There weren’t too many people arguing with me when I reviewed Apollo 18 this past September during its (technically successful) box office run; there’s a guy on Twitter who seems more defensive of it than any of its own filmmakers, but otherwise the consensus was that the movie didn’t work. The found footage aspect was a terrible fit for the setting and story, and even with a barely feature length runtime, it was too slow and its scares too minimal to compete with the other big mockumentary films (the Paranormal Activity series, Rec and its remake, etc). Does it fare better at home on a second go around? And more importantly, does the Blu-ray’s extensive collection of deleted scenes and alternate endings hint that this was once a much better film?
The answer to both is a very VERY soft “yes”. Knowing that the movie was a pretty dull affair took out the initial “When is something going to HAPPEN?” frustration and allowed me to just accept the movie for what it is: an ambitious but deeply flawed attempt to meld the found footage approach with, well, the damn moon. On paper it actually sounds pretty awesome/intriguing – a secret lunar mission, 16mm film shot by the astronauts that has been recovered by some conspiracy website, etc. Plus, I was sort of charmed by the filmmakers’ handicap – here they are one of the most expansive locations in the universe, and yet they’re limited to a cramped module and its immediate surroundings. On top of that, they’re limited to showing everything through the lens of dated camera technology – no zoom lens, no endless digital tape to let a camera record all night, not even real portability with the camera. READ MORE