When Hollywood does horror the results are mostly interchangeable. When Hollywood does PG-13 horror, things get even more homogenized. There's a fairly standard formula of girl + ghosts = opening weekend profits. Even still, there's usually a gap between rival studio's attempts to lure in gaggles of screaming teens. The Apparition and The Possession, however, not only come out a week apart, but they also happen to look remarkably similar. So what's the deal with each of them?
From the Studio That Brought You: Orphan, The Reaping, Gothika, Ghost Ship, House on Haunted Hill
Release Date: August 24, 2012
Director: Todd Lincoln
Cast: Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton, Julianna Guill, Rick Gomez. Full cast + crew
Plot: College kids set out to prove that ghosts are real so long as people believe in them. Their experiment works and now they're haunted by the spirit they released during the experiment, which grows more powerful the more they fear it. Lots of slowly walking down hallways ensues.
Early Word: Not good. At all. The Apparition did not screen for press, which is never a good sign, and it's only opening in 810 theaters, which means Warner Bros. already knows they have a dud on their hands. It may spook some youngsters who haven't seen the gags in this movie dozens of times already, but horror fans are sure to be bored by its routine. The reviews, and there aren't many since it was withheld, have all been overwhelmingly negative, resulting in an impressive 0% on the Tomatometer.
It's also worth noting that The Apparition is the first PG-13 horror movie from Dark Castle. Sure, their track record isn't exactly filled with classics, but hopefully they see this as a sign to go back to making R-rated horror.
From the Studio That Brought You: The Grudge, Boogeyman, The Messengers, Drag Me to Hell
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Director: Ole Bornedal
Cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport, Natasha Calis, Matisyahu. Full cast + crew
Plot: A girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, only to discover that it contains an evil spirit that takes possession of her body, leaving her family to fight for her soul.
Early Word: There isn't any at this point, but that's only because the critics who have seen it are embargoed (those who I've talked to off the record said it was better than most PG-13 horror movies), while the rest of the press will get screenings next week. The simple fact that Lionsgate isn't embarrassed of their movie should already put it a leg up on The Apparition, but if that's not incentive enough, horror fans do have a few more reasons to be optimistic.
One is Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who is always a welcome face in any genre movie. Plus, Sam Raimi is onboard as a producer, and it was shot by the same cinematographer behind Brotherhood of the Wolf, Silent Hill and Solomon Kane, so at the very least, it should look great. And finally, this is the latest from director Ole Bornedal, who made the Danish horror/sci-fi/comedy The Substitute, a genre standout back in 2007.
So, armed with that knowledge, which PG-13 horror movie do you think you'll spend your hard-earned cash on in the next two weeks? We're obviously more optimistic about The Possession, but we'd be curious to see if we're wrong about The Apparition, so if you do see it, let us know.
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