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What they say: Officially, Apollo 17, launched December 7, 1972, was the last manned mission to the moon. But two years later, in December of 1974, two American astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the moon funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. What you are about to see is the actual footage which the astronauts captured on that mission. While NASA denies its authenticity, others say it’s the real reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.
What I say: The whole found footage genre has gotten pretty tired. But once in a while a movie comes along to revitalize a tired genre, Apollo 18 is that film. Taking a different tack than most found footage films, Apollo 18 follows three astronauts on a secret mission to the moon. The story is told through official NASA cameras so the vertigo inducing hand held shots are thankfully kept to a minimum.
What the film truly excels at is actually being scary. The claustrophobic feel of the whole thing, from the cramped lunar modules to the harsh dimly-lit surface of the moon, really adds a sense of tension and ultimately despair for the astronauts. The lunar surface with all its craters, crevices and shadows makes for the perfect horror film setting. More than several times I got a good jump scare because I was really into the film and its creepy environment. Performances are all very good, and the film is tightly directed.
Due to the different cameras used, picture quality is all over the place, but that is intentional. The footage is used to good effect to keep you, like the astronauts, on your toes. The sound effects are used sparingly but effectively as they very much contributed to the creepy atmosphere.
Apollo 18 was able to fully use its found footage device to effectively add some good solid scares. I really enjoyed this film.
Extras include a DVD and Digital copy of the film, deleted scenes, alternate ending, and commentary.
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