The Apparition





May 21, 1973: Six people are conducting The Charles Experiment; a parapsychological experiment. They stare at a drawing of a deceased man, Charles Reamer, and with all of them concentrating at the same time, they hope to be able to summon his spirit into the room. Years later, four college students, Patrick, Lydia, Greg, and Ben attempt to recreate the Charles Experiment on a larger scale by using modern technology to amplify their concentration over 400 times the original.  During the experiment, something attacks the students and pulls Lydia into the wall.

Some time later, Ben and his girlfriend Kelly are living in a nearly empty subdivision along with their neighbors Mike (Rick Gomez), his young daughter Maggie (Anna Clark) and their dog Pepper. One evening, they discover strange burn marks on their counters.  That night Kelly awakens to find both doors wide open, even though they had locked them. They decide to change the locks and install surveillance cameras.  The following day their neighbor's dog, Pepper, wanders into the house, walks into the laundry room and collapses. Kelly and Ben take her to the vet, where she dies. Returning home, Kelly notices the floor in the laundry room has begun peeling. She removes some of the linoleum and finds a large amount of mold and spores, Ben finds even more in a crawlspace.

Later, Ben finds 36 "Urgent" emails from Patrick in his inbox that first inform him of a new attempt at the Charles Experiment, followed by a warning that "containment failed" and finally "you are in danger". Attachments to the emails include footage of the new experiment, this time amplifying their signal to that of 4000 people. Kelly calls for Ben and shows him her closet, in which all of the clothes have been trashed. They begin to hear noises throughout the house. Ben talks Kelly into camping in the yard and agrees to keep watch overnight. During the night, Ben leaves his watch post in the tent to investigate a noise. While he is gone, three of the camera feeds to the surveillance monitor go blank. The last remaining camera falls to the ground and begins to move towards the sleeping Kelly. The next day, while Kelly is gone, Ben finds another large chunk of mold growing. He prods at it with a broom, causing it to break open and reveal a figurine inside that had been used during the previous experiment.  Later, Kelly discovers Ben's equipment from the experiment, including a recording of Lydia's disappearance. She confronts Ben, who admits to taking part in it. After witnessing another appearance by the apparition, they go to a hotel, but they're attacked there as well and flee.


While on the run, they receive a call from Patrick and meet with him. Once together, Patrick explains that the initial experiment enabled a malevolent spirit entity to enter their world and further attempts to contain it have failed. Patrick also mentions he has built a room surrounded by a negative current that he believes protects him from the spirit. They return to Kelly and Ben's house to try a new experiment to contain the entity, this time using the city's power to simulate the power of 400,000 people. While setting up, Kelly becomes trapped in the laundry room with the spirit, but it disappears. During the experiment, the house begins to shake and break apart, then abruptly stops.

While Kelly and Ben are cleaning out the house, a door behind him opens and Patrick is pulled into the darkness and vanishes. They return to find his chair knocked over and empty. Looking for him, they find various objects merged with parts of the house that were normal seconds before. Unable to find Patrick, they leave to get to the safety chamber in Patrick's house. Inside Patrick's house, they hear Patrick's personal log being played back, including information about the members of the original experiment. Of the original six, two died, one committed suicide and the other three simply disappeared. After entering and closing the safety chamber cage, the lights go out, and when they come back Ben has disappeared. Kelly exits  the chamber and finds Ben's contorted corpse beyond the door. She leaves the house and sees her truck being absorbed into the ground as well.

As Kelly wanders aimlessly, Patrick's narration explains that the first experiment served as a beacon for the entity, while the second one helped it cross into their world. He further explains that it gets stronger with each person it claims, and that it will wear its victims down until they're too weak to resist in which she is attacked by a spirit. As day breaks, Kelly's wandering leads to an empty Costco. Inside, she walks to the camping section, enters a tent, zips the door closed, and waits. Having given up resisting, a number of hands appear from behind and slowly grab hold of her as the movie cuts to black.










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Directed by Todd Lincoln
Produced by Alex Heineman
Todd Lincoln
Andrew Rona
Joel Silver
Written by Todd Lincoln
Starring Ashley Greene
Sebastian Stan
Tom Felton
Julianna Guill
Music by tomandandy
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) August 24, 2012
Running time 82 mins.
Language English
Budget $17 million