The Appeared (2007)

January 18, 2010 - 2:40am | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: Aparecidos, based on true story, ghosts, Hector Bidonde, Javier Pereira, Leonora Balcarce, Mystery, Paco Cabezas, Ruth Diaz, spain, spanish, The Appeared

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Paco Cabezas
Ruth Diaz, Javier Pereira, Leonora Balcarce, Hector Bidonde

The Appeared is a film that only recently got a DVD release in the US, while it also seemed to struggle to get a release in other countries, such as its own since its completion in 2007. Based on true events that took place in the late 70's/early 80's involving the Argentine government, The Appeared details two siblings on their way to the home that they grew up in and comes across a ghost story that seems to detail the deaths and disappearances of a family over 20 years ago at an old roadside hotel.

Here's a movie that I tried hard to like, as I enjoyed the initial premise of the film, but the poor writing and execution really hurt the picture. This shouldn't really come as much of a surprise since writer/director Paco Cabezas also scripted the poor slasher/zombie hybrid SexyKiller and recently with the more horrendous comedy spoof, Spanish Movie *sigh*. It's been a while since I encountered a film that had so many undeniable plot-holes such as what's presented here. It became so hard to ignore them after a certain point that I just wanted to see how the movie would end, in hopes of maybe getting reasoning behind some of these holes, but alas, it never happened.

Like I said above, the initial story is what captured my interest -- we follow a brother and sister duo, who visit their near-dead father, whom is only alive due to the machines in the hospital. The sister signs the papers to "unplug him" while the younger brother refuses to until he learns more about the man that he knows very little about. Thus, the two set out to the secluded home that the sister grew up in, in hopes of finally getting closure from their distant father. Along the way the brother comes across a hidden diary that seems to detail murders that took place a couple decades prior in an old hotel. Since it's along the way, the two naturally decide to stay the night there. Little do they know that this would be the first step in a series of events that would lead them into a never-ending murder mystery involving a family and the killer whom was never caught.

What I found most interesting about the pic is how the siblings can witness these events written in the diary from 20-years-ago unfold before their eyes, as if they can somehow change the past. This obviously leads the obsessed brother to take it upon himself to try to rewrite history. Sadly, this is also where a majority of the plot-holes spawn from -- like the fact that for some reason we're able to see the ghosts of the dead family, yet we're only able to see the "killer" off mirrors and reflective surfaces. Also, how the brother refuses to reveal to his sister where he found the diary, even though you'd think that it would be kind of a really F'n important thing to mention (you'll understand what I mean if you see the film). I could go on and on, but I'd rather not turn this review into a novel.

Anyway, addition to the plot-holes even the leads themselves are rather annoying at times, as they end up doing a lot of ridiculous things throughout the film, like how they don't just notify the proper authorities or do specific tasks differently given the opportunity presented itself. The movie plays out as more of a mystery than ghost story, although there was maybe one scene I found somewhat creepy, whether it was intended to be or not. By the end of the film we're given an incredibly predictable "twist" that anyone could have predicted within the first 15 minutes. Never-the-less, the flick did keep my interest to an extent, despite its many slow scenes and numerous plot-holes (which get worse as the film progresses, by the way).

Yet another Spanish film that had the potential of being good, but failed due to its poor writing and mediocre directing. The movie serves as a decent ghost mystery, but don't expect much in terms of scares, and prepare yourself for loads of plot-holes. Not recommended.

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FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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