Apollo 18 (2011)

apollo 18 poster 2011 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 5/10

Some good camera work, actors did ok with what they were given

Nonsense type story, no good creatures, no good resolution

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Apollo 18

Studio:  Bazelevs

Genre(s):  Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  September 2, 2011

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

apollo 18 alien helmet lloyd owen

It must be real frustrating when something gets in your helmet…imagine if your nose starts to itch?

Apollo 18 heads into space without a word to the press or any public fanfare on a secret mission to the moon to put detectors down in the increasingly intense Cold War battle with the USSR.  While Lieutenant Colonel John Grey (Ryan Robbins) remains in orbit, Commander Nathan Walker (Lloyd Owen) and Captain Ben Anderson (Warren Christie) land on the moon.  When it is discovered that the Russians are already there, Anderson and Walker realize they might not be alone.  Their discovery could jeopardize their mission and keep them from returning home.

Directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, Apollo 18 is played as a “found footage” sci-fi horror film.  The movie was critically panned but was considered a financial success due to an extremely low budget and relatively high box office returns.

apollo 18 infection

I just need a little antibiotic and I’m good!

I am always leery of found footage films.  While they were not invented by The Blair Witch Project, that film really propelled them into a popular genre of their own.  When I see a warning of a found footage film, I go in with expectations of shaky cameras and unsatisfying storylines.

I hope the “found footage” boom goes bust.  There is a reason that they are popular and profitable…they are generally cheap to make.  This film (like other found footage films) has actors who are meant to be average “everyday” people caught in a situation that anyone could fall into (I guess if you were an astronaut).  If you cast someone big, you lose the mise-en-scene of it being a real story.  It just does not always translate to a good film.

My biggest problem with found footage movies is that the payoff does not match the pain of watching the movie.  You never see anything and the endings are often mundane or unclear.  With Apollo 18, you barely get to see the aliens and sometimes they look like little crabs, sometimes something bigger, and sometimes just like octopus.  I am not sure what they were supposed to look like since all of which only showed up for a few seconds.  If this movie had been rated R, at least there would have been some good violence, but alas no such luck.

apollo 18 space rocks ending

Crap…Astronauts 0-Space Rocks 1

The movie looks ok, but that is a double-edged sword for the point of the movie.  It looks unrealistically good.  The mission is supposed to have taken place in 1974 and a lot of the cameras are very, very good.  This leads to the other problem.  Most of the cameras weren’t transmitting (in fact, it was said at one point that the character needed to get the tapes).  The movie ends with the lunar lander crashing into the orbiting ship.  If that is the case, how did the tapes, etc. make it back to Earth?  It wasn’t like the other found footage where it randomly can show up somewhere.  Someone had to go to space to retrieve it, and even say that was the case, if it were “real”, that footage would never exist.  At least with The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity, the existence of the footage makes sense.

Apollo 18 is a bad, dull movie.  It doesn’t even reach the so-bad-it-is-good point that make many bad movies tolerable.  The movie has some decent camera work and they did a reasonably good job simulating the moon and that is about the only redeeming quality of the film.  Skip Apollo 18, it’s not worth it.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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