Film: Apollo 18 (2011)

“You’ve done a great service for your country son, and for mankind … mankind … ankind …”

Apollo 18 is an unusual movie. I like unusual movies. According to IMDB it’s a Horror / SciFi / Thriller. I’d drop the “Horror” bit, but otherwise I’d agree. Or maybe I have seen too many horror films to get scared by this one? Who knows …

The movie is unusual in the sense that it is not your run-of-the-mill Hollywood production. But don’t get too exited. It is far from unique. Both the idea and the camera work is the same as in The Blair Witch Project (1999). The film is presented as a true story edited from real footage. It also resemble films like Cloverfield (2008).

Apollo 18 was, according to the film, a secret mission to the moon set in motion by the Department of Defence in 1973. Nobody returned from that mission. The film is made from leaked footage. They discovered something on the moon that no one could risk bringing back to Earth.

Review

They do a good job with the Blair Witch/Cloverfield style of filming. You’ll notice the footage is often in 4:3 format with bland colours and dust on the reel. Just like you’d expect from footage from the 70s. They do make some mistakes though. Firstly, the astronauts movements are far from convincing. Not what you’d expect in 17% Earth’s gravity – compared to the Apollo 11 footage. Also, they make a few blunders with sound in a vacuum. Ignoring these errors, they manage to convince me that this is real footage from the moon.

The story itself is a bit dull at times. The film is 1 hour 26 minutes, so it doesn’t drag on, but they made no effort in character development. We mostly follow one of the guys, and an emotional link is made to him and his family to elicit some empathy in the viewers. Other than that, there isn’t much. But it is supposed to look like mission footage, so it may be intentional.

Aside from that, the film is a decent watch. It falls short of other recent films in the genre though, like Pandorum (2009) and Moon (2009), but still …

My rating: 7.0

Details

IMDB: Apollo 18 (2011) Rating: 5.5 (9793 votes)
Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Writers: Brian Miller (screenplay) and Cory Goodman
Main actors: Warren Christie, Ryan Robbins and Lloyd Owen

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