Pandorum (2009) Poster

(2009)

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9/10
A good Sci-fi Scary movie
ciscokid197028 September 2009
I have to say this movie was better than I expected. If you liked Aliens and Resident Evil...this is like both of those movies got together and had a sequel. Well not quite, but the story was good and had no gaping holes in it. The acting was good without going over the top.

I loved the way this movie started; guy wakes up from hyper-sleep…his memory is not fully functional, he knows things are not right and has to save the day.

I thought the story was great in that they did not over-explain everything like they have in so many sci-fi movies. The mid plot line was very good never found myself asking "what the hell are you doing", and the ending was very good without being so trivially expected.

Of course Dennis Quaid is a great actor but I really liked watching Ben Foster. He was one of the best actors in 3:10 to Yuma.

Special effects were good but did not need to be over the top because the story was solid. Worth the price of admission.
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8/10
Pandorum: A terrifying and atmospheric, if flawed, sci-fi odyssey.
TheDeadMayTasteBad26 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Anybody wanting an intelligent, insightful, or mesmerizing motion picture should readjust they're expectations before walking into Pandorum. There are a few themes here that are interesting and the characters aren't dumb (some are engineers and scientists, after all), but chances are you've already seen these archetypes in countless movies already. As for whom to recommend this film to, if you enjoyed Event Horizon and/or Alien³, there's no reason why you wouldn't find anything to like in this film. However, contrary to what many people have said, Pandorum seems to resemble another film, Eden Log (a French sci-fi/horror picture), much more than either of the previously mentioned. As in Eden Log, our central characters wake up with no memory of how they came to be in their isolated environments. Likewise, they also have to explore an isolated world around them were horrible things have occurred and monsters seem to be looming. Even more interesting is that both films feature protagonists caught up in the mix of highly mysterious projects entitled "Eden." Our two main characters are Corporal Bower and Lt. Payton, played by Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid respectively. The two wake up disoriented and contained (i.e. trapped) in a small hypersleep chamber designated for the Elysium (the name of the large vessel of characters are aboard) crew of Flight Team 5. Unaware of what has happened to the other crew members the two begin to analyze their situation and Bower, being a technical/mechanical engineer, notices electrical surges throughout the ship signal that the nuclear reactor core in the Elysium is about to overload and shutdown. The two begin a makeshift mission to try to save the ship, with Bower climbing through ducts and exploring the wasteland left of the craft and Payton guiding him over a comlink and a crank-generator powered computer terminal. If you've seen any of the Alien films or played the videogames Doom or Dead Space, this should sound quite familiar.

Oh, yeah, and there's monsters aboard, though I won't reveal what these "monsters" are for potential viewers that don't know yet.

To Pandorum's credit, however, there are a few unforeseen plot twists before the credits roll. Some audience members may roll they're eyes at the ending, but I find it's a rather nice addition to the experience. Instead of a big, epic final battle with an Alien Queen, you get a heavy plot-reveal in the finale that causes some reflection upon the film. While it may be no masterpiece, Pandorum is not a bad film. 2009 has been a surprisingly good year for sci-fi thus far (Star Trek, Moon, District 9) and this certainly doesn't detract from that. In terms of horror, Pandorum should be a breath or fresh air for those who've endured films like Halloween II and The Final Destination for the past few weeks. In fact, I'd say Pandorum is the second best horror film of the year thus far, not quite matching the entertainment value or overall quality of Raimi's epic return to the genre (Drag Me To Hell).

In terms of film-making, this is a rather well put together film. The cinematography looks great with the exception of a few action sequences that go overboard with the "quick-cutting," but over-all audiences won't have to worry aboard an abundance of shaky-cam or other cons. Also, everything here is properly lit. Those who had trouble with their eyes focusing on images during Eden Log won't have that issue here. This film also doesn't meander around in complete darkness for as long.

Director Christian Alvart obviously has a lot of talent and I'm glad he directed this film as opposed to someone like, say, producer Paul W.S. Anderson. He really knows how to handle suspense and build up intense scenes. Like Neil Marshall, he can place his actors in tight, unattractive situations with monsters crawling right beside them (or vice versa) and have the audience holding their breath. Hopefully he'll garner more work in the future.

As we now know, Pandorum has tanked at the Box Office. While on one hand that's disappointing, it's not all together terrible news as the film might garner some sort of cult status in the future. In interviews only a week ago, Quaid discussed the possibilities of not only a sequel, but a trilogy following Pandorum. Not only is that seemingly impossible now, given the films performance, it additionally doesn't seem necessary. The film ends with a complete sense of closure. There's no need to see what happens after we leave this world, and such a story wouldn't resemble the experience in Pandorum in the slightest anyway.

