Review: Apollo 18

I saw Apollo 18 last night.

Based on all the negative fuss there is around this movie, I feel pretty confident in guessing that I must be the only person on the planet that liked this film.

Apollo 18 is about a secret moon mission that encounters some unexpected (or is it?) alien nastiness on the moon. No one makes it back alive. Or dead, for that matter. The story is presented in the form of ancient video clips that are somehow recovered years later. How these videos are recovered given that nobody made it back to earth is a mystery, but they do present a pretty interesting tale.

It’s a good movie. Is it a great movie? No. But it kept my interest (mostly) and delivered what it promised in the trailers. This is a lot more than I can say for most of the other so-called films I’ve seen lately. This movie is much better than most of the low-budget independent crap that people recommend to me these days, and it outpaces anything that the SyFy channel shows on Saturday nights. It ain’t worth seeing in the theaters, but it’s absolutely worth renting, streaming, or downloading.

Seriously: If you watched the trailer for this movie and liked it, then you’ll probably like the movie itself. If the trailer seemed dumb or uninteresting, then why are you watching the movie in the first damn place?

Personally, I found the pseudo-low quality of the footage to be a bit distracting. AND I absolutely hated the way the video jumped or cut out whenever something interesting was happening. They did this right up until the end of the movie, where they finally decided to let us see something. And it was good. They might have been better off doing this as a regular movie and not this “found footage” foolishness, but I must admit there were a few pleasant “what the fuck was THAT?” moments that regular, clear footage would have utterly destroyed. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit: there was ONE such moment, but it was a good one.

Anyway, I’m still not understanding why people hated this movie, but everybody has their opinion. I liked it.

Now if somebody can explain to me how they got those damned cameras back from the moon…


  1. DarkIcon, September 25, 2011:

    Captured via secret hidden microphone during the viewing:
    Dark Icon: “WTF… is that a spider having sex with a turtle? On the moon?”
    “No, that’s one of those facehugger things from Aliens… only bigger. Or smaller. Or something…”
    “Ohhh, I see. It’s a baby crab. On stilts…”
    “…fuck it…”
    [Sips Southern Comfort. Clicks Play…]

  2. nate, September 26, 2011:

    I’m very glad to see you’re also back to revieiwing movies. I’ve seen some really great ones based on your comments, and I was just thinking to myself last night how much I missed your reviews.

    One other person I know has reviewed this particular movie and basically said it’s only worth seeing if you can do so for free. I still have it on my list of things to watch eventually, but it’ll be a while until I get around to it. Your review sounds much more interesting though. Keep ’em coming please.

    Just curious here, have you seen The Human Centipede?

  3. WeREwOLf, September 26, 2011:

    Nate, I’m curious about your fascination with Human Centipede. I haven’t seen it, but I’ve read the plot synopsis on wikipedia, and from what I gather it’s nothing more than a pure gross-fest. Not really horror, not any kind of scary/creepy fright-fest, just disgusting for the sake of disgusting. It’s like the winner of a contest among school kids to see who can out-gross all the rest.

    Oooo, a “shared digestive tract” with people forced to eat other people’s excrement. Chilling!

    It’s like someone said to themselves, “how can I create the most mindlessly nauseating story that someone could conceive?” And they came up with Human Centipede.

    I dunno, maybe I’m missing something here, but the whole “my mouth is stitched to your anus and I must consume your shit” just doesn’t strike me as the epitome of horror. Repulsive, stomach-churning, sure. But that’s not horror to me. Horror works on a deeper level, it messes with your mind.

    If I wanted to see who could out-gross everyone around them, I’d hang with a bunch of middle-schoolers.

    Sorry if I’m coming across as harsh, but I’ve been hearing a LOT about how badass this movie is, and I just can’t see it. Maybe you can explain it to me.

  4. nate, September 26, 2011:

    Werewolf, I wouldn’t say that I’m fascinated with the movie. From what I’ve read, that’s part of the plot for part II…

    All I can say about the first film is that the actor who plays the doctor in this movie really made the movie for me. You’d really have to see it to understand what I mean, and I honestly don’t know if I could recommend that anyone should watch this movie.

    Classifying a movie as “horror” is hard for me to do, because everyone has a different opinion of what it takes. Some of the doctors patient explanations to the victims in this movie reminded me of Dr. Lechter in Silence of the Lambs. The coldly calculated explanation of how the surgical process would be done, explained to the victims, is done very well. The whole idea of being one of those victims and hearing that explanation is the closest thing to horror in this film.

    The actual surgical process isn’t really shown in any great detail, thank God.
    The parts of the movie where the centipede has to learn to work together, with minimal communication, are also done well. The whole thing about the excrement being swallowed is downright gross, but the action and reaction of the “head” character are more important to pay attention to.

    Certainly this is the grossest film I think I’ve ever seen, but don’t let that grossness keep it away from you if you’re abel to stomach it. Again, the performance of the actor who portrays the doctor is what made the movie good, IMO.

    The sequel that’s just now coming out I’m not too sure about, but will most likely see it when it hits DVD. This one, from what I read, fits closer to your description of a pure gross-fest.

    The wiki synopsis doesn’t really do justice to the movie. Then again, I don’t know that anything can.

  5. DarkIcon, September 26, 2011:

    I tried to watch that movie a few months ago and I couldn’t make it through the first ten or fifteen minutes. This was before anything even remotely disgusting happened; the quality of the movie and the acting was just too low.

    Normally I don’t give a damn about acting. My one criteria is that it not be so bad that it detracts from the story being told. Human Centipede didn’t meet that criteria. So at the moment that car broke down and the girls started wandering in the woods, I turned it off and watched something better. I’m willing to entertain the possibility that I missed out on something good… but I don’t think so.

  6. nate, September 27, 2011:

    IMO, you turned it off about 5 minutes too soon. That wandering in the woods leads them to the good doctor’s house, and once there the real fun begins.

    I was thinking some more about this movie last night compared to some others I’ve seen that all seem to fall under the heading of torture porn. Inside came to mind, as did Martyrs. Martyr’s is one that will really leave you thinking WTF???

  7. Caber, September 27, 2011:

    I will wait for Apollo 18 to hit the cable channels.

    Other movies I have on my “to see” list include Troll Hunter and Hobo with a Shotgun.

    As for “Human Centipede”, movies like that are not my cup of tea.

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