The Appearance (2018) Horror Movie Review
Written By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Kurt Knight
Writer: Kurt Knight
Producers: Jason Faller, Kynan Griffin, Jennifer Kirkham, Doug Pasko
Date Released: June 27, 2018
Jake Stormoen as Mateho
Kristian Nairn as Johnny
Adam Johnson as Felix
Michael Flynn as Scipio
Baylee Self as Isabel
Cameron Samora as Peiter
Jon Lindsey as Eduardo
Nathan Stevens as Aldo
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain spoilers***
Set in an abbey in Medieval Europe, a medieval monk has been murdered, or has committed suicide, and blame is cast upon a strange young woman. She is jailed, chained, and interrogated by the remaining monks. They believe, as does the neighboring village, that she is a witch, and wish to see her put to death. The aged abbot is especially emphatic about this. But one of the monks does not believe that the abbey has the authority to execute without the blessing of an inquisitor, an outside Catholic Church investigator. The Inquisitor shows up, with his assistant in tow. Matheho is an inquisitor, and promptly decides that the woman is unfairly blamed for the local evil. Meanwhile, the monks are getting killed off, or committing suicide, one by one. Eventually, it becomes clear that the girl is not a witch, but a demon in the form of a girl, whose spirit will not rest until it has achieved vengeance.
Although it is based on a bleak era in the medieval times where there is apparent lawlessness, there is not explicit gore to speak of in this film. The horror in The Appearance (2018) comes in the form of the hallucinations characters witness, from whispering, to visions of children and monsters this was handled in a way that kept you guessing what was really going on. Mostly characters are killed off screen with other characters catching the after effects. Even when people die on camera it is usually a bloodless affair with it left up to the viewers’ imagination. Usually bloodless, though there was a nice looking pair of severed eyeballs.
The Grave Review
The Appearance (2018) is a supernatural horror film that is set during medieval times. It may be a gloomy and miserable environment but it is very atmospheric. It was a dark medieval horror that sustained a feeling of claustrophobic doom and gloom. The film is a joyless affair that brought to mind the bleak tone of the medieval era. The majority of the movie takes place within the dank corridors of the monastery with some outdoor scenes in the muddy village adding some rustic flavor. The dark atmosphere was very effective, with torch flame being the main illumination, with the occasional sunlight shining through the crucifix shaped windows. The costumes used were all as you would expect, as was the set dressing of straw strewn rooms and religious imagery. This was worth noting as it added to the mood and story of a bunch of miserable monks getting picked off one by one by a demonic force, as did the gloomy music that also fitted the tone well.
The Inquisition and the black plague was a period of time that is open to storytelling of many different strains. In The Appearance we are treated to a tale of an inquisitor who believes strongly in the scientific method. He is brought to an out of the way abbey and the small town that supports it to determine if a woman is truly a witch. Mateho the Inquisitor (Jake Stormoen) and his bodyguard and friend Johnny (Kristian Nairn, who we all recognized from the Game of Thrones) have been summoned to a monastery by monk Felix (Adam Johnson) after the unexplainable death of a fellow monk there. There he finds a teenage girl; Isabel (Baylee Self) chained up in the dungeon, with the abbot of the monastery (Michael Flynn) having accused her of witchcraft that led to the death of the monk. Mateho is determined to prove that the girl is innocent, but as more and more inexplicable events happen he begins to question everything he thought he knew.
It is interesting to note that the interaction between the characters was great. The story is stronger because of how these actors brought their roles into the fold of the overarching story of the movie.
Overall, The Appearance was a fun movie to watch. The horror aspect of the movie was in line to the thriller setting. There were points of surprise (horror) to make you jump, but no gore was shown on screen. Although there is some foreshadowing on how the movie will end, the use of reoccurring symbols and a slight twist tied up the story nicely. Its great settings and look of the characters provided a touch of fantasy with the expected historical aspects. The score complimented without overtaking the storytelling.
Because of these glaring film aspects, Grave Reviews gives The Appearance (2018) three graves out of five graves.
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