Saturday, 24 January 2015



Not to boast, but most horror movies don't really scare me. Sure I'll jump at a loud noise, like pretty much any sentient lifeform that isn't looking to become extinct very quickly, but I very rarely get spooked to the extent of not turning the lights out or walking the streets alone at night. The exceptions (Insidious, The Exorcist, Lake Mungo, The Last Will And Testament Of Rosalind Leigh) are worth savouring, perhaps because they come along so infrequently, but they're usually well-done exorcism movies or well-done ghost stories, and a masked slasher or monster movie never seems to actually scare me that deeply, no matter how well it's done.

So it's not illogical to assume a demon/exorcism movie that also has ghosts in it would be doubly terrifying. Yet The Appearing actually turns out not be very scary at all, perhaps because on neither front is it particularly well done. Following the accidental death of their young daughter, a big city couple move out to the sticks. Michael (Will Wallace) is the new deputy sheriff and immediately gets involved in a young woman's disappearance; meanwhile his wife Rachel (Emily Brooks) is either seeing ghosts or imagining things. No-one wants to talk about where the missing girl might have actually gone, or what happened up at the old Granville house in the woods years ago....

It's all fairly perfunctory, completely unremarkable, and if you don't see it you're really not missing out on anything. There's certainly nothing here that screams Un Film De Daric Gates or that sends you off to the IMDb to hunt down whatever other Daric Gates films are out there. Bits of it are just silly - Rachel's backstory is absurd, and this is yet another movie where the Devil reveals an Alucard-like fondness for anagrams and writing things backwards. Neither terrible nor any good at all. this is also a footnote in the annals of Movies With Brothers Of More Famous Actors In Them - in addition to Don Swayze as the grizzled sheriff, we get Joe Estevez for three scenes as a ranting loony.


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