Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week of Reel Whorror!: The Invasion Will Not Be Televised - Day 6

The sixth day of my Week of Reel Whorror! is nearly over which means Halloween is right around the corner. For today's selection, I have chosen last month's Apollo 18 to join the ranks of The Invasion Will Not Be Televised

Apollo 18

Release: 09.02.11
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 26 minutes

A Netflix Night

 Commander Nate Walker (Lloyd Owen, TV: The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles), Captain Ben Anderson (Warren Christie, TV: Alphas), and Lieutenant Colonel John Grey (Ryan Robbins, TV: Sanctuary) are tapped by NASA to man the Apollo 18 mission to the moon. Although officially, the Apollo program had ended with the seventeenth mission, the Department of Defense green-lights their mission to install early detection equipment to warn of missile launches from the USSR. With Grey manning the Freedom Command module, Nate and Ben make moonfall in the Liberty lunar module and begin to work. It isn't long before the two begin to suspect the camera equipment is meant to identify something far more dangerous than Soviets.

Maybe it was some sort of solidarity move or maybe just coincidence, but the theater showcasing Apollo 18 was completely without heat, so I and one other patron sat there, in the vast dark, struggling to stay warm as the "found-footage" of the Apollo 18 mission flashed before us. You'd think my numb toes and chattering teeth would have been enough to keep me alert, but it wasn't long before my eyes were rolling into my head like Regan MacNeil.

Apollo 18 suffers from a few issues.The most annoying issue is the end-of-reel cuts and the intentional low quality blurring. In an effort to give the story an authentic feel, these effects were added to the scenes. Over time it just grows more annoying, especially since the end-of-reel cuts always end on some foreboding moment. Even more annoying is the constant static and buzz Nate and Ben encounter when communicating with John and Mission Control. It feel incessant, and detracts from the characters.

Which is the major problem for Apollo 18. Some equate it to a Paranormal Activity ripoff, and there are some obvious similarities, the difference is the audience is barely given time to sympathize with the characters. Nate, Ben and John spend the first act rattling off space jargon; launch protocols, equipment installation and sample collection. While it's an accurate portrayal of life during a moon mission, it's hard to develop a connection when non-astronauts are listening to their technical jibber-jabber.

Dirty Undies
Apollo 18 deserves credit for providing a few jump scares, but don't expect much in the way of gore. There's one dusty corpse, an infected laceration, and a pair of bloodshot eyes in dire need of Visine. I can't say that I was all that impressed by the alien menace, but I'll spare the details so as not to spoil it.

The Money Shot
I had hoped Apollo 18 would be mildly entertaining, and that's exactly what I got. So if the trailers piqued you're interest, it may be worth your time. Even though Apollo 18 was shooting for the moon, it didn't land among the stars of alien horror.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. I confess I'm surprised that there is positivity in this review. Possibly the first review where they didn't rip the film to shreds.

    I might actually rent it when it hits DVD, probably in early January. The fact that there actually is an alien in the movie definitely is alluring - I figured we wouldn't get squat. Just a lot of strategically placed camera angles so we don't see what the hell they're facing.

    BTW, love the subtitle "The Invasion Will Not Be Televised." Clever.

  2. Yeah, I was surprised to see actual aliens. Now, I wasn't too impressed with them, but they did exist.

    Thanks! Once that title popped into my head, I knew I had to do a week of aliens. I started to do a day of TV aliens to get the Doctor some love, but I didn't have enough time.