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Reviews & Ratings for
Pandorum More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

derivative, but on its own terms it's got some chills and cool things, and acting

Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
17 August 2010

Watching Pandorum, it made me think back to other science fiction and as well horror movies ('horror' isn't listed as one of the genres of the film on IMDb though it should), but this is not entirely a negative for the movie itself. It has the same dark tunnels and claustrophobic lighting of the Descent and Alien (and the creatures of the Descent), it has the surreal nature of Event Horizon (as many have noted), and it has a take on humanity that is grim and cynical that has been seen in countless sci-fi. But the film also carries with it some genuinely good actors like Ben Foster, this instance playing a more heroic character instead of his usual villain, and Dennis Quaid as Peyton who is caught in the conflict of trying to help guide Foster's Bower and another man who has come out of one the tubes that has kept the astronauts in hyper- sleep.

It's a deep-on-in-space story that, by its last reel, gets pretty silly and crazy, especially once the pandorum of the title sets in. It's a disease that infects the part of the brain that goes bonkers, and this is illustrated at one point by a man on another ship years before who had it and jettisoned hundreds of people out in to space (you know, cause he thought the ship was in trouble, that sort of thing). So the basic thrust of the plot is: find who else is alive (and sane) on the ship, and try not to get killed by these ravenous mutant-radioactive- whatever men who are almost like punk-rock orcs from Lord of the Rings. At the same time there's another layer of conflict on the fact that the ship was never really meant to find another crew or look for something missing, they *are* meant to be missing crew.

Pandorum uses its 30 million dollar budget like a smart B-movie, and it shows. It's actually not as stupid or inane as any given number of sci- fi from the past several years, even as it does dip into being really stupid in certain parts (and you'll know which). And sure, the filmmakers do end up dipping into the "WHAT A TWIST!" batch in the last ten minutes or so, one of them, about the location of the ship and who really has pandorum, being a real doozy. Some of it may not even make much sense, but this disorientating feeling is part of what makes the film work. It may be more difficult to get others excited about stock characters, such as the lone ruthless a-hole survivor played by Eddie Rouse who pops up, says some exposition about what's really going on, and then captures the heroes and threatens their lives as he's a survivalist. He is a walking conventional, but Eddie Rouse is so good in the role that it's a big assist in elevating the material.

A lot of this is elevated by the players, and by some really effective cinematography that brings out the dizzy and dark nature of the ship and the places they come across, and how faces look in blue and green lights. It's like a cinematographer's fun-house, and this goes a long way in distinguishing the material as well. It's not anything truly essential in science-fiction-horror-out-in-space, but for genre fans it shouldn't come as a disappointment for all things considered. It's a good-fun-unpretentious movie about people going crazy out in space.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: toliveisChrist09 from United States
15 August 2010


While parts of this movie were a little cheesy (what else should one expect in an intergalactic thriller) it really was incredibly done. I was so impressed with the filming, the characterization and just about everything else--even the design of the monsters in the film. I have to admit, they look startlingly real--and are incredibly Lord of the Rings- esquire. Dennis Quaid is, of course, superb, and so is the younger actor-- who I'm sure we will see return in many more movies. I could watch this one again and again and again.

In fact, I think I will.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Quaid, I mean Foster, Start the Reactor!

Author: Thom Sirveaux from Low Earth Orbit
6 August 2010

I watched this on DVD and just finished it a few minutes ago. The film is still fresh in my mind, and left me with a feeling of "man, that was worth it!" It's a good, solid piece of entertaining film. I went in with zero expectations and was very pleasantly surprised.

The film offers solid performances from Quaid, Foster, and the rest, though it isn't going to be an Oscar candidate (no sci-fi ever is anyway, but I digress). The film does some character development, mostly as characters remember who/what they were. It's not Anna Karenina or Gone With The Wind, though. It's a lost spaceship movie.

The film has the mood that's portrayed on the back of the DVD box. It's a claustrophobic lost spaceship flick - very direct. If you like that type of movie to begin with (Alien, Event Horizon, Sphere, etc.), you'll probably find yourself enjoying it. If you don't, you still might like it anyway.

If you're a sci-fi snob demanding that "The Wreck of the River of Stars" be made into a 10-hour miniseries, then go read a book an tell us how dumb we are for enjoying movies. (River of Stars is about a doomed sailboat in space. You get this from reading the title and the first page. Hell, the title tells you what's going to happen.)

Pandorum has a couple of turns in the plot that make it really interesting. I won't call anything a "twist" or "reveal" because that makes it seem like a cheap showman's trick, and Pandorum really does tell a good story.

There are a few parts where I found myself thinking I'd seen something like it before, and there are some derivative elements. But so what? What it borrows from is good entertainment, and it uses much of it to good effect - sometimes better effect.

Is it the greatest sci-fi ever? Certainly not. Is it derivative? Sure, somewhat, but everything is. Haters gonna hate. There are some flaws - one scene specifically that may leave the audience going "why would you do that?" - but even one really dumb move by the characters didn't dissuade me from enjoying the film. You'll know it when you get to it, and just roll with it - the movie's worth ignoring one bit of bad writing. There are some other flaws for nitpickers, and the action scenes suffer from rampant ramping, but it's nothing intolerable, and the story carries on despite giving nits to pick.

