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Apollo 18 [2011] Review

October 6, 2011 Leave a comment

On December 17, 1972, NASA launched the Apollo 17 shuttle. According to records, this was the last manned mission to the moon. In 2011, we have found footage from the secretly launched Apollo 18 mission funded by U.S. Department of Defense in December of 1974.

The film follows three astronauts who are sent to the moon to place transmitters that monitor Soviet signals. The team splits, leaving one astronaut aboard the orbiting shuttle, as Capt. Benjamin Anderson (Warren Cristie) and Cdr. Nathan Walker (Lloyd Owen) explore the dry dunes of the moon’s surface. Their search soon becomes diverted as creatures buried within the shadows of a deep crater forces them to retreat to their pod. After contacting Earth, the two astronauts realize the U.S. government never planned to bring them home. As stated by the movie synopsis, this footage signifies why humans never returned to the moon.

This isn’t the first science fiction movie to be adapted to the low budget form of found footage films. Take a look at Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity 1&2. If you are akin to these films, then you’ll recognize why Spanish film director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego chose to allow his audience to walk on the moon alongside the astronauts. This buddy-buddy viewpoint allows for some adjoining shots that we could never witness unless the astronauts were filming themselves.

I give the writers, Brian Miller and Cory Goodman, credit for the premise even though a lot of what the film had to offer was widely expected. Though the mystery behind the alien creatures was never truly revealed, being left out created loads of emotional tension. The best I could figure out was that they were some sort of troglobites, roaming from the shadows whenever they sensed food.

The film managed to rack in around 17.5 million to date. My advice, see the film if you want a trip to the moon. I sure got one.