control of media and technology in your family!

Kelly and Ben (Ashley Greene and Sabastian Stan) are taking up residence in her parent’s vacated Palmdale home, but what this unmarried couple doesn’t know about is the extra baggage that’s coming along with them. The nearly deserted neighborhood should offer warm desert nights as peaceful as a cricket’s chirp, however strange things begin to happen during their very first evening. Locked doors mysteriously open and a moldy growth appears in the laundry room of the almost new house. Kelly freaks out. Ben goes to Costco and buys a litany of security cameras.

Despite his monetary display of protectionism, the real problem is Kelly isn’t privy to a crucial event from her boyfriend’s past. During his university days, Ben and another girl (Julianna Guill) took part in some scientific research conducted by their friend Patrick (Tom Felton). Called “The Charles Experiment”, the idea was to use electronic tools to intensify the students’ brainwaves and lure spirits from the dead. One ghost took their bait, resulting in terrifying consequences. It now appears that same “entity” is still looking for company—and perhaps a cheap place to live.

The first half-hour of this relatively short scare fest offers a few good bumps in the night. After that it’s not hard to follow the predictable plot, right down to the bathroom scene (it seems nearly every movie supernatural being is attracted to a female in a shower). However, aside from this brief moment of sensuality (we see a woman in underwear) and a few profanities, there is little in the way of typically objectionable content—or artistic merit.

The micro-sized cast delivers bland performances that are reflective of their boring surroundings. Even Tom Felton, best known as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise appears spiritually disengaged.

Delivering little in the way of positive messages, and with a good chance of haunting video discount bins in the near future, The Apparition‘s lack of sex and violence likely won’t be enough to motivate families to run out and see it.

Directed by Todd Lincoln. Starring Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton, Julianna Guill. Running time: 83 minutes. Theatrical release August 24, 2012. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence in The Apparition here.

The Apparition Parents Guide

This film attempts to make deserted suburbs look frightening. What “normal” things might be scary where you live? How can filmmakers make the usual appear more terrifying?