The Appearing (2014)

Writesr: Daric Gates, Matthew J Ryan
Director: Daric Gates

The Appearing has all the elements of a good exorcism story but fails to make them work.

Following the death of their only child Michael (Will Wallace) and Rachel (Emily Brooks) move to a small town where Michael has taken a job as Sheriff’s Deputy. Rachel is still recovering from the loss of their daughter and in a fragile mental state.

Soon after their arrival a local girl is reported missing. We know from the pre-credit sequence that she and her boyfriend went into a local haunted house where Bad Things have happened in the past. As Michael and Sheriff Hendricks (Don Swayze) investigate the case various cans of worms including demonic possession and exorcism come to light.

There’s definite potential here, but it just doesn’t pull together. The way the story is told is fragmented and difficult to follow. The idea seems to have been to allow the atmosphere to carry a slow narrative start – but there isn’t any atmosphere. There’s plenty of ominous music and camerawork but no real suspense.

Things do finally get going in the last half hour, although I’m not convinced the story actually makes much sense. Not only is this too late but it then goes on too long as the film outstays its welcome with musings on religion and faith.

Overall the impression is of a film that believes itself to be a lot cleverer and scarier than it actually is.