There are a few bells and whistles on this movie in an attempt to supplement the supernatural stuff with some pseudo-science, but viewers won't be fooled for a second. This is a simple ghost flick, and it's a simple ghost flick that never does enough to raise it above the level of average. That's a great shame, because it has the potential to be something really good on a number of occasions.
Ashley Greene and Sebastian Stan star as Kelly and Ben, a young couple moving into their new home. It's not long until things start to go bump in the night. The couple seem to be perplexed by just what is going on, but Ben may know a bit more than he's letting in, especially considering the frantic messages that he's been receiving from Patrick (Tom Felton), an old friend that he doesn't seem to want to speak to any more.
With its familiar structure - opening scares, calm introduction to main characters, building of tension, standard third act stuff complete with twist that can be seen coming a mile away - and the fact that it's covering some well-worn territory, it's no surprise that The Apparition fails to stand out from so many other modern horror movies. Writer-director Todd Lincoln has a few good ideas, and creates some great moments of quiet unease in the first half of the movie, but it soon becomes apparent that he can't sustain that quality for the entire movie. When things start to unravel, it's fast and unpleasant, dragging the film down and never recovering.
Greene is a decent actress (she's an actress that I really like, at any rate) and she does a perfectly adequate job here, as does Sebastian Stan. Felton is . . . . . . . . another matter entirely. I want to like Felton, I really do, but he seems intent on filling up his post-Potter career with either bad movies (like the godawful 13 Hrs) or mediocre-to-poor performances in good movies (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes). He breaks the pattern ever so slightly here by giving a mediocre performance in a mediocre movie.
This isn't a painful viewing experience, it's relatively short at about 82 minutes, but it's not one that I can imagine anyone revisiting. It's not good enough for horror fans, and I doubt that it's even good enough for the more casual horror viewer.