Apollo 18

Rated 3.0

Seemingly a bootleg video pieced together by some conspiracy theorist, Apollo 18 exposes the “truth” behind a lost Apollo mission. Turns out the lunar program wasn’t canceled because the astronauts were sick of Tang, but because there was some nasty surprises waiting in the cold, dark craters. Mileage may vary, but it helps if one approaches Apollo 18 not so much as a horror film, but more as a mockumentary of a mockumentary, using the ethos of the found-footage genre and utilizing it in an impressionistic fashion. Here, director Gonzalo López-Gallego uses a blunt-trauma approach, but it’s ambitious. And mostly it lives up to that ambition, delivering an increasingly claustrophobic re-creation of three men trapped in a tin can thousands of miles from Earth. It’s not about the narrative, but instead an aural and visual assault that uses a bare story to connect it. As with most films based mostly on a gimmick it outstays its welcome, and the actors are distractingly of the modern era. But mostly, I think it works. Cinemark 14. Rated PG-13