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Film Review

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  Apollo 18  




In December 1974 (two years after the Apollo 17 mission), the crew of the cancelled Apollo 18 mission is informed that it will now proceed as a top secret Department of Defense (DoD) mission to deliver a classified payload. Commander Nathan Walker, Lieutenant Colonel John Grey, and Captain Ben Anderson are launched, at night, toward the Moon to place an early warning detector for ICBM attacks from the USSR.

Grey remains in orbit aboard the Apollo command module Freedom while Walker and Anderson land on the South Pole of the Moon in the Apollo Lunar Module Liberty, on December 25. While planting the ICBM detector, the two take rock samples which Anderson describes as feeling "strange". In the background, the camera captures a rock moving in a nearby crater. After returning to Liberty, they hear noises outside and the motion sensor camera captures a small rock moving nearby. Houston claims the noises are interference from the ICBM detector. The next day, Anderson finds a rock sample on the floor of Liberty despite having secured the samples. During their ICBM detector set-up, Anderson discovers footprints that lead them to a bloodstained and abandoned (but still functional) Soviet LK lander. Anderson explores a nearby crater, describing the ground as "feeling softer". Inside the crater, he finds a dead cosmonaut as well as a broken space helmet. Walker queries Houston about the Soviet presence, but he is told only to continue with the mission. While they are sleeping, Walker is awakened by strange noises and something bumping into the lander.

The following day, they find that the flag they had planted is missing. Having completed their mission, the duo prepares to leave, but the launch is aborted when Liberty suffers violent shaking. An inspection reveals extensive damage to the module. Walker finds their shredded flag nearby; the motion sensor camera is also missing, and the rover tipped on its side. He then finds non-human tracks outside Liberty, and cites them as evidence of extraterrestrial life. Walker feels something moving inside his spacesuit and is horrified as a spider-like creature crawls across the inside of his helmet; he disappears from view and Anderson finds him unconscious outside of Liberty. Walker later denies the events. A wound is discovered on his chest, and Anderson removes a Moon rock embedded within him. After having removed the rock, Walker smashes it with a hammer, contaminating the ship. They find themselves unable to contact Houston or Grey due to increased levels of interference from an unknown source.

Anderson speculates that the true purpose of the "ICBM warning device" is to monitor the aliens, and that it is the source of the interference. Anderson and Walker attempt to switch the device off, only to discover it has been destroyed, with the same non-human tracks surrounding it. Walker shows signs of a developing infection, such as vein discoloration (possibly caused by necrosis) and blood-shot eyes, and he becomes contentious and paranoid. The mission cameras capture a rock sample moving around in the interior of Liberty, revealing that the aliens are camouflaged as Moon rocks. Increasingly delusional, Walker attempts to destroy the cameras within Liberty with a hammer, but he accidentally damages other controls, causing Liberty to depressurize. Realizing the Soviet LK lander is their only source of oxygen, the pair travels to the LK lander in their Lunar rover. Walker becomes agitated, believing he should not leave the Moon because of the risk of spreading the infection to Earth and causes the rover to crash. As the rover crashes, the camera catches glimpses of the large space rocks, which begin to grow legs similar to that of spiders.

Anderson awakens and tracks Walker to a crater. Walker is pulled into the crater by the creatures. Anderson gives chase, but he is confronted by the aliens and flees to the Soviet LK and uses its radio to contact USSR Mission Control who connect him to the Department of Defense. The Deputy Secretary informs Anderson that they cannot allow him to return to Earth, admitting they are aware of the situation and incorrectly believe he is also infected. Anderson, while waiting, plays a recording of his son Ryan and wife. Anderson repeatedly rewinds and plays one particular part, 'I love you.' Anderson manages to contact Grey and they make arrangements for Anderson to return to Freedom. Anderson prepares the lander for launch, but Walker arrives, revealing that he survived the alien encounter and demanding to be let in. However, he is now completely psychotic and when Anderson refuses to let him in, he tries to break the lander's window with a hammer. Before Walker can enter the vehicle, he is swarmed with rock aliens which break his helmet open and kill him; his body is dragged away by a much larger alien rock.

Anderson launches, but the DoD tells Grey that Anderson is infected and orders him to abort the rescue or ground communication (without which the CSM will be unable to return to Earth) will be cut off. The lander's engines shut off as it enters orbit; while it is in free fall, small rocks within the craft float in the air, some of which reveal themselves to be rock aliens. Anderson is attacked and infected by the rock aliens, preventing him from controlling the vehicle. Grey warns Anderson that he is approaching too fast, and the footage ends abruptly, implying that the LK and Freedom collided.

The film concludes with a statement giving the "official" fate of the astronauts, describing them as having been killed in various jet accidents that left their bodies unrecoverable. An epilogue notes that many of the hundreds of rock samples returned from the previous Apollo missions, given to dignitaries, are now missing.


DIRECTOR(s): Gonzalo López-Gallego







Ryan Robbins (Lt. Col. John Grey)
Warren Christie (Capt. Benjamin Anderson)
Lloyd Owen (Cdr. Nathan Walker)
Andrew Airlie (Mission Control)
Michael Kopsa (Deputy Secretary of Defense)
Ali Liebert (Nate's Girlfriend)

Kurt Max Runte (Lab Tech)
Kim Wylie (Laura Anderson)
Noah Wylie (Ryan Anderson)
Erica Carroll (John's Fiancée)
Jan Bos (Lab Tech)

LINKS / RATINGS (%)      
52 53 46 23
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Updated - 23/03/2024

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