We have used haunted houses, morgues, orphanages, just about any place that the human spirit finds frightening. Depending on that person, any place can strike a fright. If you might have been scared of clowns, then the circus could be a nightmare. If puppets are not your cup of tea, then Sesame Street could be a horror show. Even a fear of Balloons could make the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade a celebration from Hell. Now why are we afraid of these things? Because we either had a traumatic experience from when we were younger, or we simply don’t understand it. So rather then marveling at the unknown, we fear it.
This is why Europe took a while to travel to the New World; they had no clue what the ocean would do to the ship, and even questioning weather there was any new land to travel too. So it’s also no surprise that it took us a while to even get to the moon. NASA may have had ambition to beat the Soviet Union in the Space Race, but they still took a lot of time to prepare for the worst in case the astronauts should fail. So Apollo 18 must be an example if the worst were to come alive.
Yes, this is another found footage style horror thriller. So now were looking through 1960’s film and NASA security footage. It won’t be long before we start a found footage thriller using silent film. So the idea behind this is that Apollo 18 actually did happen and that there was a conspiracy to hide all the evidence. There was something deadly on the moon that resulted in the deaths of Benjamin Anderson, Nathan Walker, and John Grey. If it wasn’t low oxygen, then what could lie on the surface of a rock that can’t sustain life?
The movie opens in December 1974, with new information revealing that Apollo 18 will be top secret, disguised as a satellite launch. The mission is to place detectors on the moon to alert the U.S. in case of an attack from the USSR. Walker and Anderson proceed to land on the moon, as they marvel at the beauty of the Earth and take rock samples. It is during the night that they start to hear noises outside the lunar module, which is dismissed as interference from the detectors planted. As they find their planted flag gone, a dead cosmonaut, and an abandoned Russian module, they think that there may be extraterrestrial life. There’s a reason nobody went back.
While a new Paranormal Activity movie does not interest me these days, I actually grew a lot of curiosity in seeing a more historical found footage movie. Is it done with accuracy? It surprisingly does, as all the shots look like something that I would find on a Ken Burns documentary on space. The quality is intentionally bad and the actors playing the astronauts looks like somebody collected them from a 1970’s Life Magazine space advertisement.
Rating it as piece of filmmaking experimentation, it’s not bad, but how is it as a horror movie. I also thought it was effective. Apollo 18 wants to be a Hitchcock style thriller from the Golden Years, which is not easy to pull off with found footage. What will throw off on people is that this is a very slow story. Even at ninety minutes, it can be a chore for people to sit through. So this is not a good movie, if your looking to be scared from. Apollo 18 is rater something to appreciate for what the director was trying to pull off.
I’ll give this three and a half moon rocks out of five. I hope that you would give this a chance, as this space thriller was under looked when it came out in 2011. I missed out on it, and I don’t anybody to do that again. Scary, not really, but it is interesting. Give it a watch for a more spacy Halloween story.