“Based on true events”, Apparition chronicles the story of a group of young adults who are directed by an ominous app that connects the living with the dead, just think a digital Ouija board. Stranded in an abandoned historical castle, they are soon to unearth the troubled history of the place that proves impactful on each of their lives.
Apparition is wholeheartedly one of the worst films to be released in 2020 thus far. It’s an utterly embarrassing effort and not worthy of being recommended. On paper, it has a decent albeit unoriginal idea, that has the potential to be executed well in the right hands, but clearly this fell into the wrong ones. The core purpose of a horror film is to unsettle and provoke the viewer, heightening their experience of something extraordinary unfolding on screen by creating a tense atmosphere. Apparition features none of those elements. It’s quite frankly lazy filmmaking, with dire performances, a dull storyline, poor characterisation and no direction whatsoever. It can’t even be classed in the ‘so bad it’s entertaining’ category that a lot of dodgy low-budget genre movies fall into because it does not acquire any charm or redeeming features.
On top of this film being abundantly awful, it markets itself on being ‘based on true events’ which it has shamelessly sensationalised for the sake of cashing in on the horror genre. It sets itself in the infamous, Preston School of Industry, a reform home for troubled youths in which the housekeeper, the very real Anna Corbin was murdered back in the early 1950’s.
The Anna Corbin case remains unresolved to this day. To turn a real-life tragedy into an ill-thought out horror movie, is purely disrespectful and in poor taste, especially as Anna is portrayed as a vengeful spirit. Granted, Apparition is not the first film to take a horrific tragedy and use it for entertainment purposes, but it just does a horrible job of representing the story. There’s no passion shown in any aspect of the filmmaking, its as if the film was just made for the sake of it. There was no need for the filmmakers to capitalize on true events, they should have stuck to fiction.
Apparition was a chore to sit through, bizarrely it just abruptly ends mid-dialogue as if those behind it could no longer be bothered and abandoned production. The purpose of this film is baffling as it has twisted historical facts for its own means but doesn’t put in any effort into anything it’s attempting to convey. There’s no sense that the filmmakers truly cared about the story at hand or wanted to educate its audience about what happened. The less said about the repetitive app noise, the better as it was truly irksome! Apparition is just a painfully bad viewing experience that shouldn’t be wished on anyone.
Horror fans don’t waste your time and go and support the slew of creative and inventively crafted low budget films that deserve a distribution deal.
Apparition is available on digital download now.