Movie Review: Apollo 18

On Fridays, I like to go out and do things. Occasionally, I actually will. Usually nothing as drastic as going out to “da cloob”, or a musical, or being around friends or anything like that (planning friend-oriented adventures is quite cumbersome, even when they are available, and forget dealing with more than two at a time). No, it’s usually just going to see a movie. I was initially planning on going to see Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, which I have been looking forward to quite a bit, but apparently that wasn’t playing at the theater I ended up at, so I went to see Apollo 18, another movie I’ve been wanting to see for a long time.

Like the Blair Witch Project, Apollo 18 is a “recovered footage” movie, except instead of being recovered from the forest, this footage was apparently recovered from outer space.

Or maybe it was all being transmitted to Mission Control or something. It’s not important. In either case, there were a whole bunch of cameras this time, and a supposed total of 84 hours of footage was recovered and condensed into a a movie sized chunk of film. Very convenient, because the most time I ever want to spend in a theater is 24 hours, and that is under very strict circumstances.

Anyways, this movie of course comes with some viral marketing as well, WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN REALLY COOL TO KNOW PRIOR TO WATCHING THE MOVIE. I swear I miss out on the viral marketing EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Screw viral marketing. WHERE THE HELL IS MY JOKER CAKE, HUH?

Another thing that this movie has in common with the Blair Witch Project is that I enjoyed it a lot, even while recognizing that it may not be seen as a particularly great movie by the unwashed plebeian masses (seriously guys, would it kill you to bathe once in a while?). As far as I am concerned, this movie pretty much had it all; plausible reason why they were in space, drama, suspense, psychological breakdowns, distinct feelings of isolation and panic, all with the added horror of being trapped on a giant dusty rock surrounded by the cold void three quarter million miles away from Earth. More than once I was actually startled by the movie.

Ignoring the fact that it was all put together just a little too well for a recovered footage thing, I found the plot developments and pacing to be very satisfying. Of particular note was the use of light and shadow throughout the movie, emphasized by the lack of color in most of the cameras. The characters were believable, and though I had a bit of trouble keeping the characters separate in my head at first (three white guys with the exact same haircut and outfits), this was remedied soon enough that it didn’t bother me too much. The characters were distinguished in time to count.

Overall, this was an excellent movie in my opinion, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys suspense and a bit of horror. In fact the only part I didn’t like was the jerk behind me who thought the comments he was making at the beginning and the end of the movie were clever enough to say out loud. Trust me jerk, they were not, so just keep your mouth shut during movies in the future.

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