I must admit, I saw the trailer for Apollo 18 and was not immune to its “charms.”
“Historical fiction blended with science fiction: a film-making goldmine,” I thought. Unfortunately, and much to my chagrin, this film lulled me to sleep for the majority of its eighty-six minute running time.
In Apollo 18, a few astronauts are sent on the final manned mission to the moon. In reality, the Apollo 18 mission was canceled, but this so-called “uncovered footage” is the film’s way of explaining what really took place.
In essence, the movie is composed of uninteresting astronaut attempts to assess their situation of being stranded on the moon with alien life forms. An unfortunate situation indeed, to which the men frequently react by delivering groundbreaking lines such as “What was that? Did you hear that? Look at that!” and never expecting a response. So they are stranded, and naturally they make their way out of their landing pod and walk around the moon aimlessly.
The footage on the moon is actually impressively done and offers few, though noteworthy, scares. The scenery is by far the best part of this film, especially with the painfully low budget of $5 million according to boxofficemojo.com.
This film relies heavily upon tense situations which makes most of the scares very predictable. And in my opinion, the astronauts played their cards way too casually. My guess is, being trapped on the moon with alien life forms — training aside — will result in far more serious instances of mental instability. The cinematography can certainly contribute to the suspension of disbelief, but it all comes rearing back to the acting with a screeching halt.
Overall, Apollo 18 tries to scare and intrigue the audience, but the all too familiar formula and wooden acting prevent it from being a classic in the genre. If you loved the “found-footage” of Cloverfield, The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, maybe this will entice you. Otherwise, I don’t think you’ll be getting your money’s worth at the theater.