"Evil Wins Again"
What You Need To Know:
The story and characters in THE APPARITION are poorly done. The protagonists are too weak, and the unseen demonic force attacking them too strong. The protagonists also keep doing stupid things. All this makes the story less interesting and less compelling. THE APPARITION has no references to God or Christianity. The final shot suggests the protagonists are being haunted by the spirits of dead people trapped in Hell and trying to get out. The movie’s depiction of the supernatural world is false and abhorrent. Not even a lack of graphic violence and lewd content can save THE APPARITION.
(OOO, HHH, FRFRFR, B, LL, VV, S, N, A, MM) Very strong occult worldview with the demonic force winning in the end and with people attempting to apply humanist science to the problem rather than consulting God or the Bible, plus a false, abhorrent depiction of the supernatural world although there is some light moral content because the demonic force or forces are seen as an evil that must be stopped; 10 obscenities and two light profanities; some strong scary violence such as unseen demonic force or forces haunt people, electrical lights explode, woman taken into the air and disappears through a ceiling, gray scary hands encircle female protagonist, man flung into room and door shut, unseen demonic force or forces trap woman in room and man has to bust the door down, demonic force or forces kill dog who just lays down and dies, demonic force or forces try to smother woman with sheets; no sex scenes but unmarried man and woman housesit together, one sexual innuendo made, and unmarried lovemaking interrupted; upper male nudity, female cleavage and woman in underwear, and woman in shower but nothing explicit shown there; light alcohol use; no smoking or drugs; and, man doesn’t tell girlfriend about his past even when the past starts coming back to haunt them literally and put her life in danger.
THE APPARITION is another horror tale of devilish infiltration in the everyday world. Though the demonic forces are clearly evil antagonists, they aren’t really explained, and they win in the end. Thus, the monster isn’t banished.
The movie opens with a group of college students making the mistake of holding a high-tech séance experiment to confirm the spirit world exists. Instead, they unleash an entity from “the other side,” who takes one of them away into the spirit world.
Cut to several years later. Ben, one of the students, is house-sitting with his girlfriend, Kelly, in a new house her parents just bought. The entity starts manifesting in the house by moving things around and creating a weird mold. It even kills the neighbor’s dog. No matter what Ben and Kelly do, the entity just gets stronger and stronger, even when they move out of the house into a hotel.
The characters in THE APPARITION are annoying. Ben, for instance, knows what’s happening in the house from the start, but he doesn’t tell Kelly about it until she forces him. Also, despite his secret knowledge, he stays in the house beyond all sense of reason. Even then, however, the evil entity is too powerful. Even when Kelly nails shut the door to the utility room where the dog was killed, the entity makes her think she’s nailing shut the other side so it can attack her.
When you have such an all-powerful, unseen demonic antagonist, and the protagonists are so weak, it dilutes the dramatic conflict in the story. This in turn makes your whole story less interesting and less compelling.
Also, since the defeat of the protagonists is, or becomes, inevitable, so is the victory of the unseen demonic antagonist. Hence, whatever moral advantage the protagonists have against this evil foe is virtually nonexistent.
In addition to all these fatal problems, THE APPARITION has no positive supernatural force to counter the demonic villain’s supernatural power. Thus, the protagonists never appeal to God or His people, and God never shows up. In fact, the movie’s last shot suggests that Ben and Kelly aren’t being haunted by one demonic entity, but they are being haunted by multiple dead people from Hell. (The movie’s poster actually gives this ending away, which presents another reason for moviegoers to stay away.)
The creators of THE APPARITION have clearly not thought out what they’re doing. They missed a real opportunity to create a more positive, or even more Christian, version of their basic story. Thus, although the movie shows it’s not a good idea to mess around with the occult and although it’s virtually free of graphic violence or lewd content, its depiction of the supernatural world is false and abhorrent. As Paul writes in 1 Colossians 13,14, God “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
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