Reviewed by: Julia Webster
Sci-Fi Adventure Thriller
1 hr. 26 min.
Year of Release:
September 2, 2011 (wide—2,750+ theaters)
DVD: December 27, 2011
What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer
Are we alone in the universe? Answer
Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer
questions and answers about the origin of life
moon in the Bible
“‘Blair Witch Project’ goes to the moon at ‘ludicrous speed’…”
Those who have seen “The Blair Witch Project” will notice some similarities to Apollo 18, though the story ideas that are borrowed are executed in, at best, a mediocre fashion. The premise of the film is that 84 hours of video footage from three astronauts on a secret trip to the moon has been found, returned, and edited for viewing.
The video begins during the planning and preparation for a clandestine Department of Defense mission to place spy satellites on the moon. When the men land on the moon, they encounter many strange sights. A Soviet ship, a fallen Soviet flag, and many footprints are found, when the astronauts leave their lunar vehicle.
The story continues with a soundtrack full of heavy breathing, footsteps, laughing, popping, and clicking. The shots jump and fade in and out to give them an “authentic” look.
As astronauts Nate and Ben walk about the moon, Nate discovers something in his spacesuit. He removes his helmet (yes, he does, and survives!), and Ben brings him safely back to the ship. Once inside (in a somewhat gory sequence), they remove a moon rock from Nate’s stomach. After that, Nate gets sick, becoming all kinds of colors, along with bloodshot eyes and weird, enlarged veins. Nate also becomes paranoid and is sure the U.S. Department of Defense is using them as guinea pigs. (For what, who knows?)
Ben tries to remain the voice of reason, but they both continue to explore in order to solve the mystery. Of course, they encounter “cold spots,” noises, and other creepy stuff, along with a few well-placed explosions for dramatic effect. Meanwhile, the communications between ground control in Houston, the mother ship, and the men on the moon goes in and out at appropriately dangerous times, but an important line does make it through—“Houston, we have a problem…”
The story continues to spiral downward and become more and more unbelievable, while attempting to keep the action and suspense going. The moon rocks begin to turn into some kind of bug (yes, bugs), which chase the men around. Eventually, overrun by the strange bugs and running low on oxygen, Ben flees to the Soviet ship, leaving Nate behind (Ben apparently ignores Jesus’ words in John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”) Ben proceeds to fly the unknown foreign ship expertly back to the mother ship. In the meantime, the Department of Defense refuses to allow the men to return to Earth. Of course, how the video footage turned up is never clear, but we are supposed to be left fearful of all the moon rocks that have previously been brought home to earth that are bound to turn into the creepy bugs.
All the ways “Apollo 18” departs from any sort of credible reality would be impossible to list here. The words of Isaiah 29:14 sum it up nicely: “the wisdom of the wise will perish; the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”
Most adults will know better than to waste their time on such a useless movie, but the film seems to be popular with teenagers. Most of the action is harmless, the violence is minimal, but the language is obnoxious. I stopped counting the obscenities when h*ll got beyond 15 and the misuses of the Lord’s name passed 20. Additionally, other vulgarities such as pr**k and d**k are used here and there. A party including heavy beer drinking by the astronauts is mentioned, too. Parents should use great discretion when deciding whether to allow their teens to see this film. Proverbs 4 gives some good advice, especially Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.