There are a few small, VERY creative, very unique special effects that add to the mood of the film. There are also some unique character traits that mix up the film a bit, plus the title space-sickness "Pandorum".

All in all, if you rent it or Netflix it or find it for $10 at Walmart, it's worth it.

I'd give it 7 1/2 stars, but I'm trying to offset the hater 1s.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

"Descent" On A Spaceship

Author: sddavis63 ( from Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada
7 June 2010

This is a pretty decent, suspenseful movie that reminded me very much of the movie "Descent" - except for the fact that it's set on a spaceship rather than in a cave. That environment, though, creates the same claustrophobic feeling of the other movie, and as the movie progresses, there's the same seemingly hopeless sense that grows as a small group of people try to survive against strange, human-like ravenous creatures.

The movie opens with a pair of astronauts being jarred awake from some type of suspended animation. Apparently, earth has exhausted its resources, and this group on the spaceship is being sent to another earth-like planet to colonize it. Something, though, has gone dreadfully wrong. Astronauts Payton and Bower (Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster) awaken to a nightmare. The crew has disappeared, and there's something on the ship with them. The mystery unfolds slowly but deliberately; the suspense is built quite well. A few other scattered survivors are introduced, and the origin of the ravenous creatures gets hinted at a few times but is never definitely explained.

This is a good sci-fi thriller; very enjoyable for fans of the genre.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Untapped potential leaves "Pandorum" a dark, claustrophobic, unoriginal mess which at least manages to be passably entertaining

Author: xamtaro from
19 January 2010

Science Fiction horror has more or less come to a standstill. Seriously, how many times can you retell a story involving people getting killed off on a dark foreboding spaceship? Pandorum is not spared that "unoriginal" stereotype that has plagued so many films in this genre ever since Ridley Scott's "Alien".

Simply put, Pandorum is "Event Horizon" meets "Resident Evil"(surprise surprise, the producers DID make both those films) by way of "I Am Legend". In deep space, on board the colony vessel Elysium, astronauts Bower and Payton are awoken from hyper-sleep only to be confronted with a dark empty room, signs of struggle, irregular power surges and the mysterious disappearance of the other crew members. Suffering from mild memory loss, Bower volunteers to journey deep into the bowels of the ship and restore power at the main reactor so that they can access the main bridge while Payton guides him over the radio. Along the way, Payton tells Bower of "Pandorum" which is a psychological condition brought about by intense emotional reaction after long periods of suspended animation. Symptoms include hallucinations, paranoia and even homicidal tendencies. No sooner has this been said, Bower gets thrust into a nightmare of claustrophobic vents, hellish cannibalistic creatures and other human survivors who have "gone native". Payton too has to deal with his discovery of a stowaway, Gallo, who may hold the answers to the all that is happening on the ship.

Amniesic protagonist, someone with a hidden past and agenda, kick butt warrior woman, blood thirsty mutants, hell on a spaceship.... all highly familiar to anyone who has at least heard of the science fiction horror sub-genre. Plot holes, erratic pacing and confusing back-story aside, The worst part is that Pandorum had so much wasted potential to address more complex issues of the human psychological nature; perhaps by expanding on the whole "Pandorum syndrome" concept and giving a more ambiguous nature to the horrors faced by the protagonists so that we would not know if they were real or were merely hallucinations brought on by the Pandorum symptoms. There is even a part about one man "having his way" with the other sleeping crew as he succumbs to the loneliness of deep space travel; again a lot of potential for expansion into a parable about human nature but in the end, merely left as a passing anecdote.

Thankfully, the film makes up for its narrative shortcomings thanks to, the director's eye for style and detail. Christian Alvart excels at conveying the same sense of fear and hysteria experienced by Bower through effective cinematography and tight close-up shots. His camera-work never fails highlight the production design of the Elysium's interior which is both spectacular and menacing to behold, as if the ship itself had mutated along with the creatures residing in its bowels. The decision to let the whole mystery be played out slowly as the astronauts try to piece together what transpired on the Elysium works after a while and manages to maintain a chilling air of suspense right up to the big twist.

Both Ben foster and Dennis Quaid who play the two astronauts manage to put on a convincing and multi layered performance with "New Moon"'s Cam Gigandet stealing the show as a man slowly going over the deep end. Such rich characters are a rarity in horror movies nowadays. With so many films falling back on the usual stock one-dimensional ones, this is a refreshing change.

While suspenseful, Pandorum is severely hampered by its lack of actual scares and indecisiveness as to whether it should be a horror show or action movie. Long time sci/fi fans will know what to expect and will most likely be let down, but hopefully this film can entice newcomers to the genre who would then go on to check out some of the better sci/fi horror films. While it is a decent attempt at reinvigorating the waning science fiction horror sub-genre, Pandorum suffocates under the reputation of its predecessors and its derivative elements. Ultimately, like some lost vessel drifting in space, it would disappears into darkness or at least garner a small cult following.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

An Original Masterpiece Of Futuristic Surrealism

Author: unemployedvirgin from United Kingdom
21 September 2010

Just watched it, loved it. The story unravels constantly, mystery kept me interested throughout. As piece by piece new answers are revealed to our disorientated crew. Confusion is in fact the key element in decoding past with present, a beautiful display of it here.

