October 7, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 57°F


Conventional ideas damage sci-fi story

“Apollo 18” takes elements from every horror movie with that handheld-camera look in the past decade and sends them to the moon in a new sci-fi thriller that fails to launch.

In the film, NASA astronauts Benjamin Anderson (Warren Christie) and Nathan Walker (Lloyd Owen) are sent to the moon to install surveillance equipment for the government. When they are disrupted by alien creatures they must fight to survive and escape.

Director Gonzalo López-Gallego proves he has little experience and no finesse with the horror genre. Despite dwelling in the realm of sci-fi horror, “Apollo 18” crams in tropes from supernatural horror films that make the film seem like a cheap re-hashing of other, more effective films. López-Gallego uses strange sounds and electronic voices as part of the  film’s sound track, though they don’t fit its mood or genre. The effect becomes predictable and annoying and adds nothing to the story.

López-Gallego attempts to create a scene where Walker is possessed by an alien, but the astronaut only acts mildly paranoid and becomes the target of a few gross effects when the infection spreads through his body.

The film fails to provide anything worth watching, and the only lasting connection between the audience and the marooned, hunted astronauts is that both may want to escape.

“Apollo 18” was directed by Gonzalo López-Galleg and written by Cary Goodman and Brian Miller.

1.5 stars out of 4