Todd Lincoln wants to scare you, but he also wants to make you think. His horror film “The Apparition,” starring Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan and Tom Felton, focuses on a full body apparition, but this apparition has been created purely from imagination.
The idea of a young couple sharing a home with a conjured apparition stems from the equally horrific real life Phillip Experiment, an experiment developed Canadian parapsychologists who wanted to create a ghost in order to prove their theory that ghosts are simply created by human expectation and visualization.
“It’s fascinating stuff,” said Lincoln. “Really creepy. I thought there was something there. It was a fresh way into the horror genre, to have a group of people create a ghost, a full body apparition.”
The film has been compared to other horror films like “Poltergeist” and “The Strangers,” which Lincoln said is a “fair comparison.”
“‘Poltergeist’ really captured and reflected what those times looked like honestly,” he said. “There is a variety of different moments and set pieces and scares. That’s always been a favorite film of mine. That’s its strength–it captured what life was like. What I like about ‘The Strangers’ is that it’s restrained and leaves some to the imagination. [Horror] films nowadays are constantly in that horror bubble. In my film, I’m just trying to capture things in a real way, in an honest way. I’m trying to ask the right questions and not just live in this horror world.”
Asking the right questions has been a strong point of Lincoln’s ever since he was young man in Tulsa, OK.; evidence of this when he managed to get a PA job on Robert Rodriguez’s “From Dusk Till Dawn.”
After reading in a magazine about “From Dusk Till Dawn,” Lincoln decided to take action. “I tracked down the production office number and gave them some version of a resume,” he said. “I kept bothering them and I guess I wore them down because they told me, ‘If you get out here and if you’re here at this time, we’ll let you be a PA. After my high school graduation, I skipped the graduation party and drove to LA. I worked on [the film] that whole summer after high school.”
What Lincoln loved most about working on the film was the hands-on experience. “I loved the independent spirit of these guys,” he said, “that everyone wore different hats.” Because everyone did different things on the film, he was able to work in various departments, including craft services, makeup, grip/electric, and more.
“It’s really the way to learn things by actually doing it instead of sitting in a classroom,” he said. Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s style of just picking up a camera and being hands-on, said Lincoln, inspired him to make more films.
“The Apparition” owes a debt to this hands-on experience as well as Lincoln’s love of horror. “Hopefully, we’ve made the type of horror film that stays with you,” he said. “I hope audiences are terrified and entertained and turn the lights on.”