All-in-all, the latest spacey sci-fi/horror epic has everything you could want in a "genre" picture. It's not original (admittedly, this is simply a collage of other, better films), but so little is in the 21st century. The film does feature a solid cast that deliver solid performances, thick atmosphere, several scares, a few unexpected twists, astonishing special effects and set pieces, and quite a bit of gore. If you are a fan of the sub-genre and these type of movies, you'll definitely want to check it out.

Runtime: 106 minutes (1 hr. 46 min.) Related Recommendations: It! The Terror from Beyond Space, Eden Log, Ghosts of Mars, The Descent, Event Horizon, Alien, Dante 01, Solaris, Solyaris, Aliens, Alien³, 28 Days Later
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7/10
Better than most critics say
Dave (freaky_dave)30 September 2009
I saw Pandorum last night and was somewhat impressed with the movie. After reading critics reviews, and how they trashed it, I was going in expecting less and was pleasantly surprised.

Pandorum borrows heavily from other sci-fi movies, but what movie doesn't nowadays. Taking a lot of ideas from Alien, a 1979 classic sci-fi movie, and borrowing the creatures from The Descent, another near classic movie from a few years ago, Pandorum was still impressive. The storyline wasn't completely original because it reminded me a lot of Event Horizon, but whereas Pandorum went more for a science level, Event Horizon was more supernatural. Most people trashed Event Horizon as well, but it was another movie I liked also, even though the ending of that movie was flawed. Of course I'm reviewing Pandorum, so I won't mention the former film anymore.

THe cast for the most part was rather good for a movie of this type. Ben Foster, and Dennis Quaid are the two most marketable names, but the other characters, outside of maybe the Cam Gigandet character, worked pretty good. My only real problem with Gigandet was that he overacted a bit, but otherwise everything was good.

The movie does claustrophobia well, and the entire movie had me jumping a lot. THere was tension, and for the most part the film was fast paced. I didn't find myself looking at my watch one time. THe visuals were decent, but the creatures should've been kept in the shadows more. Horror works best when the viewer uses his/her own imagination to visualize them.

Did I say horror. Well yeah because this is really a sci-fi horror film more along the lines of Alien as mentioned above. It doesn't match the classic status of that movie, but Pandorum is worth seeing for its psychological feel and how some people might act after being in space for so long. By the way, the movie does have a twist, which I will not spoil for anyone who wants to see it.

Note: THis is a film that may make most of its money on DVD, and will likely acquire somewhat of a cult status.
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7/10
Better than Event Horizon and Ghost Ship combined
Dan Franzen (dfranzen70)24 September 2009
Echoing such luminous sci-fi classics as 2001 and Alien, Pandorum is a terrific psychological thriller, although it does struggle at times to be coherent and original. But it's a true mindbender, and it's packed with action that moves so quickly neither the actors nor the audience can really catch a breath, which is a good move if your plot is shaky to begin with.

As with the best deep-space movies, the context is mental illness, what the Professor on Gilligan's Island called, oddly enough, "island madness." Only in space. In the distant, distant future, a ship has been sent from the Earth carrying a lot of people, headed to the only Earth-like planet ever found. Sometime during the journey, things go awry. We pick up the story as an astronaut named Bower (Ben Foster) awakens from hypersleep, abruptly; he's soon followed by his commanding officer, Payton (Dennis Quaid). The rest of the crew is gone, and the only door is locked from the outside. What's happened here? Making matters more difficult is the amnesia that each man suffers from, owing to their having been in hypersleep way longer than intended. Somehow, they must piece together what has happened and find out what lies behind that door - and throughout the rest of the gigantic ship.

Not only does the movie recall Aliens and 2001, you can also see similarities to The Descent and The Abyss; really, any movie in which people are trapped in claustrophobic environs. And although the pacing is frenetic at times, the movie is really chillingly shot (by Wedigo von Schultzendorff). On the one hand, the plot flows linearly - Bower needs to get to the ship's reactor so he can reboot it and save everyone - meaning that the actors race from scene to scene, running out of time. On the other hand, they don't piece together what's happened as quickly as they might in other, lesser films; they seem to figure things out gradually, as if assembling a puzzle in their heads. Bowers and others - and there are others - discover right away, though, that they're not really alone on the ship and that their enemies are extremely strong and fast and vicious.

