Apollo 18 (2011) Review
Apollo 18 is one of those films that sound really good in theory and the idea behind it is really quite good, however it doesn’t really play out that way. The start of the film is great, just like I would have thought it would be from the trailers. It did however start to go rapidly downhill from about half way after finding out what the thing that goes bump in the night is. Not sure if I would say it did badly because as an idea it was actually pretty fun. I’ll talk about what I would have liked to be changed later but I would also say that this film works much better as a really good B movie. Still raises the question, why haven’t we been back to the moon?
Officially, Apollo 17, launched December 17th, 1972 was the last manned mission to the moon. But a year later, in December of 1973, two American astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the moon funded by the US Department of Defense. What you are about to see is the actual footage which the astronauts captured on that mission. While NASA denies its authenticity, others say it’s the real reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.
Story: 70% Acting: 75% Visuals: 80% Dialogue: 60%
The Scares: 20% Style/Sound: 65% Characters: 50%
To start off let’s talk about the acting. The acting was pretty good from the main guys; there were only three people who were really in this. Warren Christie and Lloyd Owen really did seem to play the parts of astronauts really well and Ryan Robbins is a Sci-Fi favourite of mine as you can tell he has a passion for the genre. Next I am going to talk about the story; I liked the way it was going all the way up to the living rock spiders (no!). The way the story was going I thought that the Russian cosmonaut would have been crazy killed his other crew member and would then be the main threat to our crew. Maybe it’s just me but I would have preferred that story line, mainly because it is possible and a plausible reason for a cover up, Russian vs. American astronauts at a time when relations were bad easily could be reason for covering the Apollo 18 moon landing. Sadly this didn’t happen and instead we got inexplicable spider creatures bursting out of every rock on the moon which makes absolutely no sense what so ever! Up till then though there were thrills and chills and I thought it was really good until the end, just sad really how good it could have been.
So let’s talk about something more fun like the visuals. The special effects, physical props and visual landscape shots generally were very good, you really didn’t feel like this was a low budget considering they had good looking Apollo ships and all the interiors made with lots of physical props and uniforms looked perfect. They might have “borrowed” some stuff from museums; well either that or they didn’t pay their actors very much at all. The physical landscapes of the moon really look fantastic with the movements of the astronauts looking pretty good too. However the spider creatures weren’t only the thing I didn’t like in the story but also the films only visual let down, they were cheap looking. One thing I did like about this films look was that it did suit the found footage genre as it’s a cover up story and you are asked to pretend this was leaked online and it does look like that, mainly from the bits where stuff moving in background is highlighted in the video.
Must Watch Trailer:
The best reviews I found would be these “A simple sci-fi horror with just enough scares to keep you interested.” Kim Newman. The story was very good to start with and kept me hooked right up until the spiders which kind of ruined it for me. “It’s not awful – you just wish they’d made a proper movie out of it.” Tim Robey. Sad but true as I think the Russian cosmonaut hunting down the two instead of the moon spiders (damn spiders!). “Despite stretches of skilfully sustained suspense, Apollo 18 ultimately comes across as little more than a modestly clever stunt.” Joe Leydon. It was clever and suspenseful until the spider fail (FAILURE!). My favourite scene would have to be the scene when they find the other Russian ship, the main reason I liked that scene so much is that it gives you so many thoughts as to what will happen next thanks to this reveal.