Rosie Waterland reviews Apollo 18 – the sci-fi thriller you didn’t know you needed.
Apollo 18 is a science-fiction action thriller set in space, starring nobody you’ve ever heard of, and the tagline on the poster was: “THERE’S A REASON WE’VE NEVER GONE BACK TO THE MOON.”
Heaven. Absolute freaking heaven.
Okay, so first of all, as the movie starts, I couldn’t be more thrilled that it’s one of those ‘found footage’ setups. You know, like The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity? This is, like, if Paranormal Activity was in space.
Apparently, Apollo 17 was the last ‘official’ mission to the moon, but the legend goes that there was an unofficial Apollo 18 mission, that went super-dooper wrong, so the US government tried to cover it up. But then – GASP! – someone found the secret Apollo 18 footage of the astronauts getting their butts kicks by scary ghost aliens.
What did I tell you? Heaven.
Okay, so, we open with NASA telling the three astronauts about to go to the moon that they have to plant some special ‘detectors’ all over the moon’s surface. The NASA dudes seem very suspicious but the astronauts are all: “Whatevs. We’re going to moon – we’ll do anything.”
(I should note at this point that since the actors are unknown and I kept losing track of them, I shall be referring to them as Astronaut 1, Astronaut 2 and Astronaut 3. Trust me, it’s easier for all of us).
As is the way with space-science stuff (at least from my experience watching Apollo 11), Astronaut 1 must stay in the main spaceship that kind of floats next to the moon, while Astronauts 2 and 3 fly a mini spaceship down to the moon’s surface to do their space business. Business which includes planting the suss NASA devices all over the place.
As soon as they start walking around on the moon’s surface though, shiz gets real. There’s like, non-human footprints everywhere, and weird moon rocks that keep moving by themselves. Then the two dudes find an old Russian spaceship that’s been abandoned on the moon’s surface, and they’re like, “Hold up, something dodgy is going on here.”
But before they can figure out what it is, Astronaut 2 is attacked by a spider alien IN HIS HELMET. (Whaa? But why? How? What is it? #SUSPENSE). That’s when Astronaut 3 is like, “Dude, you just got bitten by a spider alien. I think we should bail and go back up to the other safe spaceship with Astronaut 1.”
But then Astronaut 2 starts denying that he was ever bitten by anything, and Astronaut 3 is all, “Uh ohh… I think he’s gone nutsburgers and I’m kind of screwed.” He starts to suspect that the suss ‘detectors’ NASA asked to put everywhere are actually alien detectors, and that NASA knowingly sent them to the moon TO DIE.