Injected into this oh-my-goodness-what's-out-there madness is, well, madness. The movie's title is explained as being a sort of mental illness that affects astronauts from time to time, when they just plain go bonkers for seemingly no reason and kill everyone on board. Is that's what's happening here? Is Bower the crazy one? Or is it Payton? Are they, in fact, alone on the ship? Foster is excellent as the hero who remembers a little bit more of their mission as time elapses; Quaid, in turn, shows a few more layers than we're accustomed to seeing from him (he's usually more of a poor man's Harrison Ford). Both actors turn in convincing, full-throated performances that complement, rather than succumb to, the special effects and cinematic wizardry. Often, the effects are the entire show. Now, it's true that you won't see a lot of character development here, as you might in the most cerebral of sci-fi, but what works best here is the paucity of knowledge about the situation and the characters. By spinning the tale gradually, feeding the audience only a snippet at a time, director Christian Alvart dangles the mystery in front of his viewers without allowing them to settle back and solve the mystery on their own. When you're constantly kept on your toes with sudden lurches of unseen shapes and reverberating noises, you - like the befuddled characters - are concurrently kept off balance. The result is an unsettling, entertaining delight.
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9/10
Nice mix of adventure, surprises and psychological fun
debuneezmom26 September 2009
I thought this movie did an excellent job of tapping into a number of deep-rooted fears that seem to be universal - claustrophobia, loneliness, loss of memory, large semi-dark areas with things that go bump, not to mention suddenly waking up and not knowing what the heck is going on all around you.

It had some nice "seat jump" scenes, and had moments where it was surprising funny.

And lots of nice twists too - don't see that enough in movies in general any more!

I can't comment too much on the "technical" aspects of the film, sorry, I'm just more of "was it a good, believable story" person. This was.
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8/10
Has Potential to Become a Classic in the Future
Claudio Carvalho15 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
In 2174, the natural resources of Earth are exhausted and the spacecraft Elysium is launched to the planet Tanis in the last hope of mankind. Due to the long travel, the crew-members are divided in teams that travel in extended hyper-sleep, rotating in shifts along the trip. When Corporal Bower (Ben Foster) from Flight Team 5 wakes up due to a malfunctioning of his chamber, he is disoriented and with amnesia. But sooner he realizes that the reactor is not working and provoking power surges in the ship. Then Lieutenant Payton (Dennis Quaid) also awakes and they find that they are locked in a room but the access door to the bridge is not reactivated. Bower moves through the ventilation trunk trying to open the door from outside. Sooner he discovers that there is some weird threatening life form in the ship and running is always the best option to survive. When he meets the biologist Nadia (Antje Traue) and the strong farmer Manh (Cung Le), they team up trying to reach the reactor and save their lives. Meanwhile, Payton rescues Corporal Gallo in the room, but the menace of the paranoid Pandorum psychological trauma seems to be affecting Gallo.

"Pandorum" is a surprisingly great sci-fi with potential to become a classic in the future. The claustrophobic and complex story recalls "The Descent" in at least two scenes, but it is original and very well developed. The final twist is a great surprise and the advantage of the DVD is the facility the viewer has to repeat the explanation to fully understand the plot. The only imbecile scene is when Nadja holds Manh in the moment that he is going to kill a creature telling that the it is a child. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Pandorum"

Note: On 13 April 2015, I saw this movie again.

Note: On 24 January 2017, I saw this movie again.
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10/10
Pandorum is an Amazingly Original and Mesmerizing.
jediknight-1926 September 2009
Pandorum is an amazingly original and crafty sci-fi/horror film. The premise is well thought out and the script delivers bang on from the opening scene to the end. This movie grabs you like a vice right from the start, and never releases until the final credits. The mise-en-scene is beautifully dark and realistic, against the juxtaposition of human beings waking up in a ship without memories of who they are or their mission. The audience explores with the two crew members unraveling the mystery. There are many twists in this film and it's hard to find words without spoiling…so just go see it…you won't be disappointed.

In my opinion, this is the best sci-fi/horror film to hit the major screens since Alien. I viewed Pandorum on Friday, and then Surrogates on Saturday, and without question, Pandorum is a superior film. Pandorum has it all, from dark scenes, fast moving monsters, isolation…it's all there and more. In fact, I haven't felt this much realistic isolation and since Carpenter's 'The Thing'. Yes, I loved this movie! It's definitely one you want to see plastered on the big screen.
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Attended the test screening on June 18
lavode19 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Pandorum is about two astronauts aboard an Ark ship who wake up from their cryogenic sleep tanks with memory loss. They don't know what the mission is, where they are, nor what has happened to the rest of the ship. As they explore their surroundings, they learn that the ship is teeming with mutants who are super-fast, super-strong, and super-loud. Chase scenes abound as the crew try to avoid being eaten while regaining control over the ship and come to terms with the mission.

