There are plenty of conspiracy theories about the faked moon landing -- but what about a secret mission that actually went there after the "last" mission? And what if what was found, and the reason for going, was terrifying? This is the premise of Apollo 18, the latest "found footage" horror movie.

Ostensibly previously unreleased NASA footage, Apollo 18 tells the story of three astronauts who went to the moon on a covert mission back on December 1974. One stayed in orbit around the moon, while his two colleagues (played by Warren Christie and Lloyd Owen) went to the moon in a lander, to set up numerous motion-sensitive cameras and transmitters, ostensibly to spy on the Russians.

The movie Alien may have told us that in space no one can hear you scream, but Apollo 18 gets around that with radio interference: a lot of strange, chittering sounds. There are lots of times when it looks like something just moved, and things start getting misplaced or stolen. Then there's the discovery of a Soviet lander on the moon -- and a dead cosmonaut. And there are those inhuman footprints...

Despite its novel setting for a horror movie, Apollo 18 is fairly typical for a movie "composed" of recovered footage. While the use of multiple cameras keeps this from becoming "The Blair Witch Project in Space," after a short while the camera interference and cutouts get both predictable and annoying. The actors do a solid job, but there's not much for them to do with both building tensions and the near-obligatory government conspiracy (this time, thanks to the Department of Defense).

Apollo 18 has creatures from beyond, infection and madness, the sneaky government, and someone looking at their feet while running and panting. It's not bad, but I've seen it all before -- though not on the moon.

Overall grade: C
Reviewed by James Lynch

No comments: