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Apollo 18

Apollo 18

By Patrick Samuel • December 23rd, 2011
Static Mass Rating: 3/5
APOLLO 18 (Blu-ray)
EV

Release date: December 26th, 2011
Certificate (UK): 18
Running time: 88 minutes

Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Writers: Brian Miller, Cory Goodman

Cast: Lloyd Owen, Ryan Robbins, Warren Christie

Have you ever looked up at the Moon and wondered what’s really up there? What do we really know about it after all? It’s a quarter the diameter of Earth, 1?81 its mass and our only known natural satellite.

That much we know, along with its volume, what its surface looks like and what chemical compounds can be found on it, but there’s still so much we don’t know, starting with why we’ve never been back there since Apollo 11’s 1969 landing.

Apollo 18

Apollo 18 is a found footage film that seeks to answer that very question. Its premise is that the cancelled Apollo 18 actually took place, but at a later date and that NASA repressed the evidence.

Set in 1974, we meet the three cosmonauts who are informed about their top secret mission, Commander Nathan Walker (Lloyd Owen), Lieutenant Colonel John Grey (Ryan Robbins) and Captain Benjamin Anderson (Warren Christie). They’re being sent to the Moon to set up detectors to alert the United States of any impending ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) attacks from the USSR.

Apollo 18

Once they arrive on the lunar surface it starts to become apparent that Houston has mislead them. They find evidence that they’re not alone. Footprints lead them to a dead Russian cosmonaut but instead of getting answers to why they were never informed about this, the men are told to simply get on with their jobs, which they do.

When their ship is badly damaged and they find signs of alien life the real reason for them landing on the Moon starts to sink in. The detectors aren’t to warn the United States about the Russians, it’s about alerting them to alien life for which they’re the bait. With Walker infected and his condition worsening, the only choice is to leave him behind but even doing that might not be enough to get Grey and Anderson back home safely.

Apollo 18

At times Apollo 18 is almost like The Blair Witch Project (1999) in space. There are moments when we don’t see very much, for example when Anderson tries to find Walker in a pitch black crater using a strobe light, but the tension remains at a level that’s sufficient enough to make it to end where we learn something more about these life forms.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • Altenrate Endings
  • Deleted Scenes
  • The John Grey Memorial (03:40)

Yet the found footage sub-genre feels like it’s worn itself out with films (franchises) like Paranormal Activity (2007) and Quarantine (2008) and the format doesn’t do the story justice.

Apollo 18 is limited in what it can tell and show us and given the impact such a story could have, whether true or not, what could have been really great reduces itself to a merely average.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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