Apollo 18 (Blu-ray Review)

In an attempt to get audiences to believe in a conspiracy, they went ahead and released Apollo 18. When it comes to “found footage” films, I always seem to be at a crossroads. On one hand, I find it to be an inimitable idea, if exploited correctly. On the other hand, it can become a bit monotonous. While I neither agree nor disagree with those statements concerning Apollo 18, I still found this movie to be run-of-the-mill at best. While I did jump a few times, Apollo 18 is nothing but an unnecessary money-grubbing flick. Even though the film wasn’t made to look glamorous, the Blu-ray presentation is still decent. 



On July 20th, 1969, Astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. In 1970, Apollo missions 18, 19, and 20 were terminated due to budgetary concerns. In late 1972, Apollo 17, the final “official” Lunar mission landed on the moon. In 2011, 80-something hours of classified footage was uploaded to a website entitled “Lunar Truth” (an actual website, check it out). This film was [supposedly] edited using the footage, where we are following the unreleased terror that occurred during the cancelled Apollo 18.

In 1974, two astronauts were sent on a classified mission to the moon by the United States Department of Defense. What is so called “actual footage” involves Captain Benjamin Anderson (Warren Christie) and Lieutenant Colonel John Grey (Ryan Robbins), who were victims of an attack by unknown creature(s) that were surrounding their space ship after landing on the moon. Once Grey is attacked by one of them, the two astronauts soon realize that they are not alone. In space, no one can here you act.

It is not as if there is anything horribly wrong about Apollo 18, it just had some potential, and didn’t deliver enough to warrant a good time. Much like Buried, this film spends all of its time (aside from a few flashbacks) with its main protagonists. The difference between this and Buried is that we actually like our protagonist. In Apollo 18, Ryan Robbins and Warren Christie do not give much into the whole concept, rather just attempting to give one helluva performance. Had they attempted to make their performances more relatable and realistic, I would have been more kind to the film.

There were some fun aspects here too; in fact, it was scary from time to time. It was not physiologically creepy or anything, but I jumped quite a few times. I usually dislike films reliant on pop-outs for horror, but it works here. One of my favorite scenes occurred early in the film; Benjamin and John were walking the moon in their suits, where the camera is focused from John’s space helmet. His headlights keep alternating on off, and after about five rounds of that, a mummy-like creature pops out on the screen; some scary stuff here!

Alas, the film’s many faults stem from its appalling script. Brian Miller helmed the script. Whatever went through his mind must have been non-stop thoughts of Paranormal Activity, Quarantine, and all those found-footage horror films and the “light bulb” idea of “hey, Paranormal Activity” in space; cha-ching! He should have held on to that thought because Apollo 18 made close to nine million on its opening weekend. Back to the script; the dialogue spoken by its two leads seems too cliché-ridden to believe, especially imputed sentimental moments at the end. The film ended up making 17 million; they should have named the film Apollo 17.

The creature design in this is good, no matter how brief the creatures may be on screen. If you do not want to know the details about the creature, skip this paragraph, you have been warned! These creatures are not very intimidating; they seemed to me like a bunch of giant spiders, which were somehow able to get into an enclosed spacesuit. While they work for some scream factor, they are ultimately ineffective in the long run.

In space, no one can hear you care.


What’s interesting is that they used 60mm camera in Apollo 18 to blow up the picture 30% so they get the grain to make the picture appear as if it was filmed with super 8 cameras in 1974. They lost all credibility in proving that this is authentic with the 1080p (1.78:1) ratio. The quality looks quite impressive for a boxy film. There are several instances where the cameras are presented in boxy 1:33:1 aspect ratio, where it looks fine for how it was filmed. Bits of grain are everywhere involving scenes on the moon. Apollo 18 was not made to look good, yet it still manages a better-than-average presentation.


Since this was made to sound like archived footage, do not go into this expecting a miracle. Apollo 18 has a 5.1 DTS-HD MA track that serves no good. As I mentioned, this is all made to look like archived footage, so that’s how it sounds, and it sounds pretty lackluster. The sound is static-like throughout except for the scenes inside the spaceship. Some of the ambience noise sounds like an audience applauding. Really? Not a very good audio presentation.

Special Features

Some good ones and some bad ones.

  • Feature Commentary with Director Gonzalo López and Editor Patrick Lussier – Average commentary track. They rabble on and on for the entire running time about nonsense. They recorded the commentary track two weeks prior to release, and they thought the movie was fantastic. Well, they were wrong.
  • Deleted and Alternate Scenes – A whopping fifteen deleted scenes. Some are good, some are bad. My favorite one had to be “The John Grey Memorial”.
  • Alternate Endings – They really should have stuck with “The Many Deaths of LMP Ben Anderson – Infected”. That would have made the film much better.

Final Thoughts

Apollo 18 may not be the most memorable film around, but it’s good for a one-time watch. The Blu-ray presentation is average at best, but has some nifty special features to entertain the viewer.



Order Apollo 18 on Blu-ray!


10 Responses to “Apollo 18 (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Bob Ignizio

    I agree with your final thoughts. It was a decent enough time waster, and probably a little better than I expected, but nothing I’ll ever feel the need to watch again.

  2. Mike

    Hey Matt, off topic here, but if you can get your hands on ‘Grave Encounters’, give it a shot. Another ‘found footage’ movie. I had zero expectations from it, so I guess that’s why it impressed me. You just may like it.

  3. Matt Goodman

    @Bob: I just watched it for a third time (to clarify my thoughts). In my mind, the 2.5/5 is now a 2/5.

    @Mike: I’ve heard plenty of good about “Grave Encounters” from my friends. I’ll check that out sometime this weekend.

  4. Bob Ignizio

    Watching a mediocre movie 3 times just to make sure you get your review right? That’s dedication, man!

  5. Matt Goodman

    My first viewing was for the review.
    My second viewing was the commentary.
    My third viewing was to clarify.
    My fourth viewing will never happen.

  6. Brian White

    LOL Matt. 4th viewing will never happen!

  7. Gerard Iribe


  8. Aaron Neuwirth

    I still feel bad after watching it the first time.

  9. Gregg

    Two and a half stars? That’s two more than I would have given it. This film made Jonah Hex look Oscar-worthy.

  10. Matt Goodman

    Jonah Hex made this look Oscar-worthy.