I think I’m finally starting to see why people hate found footage movies so much: They are SO GODDAMN BORING! I mean, say what you want about V/H/S 2, but at least something HAPPENED! There were characters! And things! And boobs! GOD, I MISS BOOBS!
… Er. Forget I said that.
There’s no monster, it’s just that space is full of prat falls.
Previously, on Apollo 18: Something happened. Probably.
While Bland Astronaut Number One is repairing the rover, he feels something moving inside his spacesuit. Don’t worry, that happens to every boy growing up. Actually, it’s one of the alien critters, and when we see it inside the helmets, its actually a weird spider monster! Goddammit, either this thing turns in to a rock when we’re not looking, or I just lost ten dollars.
Bland Astronaut Two heads outside (in his suit, he didn’t just pop out in his thong, and drags Thing One inside. Man, it sure is a good thing being the cold vacuum of space doesn’t harm anyone, right?
Thing One is freaking out and hyperventilating, while Thing One gets the oxygen back in to the cabin, so now he’s a-okay! While, except for the fact that now he’s got a Yeerk stuck in his head. Generally, an oxygenated enema doesn’t help with that.
They can’t get in contact with Thing Three, the one who’s stuck up there, floating around the moon. And, of course, when they call up the government, they just say the worst thing they possibly could: We’re the government, and we’re here to help!
Thing One is all shell-shocked after his cuddle with the rock-spider, and they find a huge gash in his chest. Oh god, it’s a chest burster in reverse! They feel around inside to make sure it’s in there, and after such a “positive” diagnosis, this pull it out with a set of salad tongs. Because in space, no one can hear you toss a good caesar.
Spoiler Alert: The alien is actually a type of crouton.
Turns out, chest surgery is remarkably simple and clean, and they whip out the slimy little buggar! Oh, and yeah, it’s a rock. Hah hah, it IS a rock spider! Pay up, you degenerate motherfuckers! Oh, and then Thing One smashes it with a hammer. My god, space is actually a game of Minecraft!
Houston tries to get in contact with them, but although the astronauts can hear them, Houston can’t hear a word. Great, NOW who is supposed to be completely fucking useless and say that they have everything “all in hand”! Thing Two finally realizes that those stupid radar transmitters aren’t for spying on the Soviets, no no no, it’s actually kind of a dinner bell for the aliens! It seems that Houston specifically sent them up here as bait for the alien rock spiders. (Well. That, and without them, we wouldn’t have a movie!)
Thing One and Thing Two head out to go destroy the transmitters, but the aliens are WAY ahead of them. Oh, and they see something else. Apparently. Look, it’s 1974, cameras ain’t exactly ahead of their time. I’m pretty sure my phone could make a better movie. (In more ways than one!)
Back at the lander, Thing One’s wound has gotten infected, which is kinda expected. I mean, if moon rocks could fuck up Cave Johnson, sentient moon rocks might as well carry tiny shotguns. Thing Three is still floating about, humming quietly to himself, and Houston keeps calling them. They know the astronauts can’t hear them, but they’re TOTALLY WORKING ON THE PROBLEM AND AREN’T TRYING TO KILL ANYONE AT ALL!
And what does the committee say to that?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Thing One is getting sicker and sicker, and he feels his own thoughts fragmenting. Because… these are psychic alien rock spiders, apparently! Of course, don’t you know anything about SCIENCE?!
Thing Two, meanwhile, continues his vlog about how he knows they’re dead meat (geez, spoiler warning), until he spots blood dripping on him from his monster- er, I mean, fellow astronaut! When Thing Two tries to help, he’s apparently talking to the Jekyll side of the psychosis, who tells him to fuck off. Hey, speaking of fucking, I wonder, what happens when you masturbate in space? Someone should try that.
Of course, now it’s Thing One’s turn on the vlog, and which is comprised entirely of making spooky faces at the camera. Oh, and when we see one of the rock spiders dash across the dashboard camera, he starts hulking out and smashing everything in sight. Well, I can’t see THAT ending badly!
