APOLLO 18 is the latest work of found
footage fiction in the tradition of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, and CLOVERFIELD. It is about
a secret mission to the moon by the Department of Defense in December 1974. The astronauts plant cameras and collect
rock samples only to find the Soviet
Union has been to the moon. The dead cosmonaut and the rocks that aren't rocks are documented
by all the footage shot in the film. APOLLO 18 shows what happens to the astronauts during the course of their ill-fated
mission to the moon.
APOLLO 18 is a creepy sci-fi
movie shown in an old camera footage fashion like it is real footage from that era. The astronauts are kept in the
dark until it is too late. The DOD know the purpose of the mission only to have their knowledge to be hidden.
I do think the Weinstein Company shouldn't have played "the footage is real" card because NASA went out to debunk
it and no one will take the claim serious (plus I recognize one of the astronauts being played by actor who stars in the TV
series SANCTUARY). APOLLO 18 was originally scheduled for release in April only to be delayed due to the film being
shot late in Canada. Still the stories surrounding
secret moon missions spawn even more creative stories that the sci-fi horror tale that was written and filmed. I
do wish the web site address at the end of the film was easier to find since sometimes typing in the address won't bring up
the site and I had to find it through a google search.
The audio commentary with Director Gonzalo
Lopez-Gallego and Editor Patrick Lussier is very revealing in how they shot the film.
They supposedly shot it on film and damaged the film magazines on purpose.
Also the movie has plenty of improv in it as they shot it. The final
movie is a combination of three different shoots and creating stuff in post-production through editing.
The 16 deleted and alternate scenes (over
20 minutes in total) show some interesting material that was cut including the alternate discovery of the cosmonaut and parts
belonging to one of many alternate endings. Meanwhile the four alternate
endings show alternate gruesome deaths for one of the astronauts. The deleted
scenes imply they could have made a different cut of the film and they were creating the story through the post production
editing as they went.
FINAL ANALYSIS: The audio commentary and deleted/ alternate scenes point to other versions of the film. APOLLO 18 was a movie (for a better or worse) reedited in response to audience testing. I wish the other cuts of the films were included on the disc.
APOLLO 18 isn't a bad movie, but the extras point to what might have been if they didn't let the test audiences shape
the final form of the movie.
This DVD review is (c)12-28-2011 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org