In space no one can hear you scream. Or groan. Apollo 18 hopes to tap into the same shivery, voyeuristic vein as its found-footage predecessors The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, but it doesn’t seem to understand how those films managed to get under our skin. While their half-a-shoestring budgets forced them to be inventive — transforming mundane sights like shaking tents and swinging doors into conductors of genuine fright — this purported documentary of the final, secret moon landing is just a Hollywood production playing pauper: the grainy 16mm film doesn?t mask the fact that the movie is put together with the same juddering editing and bad characterization as most traditionally shot thrillers. Despite one or two effective jump-scares, director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego can’t muster the same building sense of dread that carried Paranormal Activity through its many actionless stretches. The demons of that movie followed you back to your own creaking, darker-than-you-remembered house, but I doubt many will be checking the far corners of their lunar modules. Apollo 18 fails to stay with you because, like the cratered satellite on which it’s set, it has no atmosphere. D+
Apollo 18 Movie Poster
Genre: Mystery and Thriller, PG-13, Horror, Sci-fi and Fantasy; Author: Cory Goodman; Release Date Wide: 09/02/2011; Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Posted September 12 2011 — 12:00 AM EDT
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