Pandorum is an atmospheric sci-fi horror set on board a gigantic spacecraft called Elysium, a vessel sent by a ravished Earth on a 123 year voyage to colonize a distant planet called Tanis. Two crew members, Lt. Payton (Dennis Quaid) and Cpl. Bower (Ben Foster) then awaken from hyper-sleep only to discover a seemingly abandoned spacecraft.
Neither one remembers who they are, who the other is, where they are, how they got there, and most importantly what happened to the ship and the rest of its crew? As Payton guides Bower through the bowels of Elysium via radio, the two men try to unravel the horrifying truth behind the crew’s disappearances, while also confronting the unfathomable levels of danger which now appears to surround them.
One such danger is a psychological condition that can affect deep space astronauts called Pandorum, which produces delirium, paranoia and intense hallucinations in its victims. There is also the question of what is now roaming the ship, as well as the strange Corporal Gallo (Cam Gigandet) who Lt. Payton discovers on the flight deck.
While a lot of critics panned Pandorum when it first came out, I, however, am baffled that so many of them missed out on the powerfully positive qualities of this unique, atmospheric film . I am pleased to say that Pandorum has since achieved a cult following amongst sci-fi fans.
I loved the premise of the movie with two people devoid of memories waking up in a cold, dark, seemingly empty spaceship, and struggling to remember who they are and how they got here in the first place. It’s a tense situation, with Pandorum subsequently doing an excellent job of tapping into a number of universal deep-rooted fears, including claustrophobia, isolation, amnesia, and things that go bump in the dark.
Another thing I love here is the strong performances from the two leads: Foster and Quaid. Ben Foster is a truly gifted actor and gives the part his all, while over the years Quaid has also shown himself to be excellent at working with dark drama/horror material. Furthermore, “The Walking Dead” fans will also enjoy watching the appearance of a really young Norman Reedus before he donned the crossbow and angel wings jacket in AMC’s smash hit TV series.
Overall, “Pandorum” has got some great ideas and truly noteworthy performances that too many people have dismissed due to bad reviews or bad results at the box office the weekend it came out. In my opinion, this movie has it all from a solid plot, convincing acting, great sets, believable CGI and talented directing making this one of the most underrated sci-fi movies of all time. I certainly believe that the strength in this film’s quality warrants at least one viewing if you have the time.
I give “Pandorum” 3 stars out of 4.