Apollo 18 (2011)

There’s Something in My Suit!

I’m pretty sure the cover art of this movie takes most of the credit for me wanting to see it. I had never seen a commercial or a trailer, nor did I technically know anything about it, but the cover art looked cool, even though I felt like I could guess the entire plot of the movie based on the one image.  Whilst perusing the selection at a RedBox, I saw it available and decided I should give it a go.  With that, I present you my review of Apollo 18, written by Brian Miller and Cory Goodman, directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, and starring Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, Ryan Robbins, Andrew Arlie, and Michael Kopsa.

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that all this shit really happened and the government tried to cover it up, but then forgot about covering it up and some guy turned it into a movie.  Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the fact that I credited writers for the movie.  This shit went down!  In 1974, the US government cancelled the Apollo 18 mission to the Moon … or did they?!  The Department of Defense is going to send Commander Nathan Walker (Lloyd Owen), Captain Ben Anderson (Warren Christie), and Lieutenant Colonel John Grey (Ryan Robbins) to the Moon to place detectors to watch for missile launches from the USSR.  Why are these clearly real people portrayed by actors, you may ask?  …Shut up. Well Nathan and Ben land on the Moon and start about their work, with John watching from orbit.  They collect some samples, put some things around, and eventually stumble upon a Soviet landing vessel and find a dead cosmonaut in a nearby crater.  They also find evidence of extraterrestrial life, and that’s when shit starts to go down.  And, keep in mind, this all TOTALLY happened.

I’m very confused by this movie because the DVD I got has about four alternate endings on it.  How could this be the case if this is real film?  Hold on … Okay, after removing that piece of metal that’s been lodged in my brain, I’ve come to realize that them saying that at the beginning of the movie was bullshit.  I guess you could say that this is my biggest complaint about this movie: that it actually has the gall to insult the intelligence of it’s audience by acting like there’s even the slightest of chances that this actually happened.  Of course, you’d have to be pretty base-headed (or have a piece of metal lodged in your brain) to believe that at all.  I just found it a little insulting.  The movie itself was alright, it just wasn’t executed very well.  I liked the premise well enough, but it’s really not much more than you’d expect from a horror movie on the moon.  You actually CAN pretty much guess exactly how the movie turns out from the cover of the movie.  One of their biggest failings when it comes to story was that they couldn’t decide on what the bad thing was.  Do we go with infection or aliens?  Fuck it, do both.  One or the other probably would’ve been more interesting.  Part of the problem is that, for a horror movie set on the moon, they didn’t really pull off that many scares and had next to no suspense whatsoever.  There is a slow burn to the beginning of the movie, but if you take your time to do something and it’s not landing on the suspense, it’s just boring.  The movie picks up around the point where they discover the Soviet lander, but still never really scares you.  I don’t know if NASA would actually make a tool like this, but they had a flash light that helped in the startles a little.  For whatever reason, the flashlight didn’t stay lit as a flashlight normally would.  Instead it flashed as if they were trying to light their way inside a dark crater with only the assistance of a disposable camera.  It would flash, and then recharge.  Rinse, repeat.  You are well aware of the fact that one of these flashes is going to reveal something that will startle you, but it still got a good jump out of me when it happened.  A lot of the visuals of the movie didn’t work for me either.  I know that they were going for a ripoff of Paranormal Activity, set in space and in the 70’s, so the quality of the cameras would not be great, but it also made most of it look like trying to watch an old VHS tape that had been left out in the sun with the film unraveled.  I also understand making your aliens look like rocks, so there would be a chance that we could’ve been there before without seeing them, but it just made them look like crabs, and I only find the genital type of crabs scary.

The performances were mostly alright by me, but you don’t really connect with them that much.  I think that’s part of the problem with your characters being pretty straight-laced, military types.  They don’t emote very much.  If they don’t open up, then we don’t connect with them.  If we don’t connect with them, we’re not that emotionally invested when they die.  But I don’t blame the performers.  The two main guys played scared, confused, and insane when they needed to, and did so pretty well.

This movie didn’t impress, but didn’t really let down either.  I went in with neutral expectations.  The idea is good, if they didn’t feel the need to insult us by trying to act like there was the slightest chance it actually happened.  The scares and the suspense never really happened, but there are a few startles that worked out okay.  The look was a little irritating, and the performances were good, though you never really connect with the characters.  I could recommend that you check this movie out from RedBox … but I probably won’t.  It’s not bad.  There’s just no reason to watch it.  If you do, you’ll be alright.  Apollo 18 gets “Houston, we have a problem … or two” out of “Damnit, Ben.  Get it out!”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

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