02 September 2011

Apollo 18

(I forgot to hit post on this back in Sept. My bad)

Holy shit people. At one point, with my feet in the seat and my hands over my ears I was squinting at the screen waiting for the bad thing I just knew was coming and realized that the thump-thump, thump-thump I was hearing wasn't onscreen, but my own goddamn heartbeat. My heart has not beat that hard for that long ever.

When the movie finished I think I was in legitimate medical shock. I was laughing hysterically and shaking. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.

Holy shit.


Like many of the movie that have come out the last few years, Apollo 18 claims to be a 'found' movie - cobbled together from footage rather than actually filmed. In some cases this can be ridiculous as the production values give away the secret, no matter how much shaky-cam you have. (I'm looking at you Cloverfield). In Apollo 18 the film is scratchy, the colors occasionally over-exposed - I could actually buy into the concept that this was footage from the 1970s.

And that's what makes this movie so scary. You know it's just a movie - you're not watching some special on the History Channel (which has lost all credibility so I wouldn't have been surprised if it was), but you can believe that you are. There's no soundtrack, and the cameras are either stationary on the lunar lander or the handheld ones from the astronauts.

The scariest moments come in snippets - not when things are jumping at you - which by and large they don't. This isn't really a loud noises and bloody movie. It's noticing things moving where they shouldn't be, details and minutiae that you as the viewer are privy too but the astronauts are not. You watch it build up, over and over and over again until you're wound so tight you feel like you might just burst. And the really awful part is?

It never lets up. By the time the credits rolled I was shaking. I started laughing at myself for being so shook up, which quickly took on the edge of hysteria.

Now okay, fine, I'm not a horror movie person so this movie might have been chock full of clich├ęs (I hear it was) of the 'found movie' genre. But since I'm not a scary movie person, they were all new and intensely terrifying to me.

I don't want to ruin a moment, I don't want you to not see it because I say something that makes it sound stupid. Go to the theatre, go rent it, watch it in a darkened room and then go outside and take a good long look into the night sky.

And your doom.

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