Apollo 18

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Apollo 18 Movie Poster Image
Fake moon-landing chiller is no Blair Witch in space.
  • PG-13
  • 2011
  • 88 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 28 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The U.S. government sends three astronauts to the moon for no clear reason, seemingly expecting them to perish. It's a hopeless and depressing scenario.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Astronauts are typically cool role models, but while these characters try their best to complete their mission and be brave, they're not very likeable or admirable. They argue and panic and succumb to anger and frustration.

Violence

Little overt violence, but there are a few scary, disturbing sequences with sudden, shocking images, such as a frightening face or a sudden movement. The worst is a gory wound on one of the astronauts that keeps getting more and more infected.

Sex
Language

Profanity becomes fairly frequent as the horror escalates; words include infrequent use of "s--t" and "f--k," plus many uses of "hell," "damn," "goddamn," and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), as well as "bastard," "d--k," "balls," and "prick."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

During interviews at the beginning, one of the astronauts tells a story about drinking "too many" beers at a barbecue.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi/horror movie -- which is told in the "found-footage" format pioneered by The Blair Witch Project and continued by Paranormal Activity and others -- revolves around a final, secret moon mission in which astronauts discover something terrible on the lunar surface. (In real life, 1972's Apollo 17 was the final mission.) There are some intense, frightening sequences, mostly based on sudden movements and scary faces. There's also a gory wound that grows worse as the story progresses. Profanity gets fairly frequent as things escalate but is more along the lines of "hell" and "goddamn" than stronger words (though there are a couple of those as well).

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMetallicBloodyArc May 21, 2019

It was kinda pathetic

Apollo 18 had to be one of the worst yet stupidest movies I’ve ever seen, but like it’s not 12/12/12 bad but with the moon rock turning spiders was a stupid ide... Continue reading
Adult Written byNicole K. May 10, 2017

Snooze

Possibly the worst film I have ever see .... zzzzzzz
Teen, 16 years old Written byFenuguu April 15, 2020

Movie that might bore you.

Now for me, I'm someone who loves horror movies and when I saw this movie while scrolling down on the horror movies on Netflix, I saw this movie and was re... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byMovieGeek12345 September 23, 2017

Disappointing found-footage horror flick.

I first heard of this movie around the time it came out and instantly wanted to see it, the cover looked so interesting and the blurb left so much mystery that... Continue reading

What's the story?

Just as NASA is about to cancel its manned moon missions, it prepares for one more trip, a top-secret voyage to plant a radar device on the lunar surface to keep tabs on the Russians. The Apollo 18 mission lands successfully, and the astronauts (played by Warren Christie and Lloyd Owen) go for their moon walk. Unfortunately, they find an abandoned Russian craft, plus evidence of foul play. Soon, strange things begin happening aboard their own ship, and one of the astronauts is wounded by an unseen invader. Worse, their radio contact with Earth is knocked out. Will these brave men ever return home?

Is it any good?

The fake "found footage" genre has really started to wear out its welcome; this movie really shows the drawbacks and limitations of the format. APOLLO 18 always seems like an attempt at a scary movie edited by scary movie-makers, rather than an actual document from the NASA vaults. It's never convincing, except perhaps for the pre-flight interviews conducted on Earth. And the picture's constant twitching and dropping out gets annoying.

 
On the moon, there's hardly any drama or character development to keep things moving. The moon monsters -- when they're finally revealed -- are fairly pathetic, and we barely know the characters, so there's no one to root for. What's more, the film's general tone is so downbeat and hopeless that it's not the least bit fun. The best thing you can say about this movie is that it's not too long.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Is it scary? In general, which has more impact -- seeing frightening things take place or knowing that they're happening but not being able to see them?

  • Does this film really look or feel like it's made out of real found footage? How does the editing affect that perception? How does this compare to other movies using a similar style?

Movie details

For kids who love sci-fi and scares

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