Found footage of ‘Apollo 18’ should stay lost

By Jeremy S. Williams
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(2 out of 5 stars)

“Apollo 18” follows the style of “The Blair Witch Project” and “Paranormal Activity” as a “found footage” movie. This premise is supposed to allow the audience to believe that the footage they are watching was actual film found and allowed to be edited and released as a feature movie.
This worked best for the two previously mentioned films and in fact helped them to become the critically and financially successful films they were. Unfortunately, “Apollo 18” seems more far fetched since it takes place on the moon.
The film opens with a brief history lesson letting the audience know that the government stands by the official story that Apollo 17 was the final NASA mission to the moon and that scheduled trips with Apollo’s 18, 19, and 20 were cancelled due to budget cuts. However, the following footage was uploaded on a website by an unknown individual and that the Department of Defense had actually launched a secret Apollo 18 mission and conspired to cover it up.
Three astronauts are launched into space and the audience is essentially shown 86 minutes of what can only be described as “Paranormal Activity 4: Flickering Lights and Spooky Noises in Space.”
Just as with all other movies in the genre, the film starts off slow, with bumps here and noises there that start to make the characters uneasy. The tension builds and they start to realize that they may not be alone up there on the moon.
These “found footage” films are going to be coming out of the woodwork, since they are relatively cheap to make and usually turn a pretty good profit, but the problem is that they are starting to follow the same formula. Someone finds film that shows the details of a tragic and awful event that previously no one had any answers to.
That is all fine and well for films where all that is required of the audience is a small belief that ghosts are real. But “Apollo 18” asks the audience to not only believe that there is something living on the moon, but also that the government knows about it and is covering it up and that some brave soul risked everything to bring this to the public. It is a far off premise that leaves too many questioning the film while they should be trying to get into it.
This movie is best reserved for die-hard fans of this genre or those who thought “Alien” would have been a better movie if they had used handheld cameras.