The film starts off with obvious references to Pitch Black, Alien, and Aliens. Once the mutants appear, however, the film shifts into overdrive, and it becomes Resident Evil, Aliens, and Descent. The mutants all screech like the vampires in 30 Days of Night, but fortunately, the noise is blended in with the rest of the soundtrack, and so didn't give me a headache.

The film's real problem is one of its main selling points: the mutants. Without them, the crew wouldn't be running from set piece to set piece, and wouldn't be compelled to stop and question what they discover. But that also cheats some of the characters (like the non-English speaking Agricultural worker) out of some needed character development. It also cheats the film out of seriously dealing with the fine story that is bubbling just under the surface of the writhing mass of mutants. There is some fine SF here, you just have to ignore the action.

There are a couple twists along the way, which I will not mention here, but they are welcome additions of cleverness to an overall film that feels as if it's riffing on lots of other popular SF films. The ending was pitch perfect for SF, and I enjoyed the movie overall. I do have to wonder though: in a space ship the size of a city, wouldn't the designers have installed a couple windows?
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9/10
I'm no horror fan but, man, I had a great time!
aiga11 October 2009
Yeh! As I said, I'm no horror fan or expert for that matter. Particularly I don't like the slashers and, if you are looking for that, this is not the way to go. This movie has a quality to it. I believe in the saying 'it is all in your head'. So, this is the sort of horror that messes with your head. I think it is the best kind. You get the most thrill out of it. I had a great time watching this film. I bit my nails, I jumped in my seat, but I couldn't tear myself away from the screen even though at times I was terrified to my core. I disagree with those who say that the story is boring. It had twists and turns and you can never guess the ending. To me it is one of the key elements in movies. I want a surprise. And Pandorum has a surprise!
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6/10
Aliens meet The Descent!!!
joselnieves8126 September 2009
I simply loved the posters for PANDORUM, they were edgy and graphic enough to make me want to give this movie a shot even thou i'm not a Dennis Quaid fan at all. I gave it a shot earlier today and i have to say it was a pretty good movie.

PANDORUM is your classic outer space scifi movie which we really haven't had for sometime. I do have to say the aliens kind of reminded me of the creatures in the movie DESCENT just with armor. The movie itself had a feel of the original ALIEN movie. Now to what I enjoyed about this movie was the way the story evolved into a edge of your seat thriller with twist after twist. The story is what separates this from other spaceship, scifi movies. Even leaves the viewer thinking "what if" this happens. PANDORUM is a good way to enter this fall season. Great story, good effects, easy story to follow, just enough gore to satisfy everyone and not to much Dennis Quaid to make me happy!
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10/10
Don't Listen To The Critics Or The Haters
beatcamel27 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is great.

The people who are bad mouthing the film are people who don't like science fiction to begin with. The people who are parroting "oh, it's just over used scifi plot devices and blah blah blah", don't have any idea what they're talking about.

Films can be genre films. They don't have to re-invent the wheel. You can make a scifi/horror film and it can deal with issues that people deal with in scifi. I'd love to hear these critics share their thoughts on the original Indiana Jones films. "Oh it's just over used action movie plot devices, like fighting Nazis? Please, haven't we seen that before?" You can literally do that with any genre film, it's just critics choose to suckle up to the indie darlings or the movies that have Will Smith in them because they want to get their glorious kiss up words on the box and will pish posh dismiss anything they don't think will get them cool points with generation suck.

So it's a scifi horror film that deals with memory loss, mutants, and the end of the world, what's wrong with that? It seems to me that films should be judged on what they are supposed to do, especially if it's a genre film. I'm not saying in the broad spectrum of, "But is it art?" and "You can read my film from many directions, there is no specific way to read it" kind of art house, janus pictures, black and white, 348 minutes of french tedium, but I'm saying that if a movie is supposed to be a comedy and you have a theater full of people laughing, that film is a success, that film did what it was supposed to do, maybe you didn't care for it's particular brand of humor, but you can't say that it was a bad movie. This is the case for "The Master of Disguise" a film that was a box office bomb and critically reviled, yet, has gone on to do quite well in the rental and home video market, because, it's a movie made for kids and kids love it. Same goes for the last bunch of unwatchable Steve Martin ridiculousness. If you're under the age of 12, chances are, you're going to love it, because it was made for you, it wasn't made for snarky 28 year old hipsters. So while I can't imagine ever wanting to watch The Pink Panther 2, I won't call it a bad film because it's not made for me and who it was made for, love it wholeheartedly.

