Apollo 18 never happened – originally it was scheduled to land two people on the moon for a three day stay. Apollo 18 and future manned moon missions were cancelled due to budgetary reasons meaning, Apollo 17 was the last manned mission to the moon in December 1972.
I watched 'Apollo 18' last night as snow, and the threat of more snow, prevented our expected dinner guests from arriving. The movie became the alternate evening entertainment. 'Apollo 18' is from my favourite genre – space horror (zombie movies are my second favourite – I have some unsophisticated tastes). This morning I was still thinking about the movie and it isn't often that I keep thinking about movies after they are over. By the way, I might give away the ending here.
The movie is presented as a series of clips from the Apollo 18 mission to the moon. It's presentation is similar to 'The Blair Witch Project' – which made me motion sick when I saw it in the theatre. 'Apollo 18's' clips were better executed, thus easier to watch and they maintained a nice 70's vibe to the footage. I think real moon footage was included. The cast was small and centred around the one guy orbiting the moon in the command module and the two guys camping out in the lunar module.
Apollo 18 is a secret military mission to the south pole of the moon which is why the public was lead to believe it was cancelled. The lunar module ends up landing only 2km from an ill fated Soviet mission's lunar module and frozen cosmonaut remained (in reality the Soviet's never made a manned landing on the moon). The astronaut's mission goes downhill from this discovery.
There are aliens, which I thought were handled well. We never find out why they are there or what they really want. They aren't humanish, nor do they speak English. We don't even know if they really are evil, although that is implied. Also, the physics of space was handled well (I never expect it to be perfect) and air was a serious issue.
Over all I liked the movie even though a lot of the reviewers didn't. I was left with one big question at the end, how did they recover the film?
As a tangent, I would be seriously on edge camped out on the moon even without strange things going on. Any creak or groan of the lander would put me on high alert as I'd be well aware that if something did go wrong there would be no one coming to save me. At least when I'm up in the Arctic, I know that if something went wrong rescuers would come - eventually.