Movie Review – The Appearing (2014)

The Appearing
Directed by Daric Gates
Courtesy of Lionsgate
Release Date: March 25, 2014


Is it just me or is every horror movie released nowadays based on a true story or true events? It seems like every other tagline I run across states that very thing. As such, it’s getting difficult to differentiate between actual legends and/or myths and those created specifically for films. THE APPEARING is a movie that falls into this category. But what makes this one so interesting is that neither the film nor the supposed story it is based on make much sense at all. As a result, this lackluster horror flick contains few scares and even fewer enjoyable moments.

If you are not familiar with THE APPEARING, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Lionsgate:

After suffering a tragic loss, a city detective named Michael and his wife move to a small town, where Michael joins the town police force. His first case, involving a missing person, leads him to discover that the town is plagued by a dark supernatural force. Michael will have to summon every ounce of courage in order to fight this darkness before it takes everything from him.

Normally, I’m foaming at the mouth after watching a demon or possession flick. After all, who doesn’t enjoy that subject matter? Earlier this week, I mentioned this very thing in a book review of David Bernstein’s DAMAGED SOULS (click here for that review). I said, “I love stories about demons because there seem to be no boundaries. With zombies, you have specific guidelines to stay within: they have to be dead, they are usually rotting, they don’t have cognizance, etc. Similarly, vampires usually cannot be out in daylight, they drink blood, etc. You see where I’m going. But with demons, all bets are off. Authors can pretty much do what they want and make them as sadistic as they want to be.” This certainly fits for the most part…but unfortunately not here with THE APPEARING.

The cinematography and production value of this film look ok, although the budget looks lean and the quality of film is about that of a Syfy Channel film. The acting is so-so, and the characters themselves are decent. So everything up to this point should provide a decent movie experience.

But the story is where THE APPEARING fails. There’s no cohesion to much of anything, just a random assortment of story lines that never quite mesh together. Now that it is over, I think I see where the filmmaker was trying to go…but the film never gets there. I am left with a bunch of questions and nothing that ties them up.

I cannot recommend THE APPEARING, unless you really want to see Patrick Swayze’s brother, Don, onscreen. Although he does a decent job with his role, the movie itself flops too greatly to appreciate him. I would simply give this one a pass.


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