Screen Gems Movie Reviews
with Kennie Bass. You'll find it First On Fox!

Apollo 18 September 2, 2011
Apollo 18
Studio: Dimension Films
Rating: PG-13 for some disturbing sequences, and language.

Employing the "found footage" technique that was used fairly cleverly in "The Blair Witch Project," and to a lesser degree in the horror movie "Quarantine," "Apollo 18" tells the story of NASA mission to the moon that goes terribly, terribly wrong.

Unknown to the public, the U.S. sends a secret mission to our lunar neighbor, setting up spy equipment to keep an eye on the Soviet Union.

But shortly after their top-secret liftoff, things start to get a little weird.

Our astronauts (Warren Christie and Ryan Robbins) make their way to the moon and discover an abandoned USSR capsule. There are signs of trouble and as they fan out to search the area they find a long-dead cosmonaut who appears to have been murdered.

The mystery deepens when the astronauts realize they are not alone.

Although "Apollo 18" has some scary moments, I'm getting a little weary of these types of movies. By their nature they don't have very strong narratives because its difficult to explain anything that's going on.

You generally have to really get connected to the characters but here we have very generic spacemen who are interchangeable. As the tension mounts and the danger increases I just wasn't very invested in their fates.

Director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego is a talented guy who can put together some effective, scary sequences. But the film ultimately falls apart from the weight of too little action, bland characters and a threat that takes much too long to develop. It just all feels kind of pointless.

On my rating scale, "Apollo 18" earns a DOUBLE.

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