So in this genre film, of scifi horror, the audience I was with, myself included, were terrified throughout the picture. People jumping and screaming and laughing afterwards about how scared they were. Back to the film. It's a roaring success. The sets are gorgeous and the special effects are fantastic. The film moves quickly and is full of twists and terrifying jump outs. It's just a lot of fun to watch. It's fun to get scared.

The film doesn't go overboard on the gore, it doesn't try to force in sex, it does feature good actors giving great performances. The CGI doesn't look awful like in 90% of the big effects driven films of today. The fear is real and the story, while having its roots firmly planted in some of the well worn treads of other scifi works has enough new and good ideas to make the picture seem fresh.

Don't listen to the jerks, the critics and the haters. If you like to get scared, watch scifi and have fun, check out Pandorum.
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10/10
Amazing! Totally unexpected!
jerfrog28 September 2009
I went into this film not knowing much about it to be honest. I was really only interested in it when I heard it was set in space. This film is one of the most terrifying action/horror/sci-fi movies I have seen in a very long time, but that's not the best part! The best part is the intriguing story with some amazing twists! Some are obvious and at least one is just completely unexpected, but none of them feel overly typical. Ben Foster is really really good in this and I must say that he is getting much better at picking roles, with 3:10 to Yuma and now this! One thing that really stuck out to me also, was how much some of it reminded me of the game Dead Space, don't read into that too much as far as story goes, it's just that there are a few elements that I think were inspired by the game, and if you have played Dead Space, I think you will know what I mean when you see it. This movie was good, really good, and finally gave me the space horror/fiction fix I have been craving since the last good space movie, Sunshine, by Danny Boyle. Go see this movie!
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10/10
Amazing
susieq325 September 2009
A roller-coaster ride from start to finish. The twists and turns keep coming.

The script, director and ensemble of actors elevate what could have been another ALIEN tribute into something highly original and compelling.

The overarching mystery kept me glued to the screen and despite everything I guessed, the ending fooled me, which is always a nice bonus for a film.

Stunning visuals and incredible SFX! Alvart has some career ahead of him! In a word: amazing!
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7/10
Worth the money.. no really heh
LOVEumALL26 September 2009
Better than you'd expect. I was shocked that movies like this.. can still sell and be good enough to watch. The theater was packed. Nobody was disappointed. Grade A- acting. Intense action! New superstars will emerge from this one. I won't spoil it by telling you who. You'll see. Rating >> 8.1

Antibodies director Christian Alvart takes suspense into space with this tale of two astronauts who realize that they aren't alone as they drift into the darkest corners of our galaxy. Awakening in their hyper-sleep chamber with no memory of who they are or what their mission is, disoriented astronauts Lt. Payton (Dennis Quaid) and Corporal Bower (Ben Foster) gradually surmise that they are the only ones aboard the darkened spacecraft. But how did they get here, and what are those strange sounds coming from the belly of the ship? The only way out of their hyper-sleep chamber is a narrow air shaft, and the only one small enough to climb through it is Corporal Bower. As the younger of the two space travelers shimmies inside, the older remains behind to offer guidance on the radio transmitter. But the deeper Corporal Bower ventures into the ship, the more apparent it becomes that something horrible has happened. Could it be that the survival of the entire human race rests in the hands of these two astronauts stuck on a lonely ship in deep space?
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8/10
why haven't i heard about this movie?
quibbles29 June 2010
why haven't i heard about this movie? someone should have made some noise for this! seeing a movie with no expectations makes it greater then it might deserve but i think i would rate it high even with high expectations.

the first half is extremely creepy and i would compare it to Alien. yea yea, fan boys will ofc hate me, but i have seen no other movie that i would compare to Alien except this one. i have never seen a movie that kept me so focused. i was trying to eat my dinner as i started this movie and i think it took me 1h+ to get the dinner down cause i didn't wanna look away. the story isn't even that original (are there original movies left to be made?) but the pieces picked from stories already told are put together in a really awesome way which makes it feel new and fresh. i think you could make 5-6 movies by picking out parts of Pandorum and developing them. I'm glad they kept it as one compact, awesome flick!
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9/10
Very scary, one of the best sci fi horrors.
Paul Evans12 April 2011
I very nearly allowed myself to be put off this movie by all the negative press and reviews which it received. I took a chance and bought the Blu Ray of it, wow, I was expecting a movie similar to Event Horizon or Sunshine, what i got was something way more impressive. I found myself with that scared sunken in the stomach feeling that i've not had for many a year, and certainly not had with recent horror films. What a very clever idea, strong acting, gorgeous effects, very novel to have such a mix of a cast. I find it very frustrating when i expect a lot from a film and don't get it, here the reverse has happened. I think most people would enjoy this. Think Dr Who Ark in Space meets Silent Hill, perhaps that's an idea of the mix. 9.5/10.00
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7/10
Best SF mix I have seen in years
Michal Poniedzielski27 February 2010
I think box-office failure of this one was caused by crappy advertising. Posters are set in the tone of "Starship Troopers" or "Crank" or "Saw" and they doesn't resemble the soul of this movie. At all. So if you want to see Pandorum, but you feel stink from the posters - don't be afraid, it's only a poster. Movie is better.

