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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Warren Christie
Lloyd Owen.
Directors
Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego.
Screenwriters
Running Time
86 minutes

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Apollo 18
Found footage...on the moon!


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Plot
In 1973, NASA launch Apollo 18, a secret, military mission to the moon. Footage recovered in 2011 reveals the fate of its three astronauts. On the moon, astronauts Walker and Anderson find a Soviet spaceship, the corpse of a cosmonaut, and a dangerous form of extra-terrestrial life.


Review
Apollo 18
Directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego, who made the Spanish suspense item King of the Hill, this is a more high-tech ‘found footage’ effort than the usual wander-in-the-woods Blairwitchiness.

It feeds on conspiracy theories about the space race (it’s almost the anti-Capricorn One) and manages a convincing simulation of the look and feel of the hours of moon mission coverage which kept TV viewers rapt during the heyday of the Apollo program. It uses enough real NASA stock to establish the familiar American spacecraft and the cratered lunar landscape, but there’s a lovely, convincing bolted-together brutalist design for the imaginary Soviet moon-ship.

The actual plot is very basic science fiction, with (after a lot of delaying action and mystification) monsters that could have devolved from the spitting Martian rock snakes in Thunderbirds Are Go or the chameloning insects of Red Planet - though it builds up to a creepy punchline about an invasion which may have already happened. The performances of Warren Christie and Lloyd Owen as the main astronauts are understated, even when the crises escalate and it becomes obvious there’s little likelihood of anyone making it off the moon. The cramped, claustrophobic interiors and the desolate, hostile environment make for an atmosphere of unease, but it has the frequent found footage horror problem of jagged, unengaging character interplay which limits involvement with what’s going on when the horror gets out of hand. It’s sometimes scary, but not often affecting.


Verdict
Blair Witch with moon rock. Paranormal Activity in space. Contrived, but if you can take one more variant on the formula, it’s got its moments.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Apollo 18
Empire Star Rating

GOOD IDEA WASTED....

ONE STAR, ONLY THE LAST 15 MINUTES ARE GOOD.... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by chrisdagnall at 18:36, 15 February 2013 | Report This Post


Www.fivestarscream.ucoz.com

To be honest im actually quiet flabbergasted at how bad and disappointing this film actually was! It was a powerful concept gone to waste. What a shame! I personally liked the idea of other species on the moon and i liked the final 15 minutes of the film due to its unnerving moments but the rest of the film just feels lazy and boring; if half the film wasnt the astronauts lying in there bananahamocks then the film could have had room to improve. Apart from that i liked the ending due to it mind-... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jackcarlin18 at 19:01, 02 September 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Apollo 18

Made in the same kind of style as 'Blair Witch' with lots of shaky handheld cam and supposedly using real life footage from a real life space mission. The premise is based around historical accuracy when NASA cancelled the Apollo mission but the film tells us that they did actually go ahead with the flight to the moon and this is the 'uncovered' results which have been kept secret. Now this has received many poor reviews since release but I must go against that and say its actually a good ... More

Posted by Phubbs at 19:00, 21 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Apollo 18: Review

The 'found footage' gimmick strikes again, and still doesn't work! The most frustrating thing about Apollo 18 is that it does have a couple of genuinely good ideas in there. The idea of the aliens and the way they were presented in a couple of shots was pretty effective, but once the 'horror' aspect of the film kicked in it quickly plummeted in it's ridiculousness and cliche count, and some of the acting is just muck. A more traditional film set in a more 'fictional' universe, that incl... More

Posted by Vitamin F at 13:24, 21 May 2012 | Report This Post


Apollo 18: Review

Apollo 18 is a good film. It had a good story, good cast and I did feel like I was in the moon. The problems with the film is it just isn't scary and I've seen better camera films then this. I would recommend to go see this film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Edward9630 at 01:08, 25 September 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Apollo 18 (SPOILER HEAVY)

I first got excited for Apollo 18 after the disappointment I'd felt after watching a trailer where Apollo 11's crew were sent up to the moon with secret instructions to investigate an alien crash site once the TV signal had been lost/cut. That film looked amazing until Michael Bay gave it an overdose of Bay-hem. It was such a good idea and for it to be the latest offering of the Transformers series was very upsetting. I was so happy when I saw that someone else had had a similar idea. Sure, it ... More

Posted by carlschirwing at 23:42, 08 September 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Apollo 18

saw it yesterday, courtesy of some free Odeon tickets (noisy guests were ejected at previous screening of another film, and we were given these tickets as compensation) the film? quite enjoyed it, but then I am a sucker for all things "space race" and have several Apollo films and documentatries in my film collection, including the sublime Tom Hanks produced HBO TV series "From here to the moon" and the awesome docs "For all mankind" and "In the shadow of the moon" on HD Blu-Ray ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hampstead bandit at 22:19, 06 September 2011 | Report This Post


Apollo 18

A front runner for the worst film of all time. Total crapola that unfortunately I paid to see. Avoid like the plague unless you feel the urgent need to be lobotomised from the real world for 90 mins. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by HERMES_67 at 20:13, 06 September 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Apollo 18

POILER ALERT***] saw it, yes as expected basically Blair Witch on the moon. mixed with some Alien (the DOD like Company), TF3 (apollo astronauts sent up to enounter aliens) and Red Planet (the creatures and finding the Russian ship/using it to get away) was quite convincing - really bought they were on the moon and didnt disappoint in the creepy/eerie/horror stakes. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jackcarter at 21:06, 04 September 2011 | Report This Post


Apollo 18

Really enjoyed it, thought it was a good variation on the whole 'found footage' idea. Well acted and directed, with some effective scares. However, while watching it, I began to think of The Quatermass Experiment and was thinking it was going to go a similar route. In the end it went a different way, but I wonder if they makers were inspired by Quatermass in some way. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Kev2012 at 04:12, 04 September 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Apollo 18

I was instantly taken out of the film due to the bad acting, and the bad script. People in real life don't speak the way these guys do. I was also annoyed that they put a soundtrack on it, but tried to make it sound like it was equipment...despite the fact there is no sound in space. The aliens were rubbish - there was a scene where one guy is following another over the desert of the moon - and I was hoping for an Exorcist 3 style moment - some creature striding into frame, killing ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 22:05, 02 September 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Apollo 18

An awful film. And it isn't bad because it is a "found film" picture, it is bad for a whole bunch of other reasons. The same scares are repeated constantly. Could write so much about went wrong here. And the sad thing is - it ain't a bad idea! In the right hands Apollo 18 could have been great. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 19:51, 02 September 2011 | Report This Post


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