Crude Beauty in “Apollo 18”

WARNING: This article contains spoilers!

“To be, or not to be?” Man studies man’s primal fear on the moon in Apollo 18

Earlier this month a horror/science-fiction film opened in theaters. It was a little film, and I mean little because it felt very little, not because it was produced on a modest budget of under 10 million dollars, but because the atmosphere and tone of the film felt contained and claustrophobic. It was a brilliant concept and a brilliant execution of that concept using what appeared to be found footage, video, and super 8mm film stock. There was a beauty to the crude imagery of bouncing cameras, first-person point-of-view shots, and surveillance cameras that added to the atmosphere and made me feel like I was immediately inside the action. The film was made to appear that everything was a complete mess with no regard for the photography, but I could tell that all those shots were specifically designed by the cinematographer and director to inflict a very specific purpose or feeling. I especially loved this sequence of the film; one of the astronauts investigates the inside of a crater, wandering deeper into the cold darkness of the crater, and we are watching from his perspective, more specifically through the camera that is attached to his body, and as he goes deeper into the crater he uses a pulse-light to expose the ground, so that we (and the astronaut) must adjust to the darkness and the brief flash of light that reveals what’s inside. Note: I would recommend that anyone suffering from epilepsy to close their eyes during this sequence.

And what exactly is inside the empty darkness of the moon? Well, aliens of course. Unfortunately, we are not given any explanation as to who these aliens are and what they want or what exactly they do to a human being when they infect their body, but I guess there was no science/medical officer on board the Apollo 18 mission like Ash in Alien so an explanation could not be given. However, I prefer my science-fiction to have an explanation to the science. Despite this tiny qualm of mine, I was willing to simply watch and enjoy this truly engaging film. I suggest you do the same. But beware, it can be a little spine-tingling.


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