In few words: Pandorum has splendid sets and design, gooooood acting (Ben Foster especially gives power to this movie), and most important - strong directing and quite good script with few kinda' freshy concepts.

The script has only one major flaw - too much talking. This story is a great pretext to create almost silent movie. It would be a challenge to tell the plot almost without talking, but I'm sure it could have been done good. And THEN we would get a fresh movie! Instead we have something more hollywoodish, but still attractive and wort watching.

Director Christian Alvart knows how to thrill. I've watched this movie on rather bad DivX copy and shitty speakers and still was climbing the armchair in few moments. Very good sense of suspense. DVD or Blue-Ray should emphasize those experiences.

But good directing isn't much when your cast is shitty. Respect goes here to Ben Foster and Denis Quaid who assist the director in gaining the right feel of the movie. Female lead Antje Traue was a nice choice too. She jumps over the over-played "strong female character" known from times of Sigounrey Weaver's Ripley and plays here in very simple, yet realistic manner. It adds some very needed reality feel to the story. In the opposite we have Eddie Rouse whose theatrical acting - either it was director's choice or his own - doesn't fit here, and spoils the mood.

To complete the picture we have here very very very good design and nicely created and lighted sets, without joy-killing "cardboard feel". It helps again the story to be more believable. But we have to remember that I watched it on DivX, so It could be worse in better quality.

This whole bunch of things is nicely photographed and edited so the final package WILL make you happy.

Summing up - be prepared for some deja-vu from time to time (for example "The Descent" [2005], "Event Horizon" [1997], "Creep" [2004]), but it's a good mix for sure and if you are looking for dark Science Fiction in the tone (tone, not level) of Alien, I definitely recommend you this title.
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8/10
Parts Make Pandorum Better Than You'd Think
fwomp28 February 2010
Part psychological thriller, part sci-fi, part ALIENS, PANDORUM is a unique hybrid. Although nothing new in terms of things we haven't seen before (encapsulate a group of men/women and see how they react), the film is strung together differently enough to hold your attention. You never really know what's around the next corner.

The story is pretty common: Earth is doomed. Spaceships are sent out to find a habitable planet. One of these ships has been lost in space for some time, and when ship's pilot #4, Bower (Ben Foster, 3:10 TO YUMA), wakes up from a prolonged hyper-sleep, much of his memory is gone or scrambled. Slowly things begin coming into focus as he finds various clues about who and where he's at. And not long after his awakening, another pod opens up and spills out Payton (Dennis Quaid, VANTAGE POINT), a high ranking officer who's memory is just as screwed up.

Bower is chosen to explore the ship, and getting out of their pod chamber is the first challenge since they're locked in for unknown reasons. Like giving birth, Bower squeezes through the canals of the ship's innards and is expelled onto what appears to be a dead ship. But he quickly runs into friends and foes. Some of the crew, it appears, have mutated and are cannibalistic. Others have had to do terrible things in order to fight and survive. All Bower wants to do is reactivate the ship's power systems and get to the bridge.

And that's about as far as I want to go without producing any spoilers....

There are several "jump-in-your-seat" moments that'll surprise the hell out of most viewers. And the darkness of the cold ship makes for some excellent atmosphere. The sound score also added a spooky quality to the production.

Ben Foster has rarely let me down in his choice of roles, and Pandorum was no exception. His embattled and continually challenged character was pitched just right throughout the film. It was also one of the first times I'd seen him as a main character and I was pleased to see it. He's a great young actor.

And I've saved the best for last: the filming. It was pretty amazing. Again, the dark qualities and claustrophobic shots were pulled off without feeling forced or contrived (something I can't say of all films ...like THE DESCENT).

