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.
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 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.