Apollo 18 (2011)

Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, Ryan Robbins, Michael Kopsa
Decades-old found footage from NASA's abandoned Apollo 18 mission, where two American astronauts were sent on a secret expedition, reveals the reason the U.S. has never returned to the moon.
A boring, suspense-free Paranormal Activity rip-off that feels long even at just 90 minutes.
  • The Weinstein Company Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 02 Sep 2011 Released:
  • 27 Dec 2011 DVD Release:
  • $17.7M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

A surprisingly effective slow-burn...8/10
Have to admit i've been excited about the concept of this movie since i read about it about 7 months back... However, i also have to admit that, given it's release date, I was a bit worried that it would wind up a stinker...

I went in with adjusted expectations, wanting to enjoy it but also preparing for the worst..

I'm happy to say that it winds up a pretty effective little conspiracy- theory chiller..

The producers really do a great job of building tension in this closeted, isolated atmosphere, to an agonizing crescendo and then delivering with some truly horrific imagery.

Really wound up liking this one.
In space, no one can hear you yawn....3/10
...and I hope the people next to me in the cinema couldn't hear me yawning, which I started doing after about half-way.

These 'found footage' movies have varied over the years, since The Blair Witch Project kicked it all off. I had mixed feelings about that, but overall I felt it was an effective chiller: what's NOT seen is often so much scarier. Cloverfield, for me, remains at the top of the list, while the PA films are way down.

Apollo 18 isn't far from the bottom, either. The premise was intriguing, and I genuinely expected some sort of development in the genre - something like a cross between Blair Witch and Alien. What I got was 90 minutes of predictability and disappointment. The sense of isolation and claustrophobia was well done, but little else. I felt some sense of a tension build-up for perhaps a half-hour - but then it dissipated once the nature of the 'horror' became apparent.

I came away feeling that here was a great opportunity missed. It's worth seeing for the technical excellence and attention to detail. Just don't expect to see anything new - or anything that'll frighten the pants off you.
Really enjoyed this7/10
I'd been looking forward to this film for months after seeing a poster for it. The concept of a secret 18th mission to the moon drew me in instantly. After hearing a few mutterings from critics though, I was a little worried it might not be quite the film I wanted it to be. However, after seeing it tonight I'm happy to report that it's just what I expected :)

I'm a fan of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity and this film fits into that genre.

The special effects are brilliant. At no point did I believe they weren't on the moon. Which is daft, but honestly, they were great. The feeling of impending doom and isolation was quite palpable and I tell you this, I can't remember jumping back in my seat so much in ANY film before at certain bits!

All in all a good solid film.
Faux space documentary better than predicted5/10
Framed as leaked "found footage" from the era of space exploration in the 1970s, Apollo 18 is an attempt to out conspiracy the already rife conspiracy theories concerning the lunar landings. The trouble with framing something as being documentary style footage is you have to get the science right and be free from any loopholes that might break the audience out of the illusion. Apollo 18 falls short on this count. Lopez-Gallego manages to recreate to a certain extent the lunar missions. Portrayed through the various cameras feeding live footage back to Earth we have a Big Brother style look into the doomed from the start space mission. The two man crew of the lunar lander also film themselves on 16mm cameras. Herein lies some of the flaws in the director's logic. We need to get into the character's perspective to relate. This is solely done through these 16mm cameras. They film themselves on the moon's surface as well as personal records in the module. The rest is all caught on remote cameras, the audience being allowed to see the threat before the crew do, privy to the danger the Department of Defence has exposed them to. The live footage makes sense to have been documented; however the 16mm film rolls do not make it out, they share the crews dire fate. How then are we seeing the actions of the crew amidst this found footage? It makes no sense pulling any reasonably astute watcher beyond the line of suspension of disbelief.

It seems clear Lopez-Gallego wants us to care about the cast. We need to care for the conspiracy theory to resonate. The story very directly harks into the era of Watergate where the powers that be cannot be trusted. But his illusion of found footage does not stand up at all well. Does the story really fail on this account? No. It's actually fairly entertaining as it goes. The tension builds; the threat is revealed and played out. However the conspiracy theme and the documentary framing lend the film no real benefit and do not pay off. While there is reams of data on the films website to build the conspiracy it is not present enough on screen to sideline the notion we are victim to a none to subtle slight of hand.

What the film did do with the early footage was remind me why, as a child, I was so fascinated with space. It shows with sufficient realism what the actual Apollo astronauts did and how we as a planet reached for the stars. This is not history as it tries to suggest, but it is a reminder, to me at least, of how sad it is that we no longer pursue such epic destinations as the moon or beyond.
Wop wop waaaaah.3/10
My husband I looked forward to this movie for a long time. The day we went to go see it, curiosity got the better of me and I looked up some reviews, about 75-80% of which were bad, so I warned him and we went in with some low expectations. I think it is because we had pre-adjusted the expectations that we weren't more disappointed. We did leave the theater feeling unsatisfied and just really underwhelmed.

Our main issue with the movie was that astronauts are chosen for their intelligence (obviously) as well as their ability to hand extremely stressful situations, and the characters in this film failed at both of those things. They were faced with several serious choices throughout the film, and we both felt like the choices they made were so poor that even WE would have done better. Add onto this major suspension of disbelief issue a lot of boring 'what the hell is going on' footage and very few actually suspenseful moments, and top it off with a really badly cg'd sequence at the end of the film that just flat out wasn't necessary, and you've got this movie.

The acting wasn't bad, and the sets were fine, just the plot had trouble getting off the ground, kind of flopped around like a dying fish, then finally died. Even during the tense parts I did find my mind wandering in the direction of 'what time is it? How much longer?'