‘Apollo 18′ launches failure

By Christian Mengel

March 7, 2012

“Apollo 18” failed to capture the fear and horror that similar movies were able to create. The story goes that the last recorded time we sent anyone to the moon was in 1972. In 2011, footage of a shuttle sent in 1974 just happened to show up out of nowhere. As incredibly unbelievable as this is, I thought it would be best to just move on and not question it. For those of you who have seen the “Paranormal Activity” movies, the style of filming is almost identical. The whole movie was shot for the “home movie” effect. Cameras are set up throughout the entire shuttle, as well as set up all around outside where they landed on the moon. A few handheld cameras were used for point of view shots. To make the movie more realistic, they chose to make the film footage look old and grainy. The movie resembles the footage you see of Richard Nixon when he was in office. I think it would have been a better idea for a drama or a true story astronaut movie, and not a horror. The part where this movie fails to have the effect that “Paranormal Activity” created is that there are few humans who can relate to this in any way. “Paranormal Activity” scared people because the story was about an average couple in an average house with a video camera. The idea of a home video adds to the realistic feeling the story gives. Because of the amateur home video and average life setting, everyone could easily understand their fear. Creaking doors, sounds from other rooms and little frightening instances have happened to everybody. This was how “Paranormal Activity” was a success. But how many of us have woken up in the middle of the night because we thought we heard a noise outside our space shuttle while we were parked on the moon? I know I haven’t. How many of us remember how nervous we were on our first space mission? We have no way of becoming emotionally attached to the storyline of “Apollo 18” because none of us know what it’s like to be an astronaut. Not to mention the astronaut lingo used in 1974 isn’t exactly in our everyday vocabulary, so it not only makes the movie unrelatable, but confusing as well. I’m one of those people who jump at everything scary and jarring in horror movies. I never jumped or even felt nervous. I’m sure a lot of time and effort went into creating cool effects of something unknown scaring the astronauts on the moon. But there could be an army of a million aliens surrounding their shuttle, and it’s still not going to scare me as much as having a door slowly creak open here on earth. I’m not going to the moon anytime soon. Alien horror movies have a tough enough time scaring an audience, but to do it successfully, you need to, at minimum, have it take place on earth so people can halfway relate to it.