Also releasing this Labor Day weekend is the science fiction thriller Apollo 18. Over the past few months, I rolled my eyes at the trailers expecting it to be a lame attempt to revive the aliens on the moon series. However, I did have to give this movie props for being a diverse horror film amidst a sea of vampire, demon, and ghost flicks that have plagued the movies for the last few years. The question is did this movie deliver on the fear and suspense? Read on to find out
The premise for Apollo 18 is that documents and video footage for the fictional mission of Apollo 18 have been leaked on the internet. Thanks to some rigorous editing, the film that the audience is watching has been able to be created; at least that’s what the opening titles say. Over the next hour and a half, the journey of the astronauts is documented as weird things begin to happen during the moon. What will be the outcome of their perils? Well you’ll have to go see the movie if you want to find out.
However before you get up and run to theater let me give you some insight into the movie. I’m going to start by saying that Apollo 18 is one of the first thrillers to actually give me the creeps in a long time. Instead of delivering the creeps via over exaggerated demons, invisible forces dragging people across the floor, or bloody, scream filled scenes, Apollo 18 uses the art of imagination to create the fear you experience. A majority of the horror comes not from seeing the creatures that plague the moon, but from the various sounds and acts that give you the catalyst to paint the horror yourself. Combine this with the eerie, desolate, and creepy silence of the moon, and you have a horror flick that really gets under your skin. Some of the camera work also captures the terror at the best angles, especially in some of the astronaut’s faces as they face the terror of the moon. Although the premise of the movie is pretty cheesy, I do have to give it props for giving me the chills.
Unfortunately there are some problems in this movie that really bring it’s score down for me. The first is that a majority of the camera work is glitchy, spastic, and distracting, depriving one of any real detail to the film. Although it’s supposed to show the astronauts’ struggle, the camera work is Blair Witch Like perspective is really annoying. The second weakness is also related to the camera work as well, in that they really don’t reveal the aliens very well. There are a select number of scenes that give you a brief look at the creatures, but one still wonders what a lot of the detail is by the end of the film. A third weakness is that this movie is depressing and those who don’t like dark natured movies should avoid. The depression adds to the terror on some level, but it really can bring your day down.
I really can’t go into much more detail about this movie, so I’ll have to wrap it up now. Apollo 18 has finally brought the eerie horror back to the screen. Unfortunately the weak plot and spastic camera action just can’t save this film from being a mediocre film at best. Thus I give Apollo 18 somewhere between a 5.5-6.0 and is worth more of a watch at home than in the theater.