Saturday, September 24, 2011

Apollo 18 Movie Review

The Pitch

The fact that NASA stopped all space mission to moon since 1972 had been a fascinating one. There's so much knowledge that humans could acquire with these trips to the moon and it comes to a halt since December 1972. Almost forty years had gone by and no man had set foot on moon again. The most probable reason would be that the mission to moon was not financially profitable. 

One of my faveourite conspiracy theories would be that NASA never landed on the moon and fake the landing to win the space race with Russia. After the "victory" and with the public popularity of Lunar landing missions waning, the subsequent missions (Apollo 18, 19 and 20) were canceled.

Now Dimension Films is creating another theory why there are no more official missions to moon since Apollo 17. Using shaky cam cinematographic technique, this movie tries to sell the "real" horrific reason why NASA didn't send anymore people to the moon.

Personally I am not a fan of the shaky cam cinematographic technique but this could work. The claustrophobic horror in space makes a fine addition to the alien and shaky cam genre.

The Plot

Officially, Apollo 17, launched December 17th, 1972 was the last manned mission to the moon. But a year later, in December of 1973, two American astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the moon funded by the US Department of Defense. What you are about to see is the actual footage which the astronauts captured on that mission. While NASA denies its authenticity, others say it’s the real reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.
In December, 1974, the crew of the previously-cancelled Apollo 18 mission is informed that the mission is a go, though it has now been deemed a top secret Department of Defense mission. Commander Nathan Walker, Lieutenant Colonel John Grey and Captain Benjamin Anderson are launched towards the Moon to place detectors to alert the United States of any impending ICBM attacks from the USSR.
Grey remains in orbit aboard the Freedom Command/Service module while Walker and Anderson land on the moon in the lunar module Liberty. While planting one of the detectors, the pair take samples of moon rocks. While attempting to sleep, the pair hear noises outside and a camera captures a small rock moving nearby. Houston claims the noises are interference from the ICBM detectors. Anderson finds a rock sample on the floor of Liberty despite having secured the samples. During further exploration they discover footprints that lead them to a Soviet LK lander nearby, finding it functional but blood-stained. Anderson follows tracks leading into a dark crater and finds a dead cosmonaut. Walker queries Houston about the Soviet presence but is told only to continue with the mission.
The following day the pair find that the flag they had planted is missing. Their mission complete, the crew prepares to leave the Moon but the launch is aborted when Liberty suffers violent shaking. An inspection reveals extensive damage to Liberty and non-human tracks that Walker cites as evidence of extraterrestrial life. Walker feels something moving inside his spacesuit and helmet 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 feels, and 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 ICBM warning devices is to monitor the aliens. The pair also increasingly wonder if the devices are the source of the interference; Houston had assured them that this was not so. Walker shows signs of a developing infection around his wound and he becomes increasingly paranoid. The mission cameras capture the rock samples moving around in the interior of Liberty, revealing that the aliens are the moon rocks (or indistinguishable from the real rocks). Increasingly delusional, Walker attempts to destroy the cameras within Liberty but accidentally damages the system controls, causing Liberty to depressurize. Realizing the Soviet LK is their only source of oxygen, the pair travel to the LK lander in their lunar rover. Along the way, Walker attempts to run away, believing he should not leave the Moon because of the risk of spreading the infection to Earth. Anderson crashes as he attempts to stop Walker.
Anderson awakens and tracks Walker, finding him at the crater where they found the cosmonaut. Walker is pulled into the crater by the creatures. Anderson gives chase, using his strobe light to illuminate the area. The rocks start to sprout their spider-like legs, causing Anderson to flee to the Soviet LK. Using its radio he makes contact with USSR Mission Control who connect him to the United States Department of Defense. The deputy secretary of the department informs Anderson that they will not allow him to return to Earth, admitting they are aware of the situation and fear he is also infected. Anderson manages to contact Grey and they make arrangements for Anderson to return to Freedom. Anderson prepares the lander for launch but it is attacked by Walker. Before Walker can breach the vehicle, he is swarmed by the creatures.
Anderson launches the LK lander successfully with the intent of arriving near the orbiter and entering it via spacewalk. Grey is informed that Anderson is infected. Grey is ordered to abort Anderson's rescue or communication will be ceased, rendering him unable to return to Earth. Inside the lander, the reduced gravity causes small rocks within the Soviet craft to float. Anderson realizes with horror that some of the rocks are actually alien creatures. Anderson is attacked and infected by the creatures, preventing him from controlling the vehicle, leaving it headed toward Freedom. The space footage ends abruptly, implying a collision.
The footage cuts to before the pilots' mission, showing them having a barbecue with friends and family. The "official" fate of the astronauts is given, describing them as having died in various accidents that left their bodies unrecoverable. An epilogue explains that many of the rock samples returned from the previous Apollo missions are unaccounted for.

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