Surprisingly this film got poor reviews and pretty much flopped at the box office (costing over $40 million to make but only grossing $10 million). Shame. It's actually better than you might think.
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9/10
One of the best Sci-Fi / Horror Movies I've seen
Daniel Pestana19 November 2009
Clever and brilliant, are the words to describe this masterpiece. A combination of several elements, from sci-fi to horror with a refreshed and genius vision of the archetypes. What I loved the most about the movie is that it doesn't give you all the answers, it let's you imagine and figure them out. The other thing that I loved is the claustrophobic ambiance and disturbing scenes folding one after the other. Just amazing. The only thing that I didn't like so much was Dennis Quaid performance, don't misunderstand me, he's a terrific actor, I just think he can do better than that. I'm giving a 9 stars to this movie. It has become one of my favorites of all times. Go watch it.
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8/10
Inside Pandorum's Box is a damn good film.
StrontiumAE25 February 2010
As sci-fi movies go, Pandorum is one of the more original you will find. Despite taking more than a few cues from the Alien franchise, this art house feature delivers so much freshness and punch (much like District 9); it can restore even the more cynical person's faith in Hollywood.

Pandorum is at its core a psychological horror that is as much about the 'demons' that lay around a dark corner, as it is about the ones that haunt the mind. Staring Dennis Quad and Ben Foster as two surviving members of a crew who awaken from a deep sleep on board a city sized space ship, the pair has no recollection of how they ended up where they are, and what their mission is meant to be. Initially believing that the rest of the crew and the ship's large compliment of passengers are still asleep, it soon becomes apparent that something else is awake, and that this thing has a taste for human flesh. However, to reveal more about the plot will ruin the multiple twists that swiftly come one after another, right up until the end credits.

Fans of Solaris, 2001 and Sunshine, who also do not mind copious amounts of blood and guts on screen, reminiscent of the horror thriller Descent, will enjoy this story. Although Michl Britsch music score proved distracting to the point of annoyance and the special effects are a little weaker than one would expect for a film released in 2010, everything else about Pandorum makes this a must see movie. The performances are excellent; the set designs are as epic as the story itself, and the direction is tight. 8 out of 10.
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8/10
Tense, intelligent movie with very good effects and camera work
Neil C12 July 2010
Will Keep this nice and short but have to say I really enjoyed this movie.

If you are a fan of SciFi films then you are sure to enjoy this. The acting is good, suspense is maintained right to the end , the effects are brilliant and the action sequences very good.

The camera work in the action scenes is the same as the first couple of alien films, lots of moving shots and cool angles done really well. The movie is not cheap in its presentation. The sets are well done and the atmosphere in each scene well created.

Is well worth a look if you have an hour and a half to spare for sure. Don't listen to the haters find out for yourself is worth it.

Neil
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8/10
Interesting sci-fi horror flick with pretty good story
ersinkdotcom25 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I just never know what to expect from horror / sci-fi films. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. I can't think of too many times where it didn't work. I guess there's Supernova, Doom, Virus, John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars, and other films like that. But there's also the Alien movies, the first Species, Pitch Black, Event Horizon, and even the Resident Evil movies that hit the nail on the head. I would have to say Pandorum does a pretty decent job of hammering it down.

Pandorum is loud, noisy, and has more gore than I think most "regular" moviegoers are probably used to. That being said, it also strives to be intelligent and arty. It's kind of a strange mix. It melds together elements of such films as Event Horizon, Alien, Resident Evil, and even The Poseidon Adventure. I mean, the whole film is about a guy trying to reach the reactor of the ship to turn it back on. Just imagine Gene Hackman (or Kurt Russell, if you've only seen the remake Poseidon) and company trying to get off the ship before it breaks apart...but they're being chased by cannibalistic monsters that seem to have superhuman strength and speed.

The acting in the film for the most part is pretty decent. Dennis Quaid comes off kind of cheesy a few times and some of the dialogue for the other characters could have been spruced up a bit. There's really nothing to cry about, though. I was kind of excited to see that Norman Reedus (The Boondock Saints, Blade II, Deuces Wild, Gossip, Messengers 2: The Scarecrow) was in this, but was disappointed when his character gets dragged off a mere five minutes after he hits the screen.

The special effects and cinematography were very stylistic. The scene of the "mutant" cannibal lair where they're all piled on each other and intertwined was reminiscent of the scene in Alien Resurrection where Ripley is lying with all the Aliens in their lair. Now imagine having to crawl through them covered in their skin to get to where you need to go. Yes, it is pretty nerve-wracking and disturbing. The ferocious way the "mutants" run, attack, and eat their prey is also a big visual highlight.

You can tell that the writer of this film really did try to do something intelligent and new, while treading on some familiar ground. There's a pretty decent story lying under all the visual hocus-pocus and gore. I actually liked the end (one of them, at least), even though I could see it coming a mile away. I wanted to write that I didn't like it, but I just can't. It worked so well within the frame of the story.

