Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Apollo 18 (2011) Review By Michael Heath

Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Writer: Brian Miller (Screen Play)
Stars: Warren Christie, Llyod Owen and Ryan Robbins
Genre: Horror, Sci-fi, Thriller

I forgot the United States Government gives out highly classified video documentation to be screened world wide in cinemas. Yeah, you heard right another found footage film but don't count your eggs just yet. This film has a lot more to offer than just jumps and scares.

Even before you've started watching the film the posters have got you wanting some answers "There's a reason we've never gone back to the moon." And straight away we want to know what that is. Found footage films are know for having a low production budget ranging from £1,000 - £100,000 excluding 'Cloverfield'. Apollo 18 production costed an estimated £5,000,000 , So I think we'd be expecting more bang for our buck. Apollo 18 tells the story of 3 American astronauts who were sent on a secret mission to the moon revealing the reason why we've never gone back to the moon.   Believing they're setting up surveillance to protect the United States against the Soviet Union they come across some strange occurrences which lead them to believe they've sent there for something else. This found footage film has more direction and plot to it, in comparison to Paranormal Activity which was more jumpy were they try to get the best of you when you least expect it. Apollo 18 brings the more subtle twists and turns in the storyline with a little anti-climax. The best thing about this film for me is piecing it all together as the story goes along figuring out what this unknown attacker is, and then finding out whether you're right or not, it's not one of those films where you have to remember every detail then it's all revealed at the end behind some cryptic message or event, more like a mystery which you're itching to solve as it goes on.

Actors what actors this is found footage from years ago there weren't any actors, we're there? As nice as it is to hear someone's interpretation of a film when they genuinely think it's all real, It always really fun throw a spanner into the works and tell them it was all make believe, personally I think that found footage films have brought the lines between fact and fiction really close together almost a believable fantasy but as we all, collectively as an audience watch more and more found footage films we will become desensitised to them. Warren Christie plays Benjamin Anderson along side Llyod Owen who plays Nathan Walker these are the Men of Apollo 18 who actually set foot on the moon. There are parts of this film where these actors have to 'play' up to the camera as if they're just mucking around at home with some home video and others where they're just acting normally in their roles as Astronauts being watched. Both these actors find a good balance of acting and playing up to the camera in the roles they play, one of the Astronauts is attacked by this unknown enemy and becomes ill getting very paranoid, Llyod Owen plays this role and he played his characters paranoia very differently through out the film giving the audience this unpredictable variable making what happens in the next scene all that more surprising building that tension. Warren Christie's character who's got this hero complex constantly trying to help his fellow astronaut and save him really takes a turn when he's running for his life. To sum up Apollo 18 is a good film with a great found footage film idea behind it's worth a watch, personally I don't think this film hits it's genre it's been listed under but that just my opinion.

Rating 7/10

The next review will be The Departed (2006)

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