Apparition (12A) | Home Ents Review

Dir. Waymon Boone, US, 2019, 83 mins

Cast: Mena Suvari, Kevin Pollak, Jon Abrahams, Grayson Russell and Annalisa Cochrane

Review by Michelle Moore

There have been a few stories about the events that may or may not have occurred in Preston Castle; murder, mayhem and madness. Apparition takes a new look into the terrifying experiences of Preston.

The movie starts out depicting the life of a young boy called Jeremy who comes from a broken home with an abusive mother. After her self-inflicted death he is sent to The Preston School of Industry where he is mistreated yet again, beaten, mutilated and scalded. What appears as his only sanctum is Anna, a house keeper who has been told to see and say nothing about what goes on inside the school…and the horrors that she is about to witness.

Several years later and the warden and his employees are celebrating an engagement with their grown-up children, one of which has developed an app that experiments with being able to communicate and connect with the dead. After one positive “connection” to the other side has been made, things soon begin to get out of hand when Preston invites them inside to find out what really happened to Anna and seven young boys that were housed there many years ago.

The story itself is one filled with melancholy; a home for boys where they are mistreated and a woman who tries to help them is punished for her caring attitude by those in charge of the setting. Unfortunately, this emotion is not put across through the acting or camera work.

The camera angles are a little distorted at times with views of someone running for their life from in front of as well as behind them, upwards angles not focusing in the correct position causing a viewer to feel like they are missing out on part of the onscreen action, flickering lights and bright torches cause things to be shaky and too bright and a blur rather than intense and in darker scenes it is quite hard to make things out at times so the apprehensive music is unable to have its full effect. Music is meant to be able to offer suspense, a thrill or send a shiver down the spine, however the shuffling and skittering of feet, as well as bangs and crashes are lost on a viewer due to the factors above.

The acting by those involved is predictable, characters running upstairs and tripping on more than one occasion, screams are anything but believable and lack any real emotion, enthusiasm or energy. Although this movie has a narrative that you are intrigued by and want to unfold, it is a shame that the visuals themselves were just not as engaging as one may have hopped for.

Apparition is available for Digital Download from 10th February 2020.

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