Is Pandorum a groundbreaking film? No. Is it going to shock genre fans and be the next big thing? No. Is it a good movie that entertains, but at the same time doesn't dumb anything down story wise for action and gore? Yes. Like I said earlier, your "normal" Friday night movie-going audience will probably find it more shocking and gory than us genre gore hounds. It was still a good watch.
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10/10
Best thing i have ever seen since "Event Horizont"
zzzorgz18 October 2009
The first thing i should say about this movie: It is for a space horror movie fans! A space ship is lost in space, creepy creatures are wandering its modules and so on - we have seen it before. Any person who thinks that Pandorum has not shown new sides in this genre - is absolutely right! But if we look at any new film about a strange child (for example Alvart's "Case № 39" or "Orphan") we will see that these movies are just variations of the "Omen".

The strongest point in Pandorum is the script! Very intelligible story mixed with good performance of Ben Foster, Dennis Quaid and Antje Traue is worth seeing this movie (even couple of times).

P.S. I hope Alvart and his fellows won't start filming sequel...
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9/10
Self-confident and uncompromised
felekisz28 October 2009
What makes a thriller great ? A serious tone, tension and unpredictability. Pandorum has them all. It doesn't make a mockery of itself by employing jokes, sex or smartass heroes. And that is really rare nowadays.

The script is intelligent and it contains a few surprises that culminate in a very satisfying ending. Don't let anyone ruin it for you. The music and the audio effects are especially effective, the pacing is near perfect and pretty much everything from acting to direction works beautifully. And guess what, the cinematography and editing aren't epilepsy-inducing. Woohoo !

One could argue that the movie could have been better if it had a bigger budget. More detailed and varied sets wouldn't have hurt. But who cares when you're sucked in from minute one and kept interested (not to mention terrified) throughout the whole deal ?

If you love sci-fi, psychological horror and movies that are just plain INTENSE, do yourself a favor and check out Pandorum. It's grittier than District 9 and much scarier than the Alien series. For me, this was a small revelation and the year's best movie-going experience. I hope the people involved in making this gem will get the recognition they deserve.
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7/10
This frightening Sci-Fi movie concerns about some astronauts being trapped into a claustrophobic aircraft
ma-cortes24 October 2010
This is a spectacular and moving story full of twists and turns ; however being pretty claustrophobic . It starts with two astronauts (Dennis Quaid , Ben Foster ) wake up from pods , they are solitaries and some has decimated the crew . One of them goes to explore the zone in where can live people no-infected . Meanwhile, the astronaut Bower attempting to survive , and he meets new survivors ( Antje Traue ,Norman Reedus, Cung Le ) hidden throughout the aircraft .Then, they encounter themselves chased by bloodthirsty,predatory monsters which have added them to his food chain. They must confront carnivorous mutants, hordes of warriors starving of human flesh and some of the most horrifying creatures ever made . The survivor group is surrounded , as they encounter a pack of carnivorous,crawling creatures that are waiting for them , facing their destruction and exposed to cruel bites by meat-eating sickos. They undertake a desperate fighting to survive and confronting each other.

This exciting picture contains thrills, chills, plot twists, action-filled with fierce fights and lots of gore and guts . The terror and action moments are fast moving and compactly realized . The film turns out to be a crossover between psychological issues of crew from ¨ Event horizon¨ , a certain similarity to the extraterrestrial attacks on the spacial corridors of ¨Alien saga ¨ , the weird monsters from ¨The descent¨ and ¨Resident evil¨ by Paul W. Anderson, here also producer , taking ideas here and there , resulting to be a fine movie . And of course the theme of people being stranded in a hostile, perilous environment with attackers creatures is justly reminiscent of ¨Pitch black¨ . The creepy images of wide range from the genuinely fantastic to the bizarre along with an eerie and amazing frames . It's predictable but also its predictability is redeemed for some extraordinary surprises and in part by the charismatic acting from the main protagonists , Quaid and Foster . The flesh-eating mutants appearance deliver the goods, plenty of screams, shocks and tension. The make-up assistants create the truly terrible cannibals. Horrifying and astonishing images about eerie events with deserted and threatening corridors , such as the creepy scenarios in the large spacial craft without barely people , and covered of metal and iron . Cool , dark cinematography by Wendigo who creates a perfect atmosphere and haunting musical score fitting to action and horror . The motion picture is surprisingly directed with startling visual style by Christian Alvart who subsequently would direct another good terror film as ¨Case 39¨ .
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