The next 2011 sci-fi film involving extraterrestrial life forms is Apollo 18 - which at first sounded like a cool new addition to the growing pile of scary "found footage" flicks (see: The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, The Last Exorcism).
Now that the project's been delayed multiple times - not to mention, the persistent rumors about extensive re-editing being done - it's hard to muster as much enthusiasm for the low-budget venture, which was produced by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted).
Ever since the revealing Apollo 18 trailer was unveiled, the film's subsequent marketing campaign has instead focused on playing up its main selling points: the historical conspiracy plot and spooky atmosphere. Actually, when you ignore the production's troubled history and original theatrical preview, and instead focus on the comparatively effective second trailer, then Apollo 18 looks more like a clever fake documentary that simply has its fair share of horror movie clichés - rather than a potential bust.
That's probably the same impression you'll get after watching the three new Apollo 18 TV spots below:
If you've seen any of the aforementioned "found footage" films, then you'll probably notice that Apollo 18 appears to be using a similar bag of visual tricks and scare tactics (ex. the camera falling on its side, quiet static shots punctuated by a sudden monster attack, etc.). While the success of the movie will ultimately depend on how well it executes said cinematic storytelling tools, it's kind of disappointing to see that Apollo 18 doesn't look to bring much of anything new to the table.
Props should be given to director Gonzalo López-Gallego for making the visuals in Apollo 18 look and feel appropriately dated. If you didn't know any better, you might think that this was legitimate archived footage of NASA astronauts discovering dead bodies or being attacked by mysterious creatures on the lunar surface.
Apollo 18 will arrive in U.S. theaters on September 2nd, 2011. Does it still look promising to you?