Apollo 18 is a science fiction/horror movie written by Brian Miller, directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego, and produced by Timur Bekmambetov and Ron Schmidt. This is a fictional movie that sets out to be like a found footage styled movie, supposedly the lost footage of the Apollo 18 mission that was only recently discovered. It claims that over 70 hours of footage was found and uploaded to a website, lunartruth.com and that the film is a heavily edited version of it. The movie stars Warren Christie, Ryan Robbins and Lloyd Owen.
The crew of the Apollo 18 are informed that they will proceed with the mission, which was cancelled previously and moved to December 1974, as a top secret Department of Defense (DoD) mission disguised as a satellite launch. Commander Nathan Walker, Lieutenant Colonel John Grey, and Captain Ben Anderson are the 3 astronauts in the mission and are told to place detectors near their landing site, the south pole of the moon, to alert the United States of any impending ICBM attacks from the USSR. We see the men excited with their families before the launch and then the footage moves to when they are in the shuttle. Grey remains in orbit aboard the Freedom Command module while Walker and Anderson land on the moon in the lunar module Liberty. While planting one of the detectors, the pair take moon rock samples.
After they return to the Liberty they hear noises outside, which Houston claims is disturbances from other detectors, and the camera captures a rock moving. Anderson also finds a rock lying on the floor, despite the sample being safely secured. During further lunar exploration they discover footprints that lead them to a bloodstained, functioning Soviet LK lander, and a dead cosmonaut in a nearby crater. Walker queries Houston about the Soviet presence but is told only to continue with the mission. The next day they find the American flag that they had planted missing. With their mission completed they are about to leave but have to abort the launch is aborted when the shuttle experiences violent shaking. Walker steps out to investigate and notes extensive damage to the shuttle and he also sees non-human tracks, which he says proves extra-terrestrial life. Walker feels something moving inside his spacesuit and is horrified as a spider-like creature crawls across the inside of his helmet. Walker disappears from view and Anderson finds him unconscious outside of Liberty. Walker later denies the events. A wound is discovered on Walker’s chest; Anderson removes a moon rock embedded within him. The pair find themselves unable to contact Houston or Grey due to increased levels of interference from an unknown source.
Anderson speculates that the true intention of the devices are to warn of alien advances. Walker’s infection spreads at an alarming rate and becomes paranoid. The mission cameras capture the rock samples moving around in the interior of Liberty, revealing that the aliens are concealed as moon rocks. A delusional Walker destroys some of the cameras and but accidentally damages the system controls, causing Liberty to depressurize. Realizing the Soviet LK is their only source of oxygen, the pair travel towards the LK lander in their lunar rover. Walker causes the vehicle to crash as he runs away, believing he should not leave the moon because of the risk of spreading the infection to Earth. When Anderson tracks Walker, he sees his comrade pulled into a crater by the alien creatures and is unable to pull him back out. Anderson flees to the Soviet LK. Anderson uses its radio to contact USSR Mission Control who connect him to the DoD. The deputy secretary informs Anderson that they cannot allow him to return to Earth, admitting they are aware of the situation and fear he is also infected. He pleads but the deputy secretary is firm on his decision and says that his family will be taken care of. Anderson manages to contact Grey, who tells him to head for Freedom. Anderson prepares the lander for launch but it is attacked by a psychotic Walker. Before Walker can enter the vehicle, he is attacked by a swarm of the creatures, which breach his helmet, killing him.
Anderson launches the LK as Grey is warned by the DoD and orders him to abort the rescue or communication will be ceased, rendering Grey unable to return to Earth. As the lander enters orbit, the reduced gravity causes small rocks within the craft to float, some of which reveal themselves to be alien creatures. Anderson is attacked and infected by the creatures, preventing him from controlling the vehicle, leaving it headed uncontrolled toward Freedom. The space footage ends abruptly. As the movie ends, the ‘official’ fate of the 3 astronauts are written on the screen. An epilogue explains that many of the rock samples returned from the previous Apollo missions are now missing.
I found the intentionally bad camera footage a bit deterrent to my enjoyment of the film. It’s not really my idea of an exciting movie but it does have it’s moments. 6 outta 10!