|Apollo 18, Dimension Films, 2011.|
The found footage sub-genre of horror films is an interesting, if recently overdone/overexposed one. The Blair Witch Project set the standard beautifully, inspiring a phenomenon of fear and mimicry all the way down to Paranormal Activity and The Last Exorcism. These small films, pretending to be actual footage capturing supernatural occurrences, can be made cheaply and, if capturing the "imaginations" of the mass audience, can reap the big bucks.
Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego's promising English language debut film, Apollo 18, effectively tweaks American space history and NASA data procedures to produce an entertaining variation on the sub-genre in a cheesy Z-grade vein. Although the "footage" isn't always convincing as dated or found, Lopez-Gallego's conviction in the temerity of his piece is infectious.
A cast of unknowns perform their duties well, as the true horror of the mysteries of space come to light. Jose David Montero's camera work is well done, fascinating and abstract in many places. Even though we've been there, done that with all of this before, there's no harm in enjoying a fun night out at the movies or applauding a genre job well done.