Director: Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego
Starring: Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, Ryan Robbins, Michael Kopsa, Andrew Airlie
There’s a reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.
Apollo 17 was supposedly the last spaceship we sent to the moon. Here we are presented with footage from Apollo 18, a secret mission that went very wrong. Ben Anderson, John Grey and Nate Walker are the astronauts that got the assignment on this mission and everything goes as normal at first.
However are they have explored the moon for a while they find an abandoned russian spacecraft and starts to understand that they have been lied about by NASA and are now in big danger and on their own in space.
The found footage subgenre has been very active over the last few years. The last years there has been several projects that make you expect that it will soon die out. We have a found footage Frankenstein movie coming, to or three found footage Bigfoot movies on their way and a tiredless amount of haunted house stories done and also on their way.
This one is original, you gotta give them that. They also go to great lengths to make it seem authentic. The first part of the film looks and feels like some sort of NASA video. The footage does look very real, but as is quite common in this subgenre the camera gets interference whenever something happens. That’s something that have always annoyed me on these films, even if something scary where to happen I don’t see a reason why the cameras would stop to work for a bit at exactly those moments.
The characters aren’t very interesting and that is a big problem when we only have three people to watch in the entire movie. They should have went for more character development before sending them up in space so we perhaps could have cared for them. The actors aren’t that bad, so it’s too bad that they couldn’t spend more time to develop their characters.
Another big problem is that it never gets scary or is able to create any tension. The pacing is the same regardless of what happens and you never feel like the film takes off and gets exciting. I also have to wonder just how did this footage turn up anywhere? Shouldn’t it have been lost in space? I also think that director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego should have been able to use the premise of being abandoned in space a lot more. Even experienced astronauts must be scared as hell when they are left by themselves in space and you don’t get that feeling here.
Apollo 18 does bring something new to the found footage subgenre that is overused the last years, but it fails to take full advantage of its premise. I feel like this was sadly a missed opportunity to create a very scary and great sci-fi horror film.