Next scene: Things are going badly! WHO COULD TELL! The atmosphere is leaking fast, because… breaking the cameras apparently damages the hull itself. Good god, are you in a space ship, or the USS Porcelain Egg? They hop in to their spacesuits and start driving away, presumably because you can just drive to Earth, but Thing One insists that he’s dead meat, and crashes the rover. Unfortunately, he apparently crashes in to the moon equivalent of the tall grass! ROCK SPIDER, I CHOOSE YOU!
According to all the google searches, I’m not the only one who calls these things “rock spiders”! DAMMIT I WANTED TO BE A TREND SETTER.
Thing Two dusts off his suit, picks up the camera, and heads off to find the Russian lander, as well as whatever happened to Thing One. (Hint: It rhymes with “bessily beviscerated”.) Actually, he DOES find Thing One, who says that he’s heading in to their… city? Nest? Burrow? Nightclub? Anyway, he heads in to their big crater, and while he’s in the middle of his big speech, they yank the poor fucker in. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A MOVIE POSTER!
Thing Two STUPIDLY follows afterwards, and hey,we have our first scene played entirely via strobe light! But we do get to see the hoard of little rocks unfurl their little legs and start chasing him out of their crib, which is the alien way of saying “get off our lawn”.
Somehow, the hoard of aliens don’t manage to kill him, and he manages to get to the Russian lander and begin the start-up sequence. And, of course, he keeps trying to get a hold of anyone. Dude, they’re not going to call you back, just get over it!
A Russian transmission starts up over the radio, and it patches Thing Two through to the Department of Defence. Sorry, Captain Bland, but “the government is really evil” is pretty popular right now, so you’re fucked! The Department of Defence tells him that they’ll stay on the line for him, but they’re not gonna bring him back, because horror movies can’t have happy endings- er, I mean… actually, he doesn’t offer a reason. Maybe it’s not in the budget?
Thing Two lays around, waiting to die because this movie is very cheery, until Thing Three finally manages to get a hold of him. They begin the countdown for launch, until Zombie Rock Spider Thing One shows up, and he starts knock knock knockin’ on his door. Fortunately, I guess the spiders are good guys now, because they pop his seal of freshness before Thing One can break the window!
Thing Two takes a while to contemplate that, until he finally remembers to lift off! Meanwhile, the Department of Defence calls up Thing Three and tells him not to save Thing Two. “He’s contaminated!”
“And also spiders.”
The Department of Defence breaks it down for him: Either he lets Thing Two fry, or they won’t give him the approach vectors. Which very quickly ceases to be a problem, when the rock samples that the Russians had gathered spring up when he hits orbit, and then hastily devour his tasty meat-flesh! Which is kind of a problem when you’re driving directly for another spaceship.
“Thing Two, slow down!”
“ARRRRRGH OH GOD MY FACE.”
“You’re… you’re heading right for me!”
“GRAAAAAR PINCERS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO GO THERE.”
“… Could you at least put on Space Oddity before you crash?”
(God, that VIDEO. Science fucking rocks, that’s all I’m saying.)
But before you can walk out of the theatre, it’s time for all the special features that the director thought you wanted to see! We get the reports on how the astronauts “officially” died, the URL for the website that “found” all this footage, and a list of how many lunar rock samples were brought to Earth. Oh, please, we know those can’t be spiders, because apparently the spiders get fucking panic attacks in space!
So, that was Apollo 18! How was it?
It’s not that this is BAD, not exactly. (Well… okay, it is, but- shut up!) It has a couple good ideas, a nice concept, good atmosphere, and it is just SO DULL. Most of it is just watching people trying and failing to use the radio, and the rest of it is staring at rocks! Still, I’m glad that a horror movie about the Apollo program EXISTS, I just… wish it wasn’t this one!
Oh well, at least I won’t have to worry about another space horror movie until I get around to reviewing Gravity.
[Editor's Note: Actually, that one is a thriller, not horror.]
Please, thrillers are just horror movies who are too much of a pussy to admit what they actually are.