For the longest time the studio has been plugging Apollo 18 and the viral buzz has actually been pretty intense for a film that has like many moon missions had a few too many failures to start. The movie’s release date has had some pretty serious bumps including one where it was slated to come out in 30days and the studio then yanked it back an entire year.
With the recent PR efforts the big push for the studio PR people has been to pitch the movie as a real story based on ‘found footage’ ala Blair Witch and that has both intrigued and annoyed fans. The film starts off with the premise that the entire film was shot using almost 100 hours of found footage from the Apollo 18 flight.
Apollo 18 is basically about a secret mission to mars that was never before revealed. The entire film is shot in point of view video with heavy emphasis on the footage being ‘found’ and not shot. At times it works quite effectively and at other times the filmmakers seem to have forgotten that it’s a point of view film and thought they were shooting 28 Days Later in the visual look and feel.
Apollo 18 is a cleverly thought out film that for the most part is pretty damn creepy and well executed and I give plenty of credit to the production team for being able to capture the look of the 60’s and actually make you feel like you’re in a lunar capsule.
Apollo 18 is definitely not going to hold a candle to Blair Witch but it’s fair to make the comparison that it’s a cross between Blair Witch Meets Cloverfield… in space. There is no nausea inducing shaky cam that turned most of us off of Cloverfield and thanks to a truly interesting concept so long as your willing to suspend reality you will find something to love in this creepy take on space. Think of it as Apollo 13 meets X-Files with a nasty little secret much darker then moon rocks waiting for them on the moon.
Many have asked why did we not go back to the moon after 17 Apollo Space Missions. Most people like myself assume it is because after 17 missions and many years studying a frozen space moon with no life it looses any scientific purpose. Apollo 18 manages to add a spooky and disturbing angle that although predictable at times is creepy and entertaining and gives a much darker reason for why we never went back to the moon and why it might be in our best interests to never do so.
If you enjoyed Blair Witch, Super 8 or Paranormal Activity I think you will find something to love in Apollo 18. If docu-horror films are not your cup of tea I would suggest renting it on DVD or passing altogether. 7 out of 10 stars.