It really is amazing just how much the Found Footage genre has been abused since its inception. Not only are we supposed to believe that this “footage” is authentic we are expected to believe that there is someone out there who thought it was a good idea to green light this gloomy mess. There is nothing particularly good about this uninteresting rubbish.
Do you know why Apollo 17 was the last spaceship to go to the Moon? Because budget cuts ruled out the possibility of any further manned space flights. It had absolutely nothing to do with three guys on a secret mission coming across a bunch of aliens which the government foolishly tried to get in contact with out of sheer idiocy. What were they thinking? Then again when you look at the economy the government doesn’t exactly score on brains. The entire film is spooky at best and never rises above the occasional jump scare. At worst it fails at suspense which you could probably find in even the most generic horror film. Oh and did I mention that to top it off it is ridiculously dark even for the Moon?
Effects, what effects? Remember this is supposedly footage that has been recovered. So we are really meant to just ignore that the aliens look about as convincing as…well, it’s hard to judge because you never get a clear look at these things. As far as I could tell they are weird spider-like things which look like the creatures from Cloverfield. Let me just point out to whoever designed these things that ripping off other peoples work is not a good idea! To be perfectly honest there isn’t anything worth talking about because the effects are grim at best and that is not a good thing. Maybe it would have been better if they had not actually shown the creatures. That at least would be preferable to this low budget rubbish.
One positive aspect of this film is the small, but believable cast. They partially make up for some of the mediocre to bland thorns that stick in the film’s side. Warren Christie is very good and his performance makes the last few moments of the film almost tear jerking because you can genuinely feel sympathy for his character, Benjamin Anderson. Lloyd Owen is the source of the weak scare factor. This is not his fault, though, because his character Nathan Walker is an equally sad character who meets a wholly depressing end. Ryan Robbins has little screen time, but matches Christie and Owen with his performance as John Grey who suffers as much as his friends. Andrew Airlie does an excellent job as the voice of Mission Control and Michael Kopsa does an equally brilliant performance as the Deputy Secretary of Defense. As you can tell the acting is not one of the film’s weak points.
While it wins on acting and atmosphere Apollo 18 fails at moving beyond jump scares and cheap special effects. It just goes to show that the willing suspension of disbelief does have its limits. If it didn’t then this would be acceptable as a decent attempt at storytelling. Unfortunately it isn’t so take some advice and don’t bother watching this.