The Apparition is about a group of researchers who conducted The Charles Experiment in May of 1973. They try to summon the spirit of a dead man in a process that looks like a séance. Then a few years later, three college students with electronic devices try to recreate the experiment.
One of the students, played Tom Felton, explains that it is not a demon or ghost that they summoned but an entity. Felton is best known as Draco Malfoy of the Harry Potter movies. The lab sequence is filled with fast-paced editing, shaky camerawork, and lots of images on video monitors. The scene is dark and disorientating and it is impossible to see the entity and where it goes after.
Then we see Ben (Sebastian Stan) and Kelly (Ashley Greene) in a mansion at a Southern California community. Kelly’s parents bought the house as an investment. Strange things happen. Locked doors open by themselves. Furniture moves. Stuff grows on ceilings and counters. Lights turn on and off. At first they dismiss the strange occurrences to electromagnetic fields due to the high tension lines in the area.
Ben installs surveillance cameras to find out what causes the weird stuff happening in their home. But the cameras are mysteriously disabled. He says that houses usually make weird sounds and even suggests that some kind of animal is roaming in it.
The Apparition is forgettable. At some point of the movie, the entity picks up one of the cameras and the moviegoers see the world through its point of view. It is the first horror movie to be based on events after the Great Recession. The couple lives in a community where almost all the houses are occupied. Kelly states that the house is too new to be haunted. The entity has a ghostly presence but you will not see it all throughout the movie.