Saturday, 28 April 2012

Pandorum

"Pandorum" (2009, C. Alvart, Constantin Films) is a sci-fi horror.
 
Corporal Bower (Ben Foster) awakes from hypersleep aboard the 'Elysium' space-people-carrier to find that he has no idea what's going on. The ship is carrying thousands of humans from disaster-stricken Earth to a new inhabitable planet. 
 
This scene is very well captured: his skin is disgusting! Not green or sores or anything, just loose and peeling and yuck! It really puts you off hypersleep. Also, this hypersleep isn't the simple man-walks-into-pod-and-falls-asleep business, no, it's a lot more medical than that! His body is riddled with wires and tubes and other general paraphernalia. You really feel for him having to remove it all and wake up. He discovers that he is not the only person awake, Lieutenant Payton (Dennis Quaid) has also awoken and he too is suffering some amnesia.
 
The control room for the ship is blocked off and the power is surging on and off. This is clearly what has caused the two men to awake. Bower heads off to find a way out, and Payton (on radio to Bower) describes a mental condition known as 'Pandorum' which is like space-cabin-fever.
 
Bower comes across some corpses, some humanoid monsters which attack him and also a few other humans who also attack him. Finally he bands together a small group of humans and they attempt to head for the reactor of the ship to stabilise the power, and also slowly unravel the chilling events that have lead to their current predicament.
 
Throughout the film we noted that it appears that whenever the 'hunters' or monsters are around, the power comes to life. It seems as if the monsters have become a part of the ship as well as having adapted to it.
 
There are some good tense scenes and the film keeps the viewer in suspense, giving very little plot away. I enjoy this type of storytelling, as it feels like I am discovering the facts for myself, rather than being told them by a narrator or character monologue.
 
Quite a few twists take place at the end of the film. One twist I felt was very obvious, as I saw it coming from quite early on, but this does not ruin the story.
 
"Pandorum" is a good space-thrill ride with some creatively gorey scenes and a good base plot. The monsters are reminiscent of those seen in 2005's "The Descent", and the end, although open-ended for sequels, gives a nice rounded feeling of completeness. It is very dark though, meaning that any ambient light in the room will ruin the view. So don't watch alone if you're scared of horror in the dark!
 
 (Picture: Constantin Films)