Apollo 18: "There's A Reason We've Never Gone Back To The Moon"

Director:   Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego
Writer:      Brian Miller
Starring:   Lloyd Owen
                 Warren Christie
                 Ryan Robbins
Rating:      ****

This sci-fi horror film is in the same vein as 'Paranormal Activity', and although it isn't as scary as that, it still brings the shocks and gets you thinking.

It's 1974, and three men are about to go on a life changing journey. They are about to set off on the Apollo 18 mission to the moon, where they set out to learn more about  the moon and collect moon rock for experiments. The three men are Commander Nathan "Nate" Walker (Owen), Captain Benjamin "Ben" Anderson (Christie) and Lieutenant Colonel John Grey (Robbins). The three actors have a very good on screen chemistry, which makes the performances easy to watch and all the more engaging and emotional when things start to go wrong. They each bring their own demeanor and ideas to the characters meanaing nothing is the same or repetetive. They allow themselves to be three complete opposites, meaning you believe they would be friends. It also makes each scene feel fresh, rather than slow or laboured.

The way the film is shot is really believable and at times very intriguing. It really feels like you are viewing footage shot back in the 70's, and it gives you that mood which oozes isolation and lonliness. The fact that you can really feel how barren the setting is, is a real credit to the location scout and set designers, because it genuinly feels like you are stuck on the moon. There were subtle things like seeing earth in the distance when the character were in times of need that really show Lopez's specacular skills as a director. For his first english speaking film he has done a marvelous job and managed to keep me on the edge of my seat, and jumping out of it, all the ay through.

Everything in this film is technically spot-on; performances, direction, mood, sound, setting, the list goes on. But now looking back at it, I don't know if would be as scary outside of a Cinema. Yes it makes you jump, and I'm a wimp so I jumped, but it doesn't quite compare to films like 'Paranormal Activity' or 'Insidious'. Yes it gets you thinking about the the bigger picture and NASA, but it certainly won't have me looking over my shoulder or checking behind doors. Now gore has no effect on horror fans, thanks to torture porn, films need to spark those little things in your head that really make you paranoid, and unfortunatey this film doesn't. I recommend you go and see it in the cinema, with friends, because that is where it is scariest, but don't expect to be up all night afterwards because it won't really have a lasting affect on you.