Notable Cast: Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, Ryan Robbins
Review: If you love blurry, choppy, and unfiltered footage from decades ago featuring astronauts talking on the moon, Apollo 18 is just for you! Being another terrible addition to the found footage horror genre, this could quite honestly be one of the most boring films of the year. First of all, why the hell would I even be scared? I’m sure as hell not going to the moon any time soon so I don’t really have to worry about being attacked by little moon men any time soon. Number two, how about giving me something to be scared about? The story built no tension, lacked any epic reveals, showed minimal “creature” footage, and was a slow red dwarf burn until the end. Number three? Well, to keep with the gimmick I could get to number 18, and trust me, I could, but Apollo 18 isn’t worth my time or effort. To put it simply, I’d rather be stuck on the dark side of the moon deep inside a pitch black crater in the freezing cold with no form of communication than watch this extra terrestrial snooze-fest again. And I hate the cold. And being eaten by space creatures.
Just in case there was any confusion, Apollo 18 is NOT A TRUE STORY. No joke. Officials actually had to come out and say “Yo, I know it looks real, but it’s just a movie.” Really people? But in any case, our film tells the story of some secret mission to the moon the U.S. ran without the public knowing. Supposedly the footage is now being release to the public, showing yet another governmental conspiracy being hidden from us. Side note, if this was seriously real, would our own government honestly release footage that would incriminate them and throw their ethics into question? Sorry, snapping back. In the footage, we see astronauts Benjamin Anderson (Christie) and Nathan Walker (Owen) as they re-visit the moon with numerous camera’s to document the trip. But as they find out, NASA has sent them there with ulterior motives. Strange things start happening on the moon, and the two space travelers start to believe they aren’t alone on the giant rock. As they try to figure out why equipment is being damaged, the two try not to lose their sanity. But as their situation escalates, their paranoia sets in, making it hard to decipher what is reality and what is just part of their crazed space dementia.
In Alien we learned “In space, no one can hear you scream.” In Apollo 18 we learn they can’t hear you yawn either….
Advertising for Apollo 18 really stressed the horror of our astronauts survival, suggesting they would have to fight some type of creature off. This could have been a fun twist, as most found footage flicks have stressed zombies or the paranormal as of late, but the aliens in question were a total let down. Not only were they weak latcher Alien type rip offs mixed with the little Cloverfield crawlers, but yet had practically zero screen time in a film with only three credited actors. Oh, and most of the time when they were shown, like I said, the camera was too blurry to even make out a creature. You would see falling rocks and a smudged outline mostly, suggesting something outer worldly was mischievously knocking down some Irish moon farmer’s rock walls. I get having to build suspense and not blowing your proverbial load too early by revealing secrets too soon, but Apollo 18 never even gets to the happy ending. Much like dating a prude Catholic school girl, the film is nothing more than a giant cock tease. Convince yourself all you can that big moment will happen eventually, but by the time the credits roll you’re left with the horror equivalent of blue balls. Red Balls? Blood Balls? Ew.
There was also no fun in the film, along with the absence of horror. Such are the risks of using one setting and a three-man cast, but actions quickly got repetitive. Who really wants to see two men sleeping in hammocks for more than two seconds? The scares, or scare (singular) attempt I should say, were also infuriatingly cheap, and shown in every single trailer spot. Any horror film that has to dive so deep in order to boast a scare is missing the true point of the genre. There’s a difference between a genuine scare and just a knee jerk reaction. How pissed do you get when your immature friends play that neanderthalic “made you flinch” game? Apollo 18 plays that f@cking game too and considers itself hot-shot horror. A good substitute for substance? Grow up. Seriously.
Apollo 18 is a focus on everything to be hated about the found footage craze, and not much of the good stuff. I guess if there was one positive point I can actually stand behind it would be that the set production worked well, as these relative unknown actors seemingly were transported to the moon. Solid atmosphere was in fact encompassing the film. But past the sensation of floating around in zero gravity, a sluggish slow-paced story sucks any individual character out of Apollo 18 like a giant fun sucking black hole, which is probably where our actors would like all the DVDs to go so there’s no evidence of their participation in this bore. Claustrophobic space shuttles and boring characters do nothing to spice up the “small cast/one setting/low-budget” tone Apollo 18 is trying to strike. At first glance, there was a ton of room for creativity as the concept smelled fresh, but there are so, so many deep space adventures leaps and bounds better you can view. But when it comes to Apollo 18, Houston, we have a serious problem.
Final Rating: 4 disgusting cups of Tang out of 10
This is exactly what the film looks like at parts. Does it look like the 70’s? Yes. Do things from the 70’s look good today? No. So you do your job, but at what cost?