If you feel stories about the paranormal have been overdone and exploited to the Nth degree with run-of-the-mill horror movies and reality television shows hucksters who just happen to find spirits in every single preposterous episode, then you'll likely embrace a startling new presence in writer-director Todd Lincoln's "The Apparition"; a horror thriller starring "Twilight" fan favorite Ashley Greene in her first leading role.
True, the film tells the tale of a haunting apparition, but, as Greene told me in a recent interview, it does so in a way that respect fans of the genre and makes them think about what they're seeing instead of just reacting to it.
"That's what I loved about the script and about Todd's vision for this -- it breaks some horror movie rules and is smart in the way he elevates things," said Greene, who also plays vampire Alice Cullen in "The Twilight Saga." "He wanted us to keep in mind films like 'Poltergeist,' 'The Shining' and 'Rosemary's Baby,' which I think are truly terrifying because they're not necessarily about scaring you with cheap tricks. They're about the unknown, which is part of the terror and anticipation while you're trying to figure out what it is."
Besides, Greene added, everybody has experienced some sort of fear, making the premise of "The Apparition" instantly relatable.
"Everybody's been afraid of something and it eats you alive -- especially whenever you're trying to do everything right and it seems to be getting worse," Greene said. "You become almost hopeless as well, which is never a good thing."
Opening in theaters Friday, "The Apparition" follows Kelly (Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan), a young couple who find themselves threatened by a supernatural force after they move into their new home. But the things they discover that go bump in the night aren't the caused by haunted house, but rather a presence conjured up by Ben and his colleagues during a parapsychology experiment that feeds on people's belief in it.
Worse yet, the apparition will follow Kelly and Ben wherever they go unless they, along with the entity's co-creator, Patrick ("Harry Potter" star Tom Felton), can find a way to stop it.
"The scary thing about it is, they're in this new house and they're the ones who are haunted and can't get away from this entity because it was something they drudged up," Greene explained. "This apparition studies you and it gets stronger when you believe in and you have fear. It's terrifying if you think about it. There's no way around it. Once you become afraid and start to believe in something, it's nearly impossible to go, 'Oh, no. I just don't believe.' It's a downward spiral."
As for her belief in the paranormal, Greene, 25, didn't want to commit to an answer either way, simply because she's not sure -- or didn't want to know.
"I would prefer not to believe in it because it scares me too much," Greene said with a bit of nervous introspection. "I certainly would never rule it out, but I actually haven't ever seen a ghost."
But then again, Greene added, there was this incident the other day …
"I woke up and found plates and a cup of mine broken behind my bed, and my glass armoire was cracked. I thought to myself, 'OK, my place is definitely haunted' because I live in this historical building which people say is haunted. But then I realized we've had like 20 earthquakes lately," Greene said, laughing.