Apollo 18 review by Melissa Orcine - Cinema Paradiso
‘Apollo 18’ is a movie from director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, the first English-speaking film from the Spaniard. In this sci-fi-meets-horror flick, we watch the three-man crew of the NASA space mission ‘Apollo 18’ sent to the moon in 1974 to intercept Soviet signals. But the astronauts find themselves not alone. There’s something more sinister roaming the surface of the moon, and it’s up to them to figure out what’s going on… if they come out of it alive.
TV veteran actors Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, and Ryan Robbins play the doomed astronauts in ‘Apollo 18’. They are cast well enough; they do the Everyman who happens to work in space impeccably. We see them as random human beings but since there’s not much back story to them, when they become in peril, we don’t exactly feel for them that much. Maybe it’s the astronaut gear from head-to-toe that obscures our perceptions of them. In the end, they only become victims instead of heroes.
With a style reminiscent of ‘Blair Witch Project’ and ‘Paranormal Activity’, ‘Apollo 18’ joins the club of making a thriller out of found-footage and editing it into horrific proportions. Although marketed as a horror movie, NASA had to release a statement that ‘Apollo 18’ is not a real documentary sanctioned by their agency. Space missions by them are already suspect; this only makes things more conspiracy theory-worthy, if you ask me.
What ‘Apollo 18’ is rich in controversy, however, it lacks in fright. Too bad, the premise in itself is an interesting lure, but the hodge-podge editing, the little care given to how it paces itself, you get a payoff that turns out to be a dud.
We can’t fault the limited budget it has for the execution; low-budgeted films result in greatness. We can’t even fault the material; it’s there, just barely given a good treatment. Watch ‘Apollo 13’ instead.