Pandorum (2009)

Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Antje Traue, Cung Le

Dir. Christian Alvart

Something is wrong with a spaceship, the lights won’t work, the place is built out of metal so you can hear footsteps a quarter of a mile away. Communications are down, the crew don’t know where they are, what they’re doing or how to put things right.

pandorum 1

Sound familiar? Dennis Quaid is at the centre of this deep space conundrum. An overpopulated earth discovers a habitable planet, sends one ship full of pioneers in suspended animation on a one way trip, and then, as usual, the batteries run out on the engines.

In the meantime something fast and ghoulish is hunting the woken survivors as rumours of a pandemic driving people insane – Pandorum – lead to mistrust and paranoia. What you have is a film shot almost entirely in the dark with a few gory scenes and a lot of browbeating.

pandorum 2

Pandorum isn’t a bad film, it’s not even derivative, more a variation on a theme. There are mutterings of experimentation gone wrong, the usual environmental laments and a lot of rank-pulling and that’s-an-order-type-orders being ignored. There’s a message in there somewhere, something about a single person becoming godlike and delusional and a great deception, but on the whole, like the scenery, the darkness is too opaque, too impenetrable. Which is fine when you’re a fast moving ghoul, but not when you’re a slow moving film watcher.

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