Sci-fi schlocker Apollo 18 touches down Friday, transforming a real-life canceled Apollo mission into a terrorized tale of lunar parasites.
Can it possibly match the classics of the astro-horror genre — which we've just now named, unless you did first — in which astronauts and other spacefaring geeks go boldly where no one has gone before, only to end up mostly dead before the credits roll?
The concept of spacemen facing the great unknown is certainly ripe for horrific exploitation, due to the risks involved in extraterrestrial exploration, said former NASA astronaut Story Musgrave in an e-mail to Wired.com.
"Whether malfunction, or human error, every astronaut understands that the chances of something going wrong are high, and this increases the chances that the astronaut will not return," he said.
We would call astro-horror a subset sci-fi horror proper, which has much wider parameters. Cycle through our list of astro-horror standouts (and perhaps a couple of cheats) and let us know your favorites in the comments section below.
Directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, this astro-horror noob is set in the '70s and employs fake found footage to add historical integrity to the clever premise that the canceled Apollo 18 mission actually happened. That is, until NASA was forced to suppress its findings (and future missions) after the discovery of moon-based monstrosities.
Thanks to a paucity of pre-release screenings and strict review embargoes, Apollo 18's biggest existential threat might be the excellent They Might Be Giants album of the same name, which could prove to have a greater legacy. With luck, it might not burn up on re-entry.