Designs of the creatures/mutants should also be praised, very unique specimens indeed! It's always a better viewer experience when you don't really know the full story behind the madness; that's how true thriller is born!!!

Final Thoughts: Hot chick with a sexy accent, sinister turns and twists, I was able to feel for empathy for every character, in general the film had a "video game quality" to it - Making the journey all the more exciting. Planet Of The Apes (1968) i feel was a big inspiration for this movie - hmmm i've said too much, i'll let YOU decide if its all that its hyped up to be :)

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Pandorum is a great sci-fi movie

Author: grandfunkfan from United States
6 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I started to say that Pandorum was a great sci-fi horror movie, but I realized that wasn't necessary. Sci-f deals with the unknown, and the unknown can be horrible. I would also advise readers to ignore the naysayers that compare Pandorum to other movies. Take it on its own merits as a good sci-fi movie.

The mutants in Pandorum, as well as the 'normal' humans, are all just creatures trying to survive in the environment they've found themselves in. The mutants surely have the advantage, because they have developed and grown up in the cargo ship. The sleepers on the other hand, expected to wake up to a peaceful, controlled environment headed toward a new beginning or a continuance of mankind. What a horrible shock the sleepers woke up to instead: they didn't know where they were, they didn't know how long they had been asleep or how far they had traveled, they didn't know if their breeding companions (a.k.a. loved ones) had survived, etc.

The unknown can be horrible. Sci-fi can be horrible. Many attempts at creating horror through the genre of sci-fi have been horribly disappointing. However, Pandorum is a very entertaining movie with many twists and shocks that should hold the interest of a sci-fi or action enthusiast throughout.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly Well Done

Author: politically_incorrect204 from United States
27 January 2010

Normally I don't bother with writing reviews because there's already enough that express the same sentiment I had. And while I think there are already a fair amount of people who share my thoughts on this film I was so pleasantly surprised by how good it was I thought I'd do it the favor of writing a positive review. I won't go into every agonizing narrative detail about the film. I will just say that while it does have some typical sci-fi attributes I would definitely say it proves itself worthy of the viewers attention. First of all the acting was great. Great cast even in the small roles. Ben Foster is excellent again and Dennis Quaid is convincing and surprisingly forceful and manic at times. So that always helps when you can rely on the actors to do things well. The script is actually quite original. It takes some familiar sci-fi components and then mixes them up into a very original take on sci-fi. Some ideas I would say are completely original, so kudos, since sci-fi has to be one of the most rehashed genres out there. That being said great story, I liked how there were two simultaneous story arcs that were both very compelling and had you both wanting to know what happened next or what something meant. Its hard to enough to find one good story people want to follow but two is even better. The creatures were well done as well, believable, scary, and vaguely original. My only small criticism is I felt some moments were strongly borrowed from The Descent. Just little ques here and there, objects, creatures, scenes. These may have been homage to that wonderful film, or perhaps just miscues by the director. Either way by films end I was very happy I'd taken the time out to watch it and will be definitely watching this movie again some time.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Solid horror thriller

Author: Danny_G13 from Glasgow, Scotland
15 February 2010

Dark sci fi thriller with overtones of horror and psychology might not be original, but entertains.

As you may have picked up from the blurb, Pandorum is set in space like Event Horizon, and is a similar sci fi horror style to that Sam Neill flick, but features a number of people waking up aboard a space ship with no recollection of their mission, their objectives, the date or their location.

Suffice to say Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster spend the rest of the movie trying to figure this out and how to save themselves.

Pandorum is not a truly great movie - the dialogue is very muffled at times, caused by substandard audio capture in the first place, and the majority of the location is almost pure darkness - certainly a good test for blu ray but not your patience.

But what it lacks in certain areas, it makes up for in being basically entertaining. The viewer WANTS to know what has happened to this mission, wants to know where they are, and wants to know who everyone really is - to that extent it's a decent story and it's quite well told.

What it lacks are the production styles and cinematography - too much incoherent darkness with fast cameras and a lack of easy identification of what's going on.

There is also a niggly feeling of miscasting - neither Quaid nor Foster suit their roles. They're not awful, but they don't appear comfortable. Cam Gigandet is the only one who is half decent and that's quite worrying given he's alongside 2 major players in the Hollywood scene while he's still relatively minor.

Nevertheless, for its faults, it's a basic and simple yarn - bread and butter entertainment and worthy of a watch. There are better, but there are much worse.


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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Finally a Really Good Sci-Fi movie...

Author: Marc from earth
2 October 2009

OK i went to see this movie very excited and i was not disappointed . It's seriously good with no Hollywood bullshit that you see lately in all American movies... Definitely recommended for anyone who liked alien or played Dead space as there is a lot from it in the movie . There is even a nice twist at the end you don't really expect which add so much to the movie . Dennis Quaid should have more scenes in the movie but in general it was well balanced. Anyone saying this movie is bad has a problem with imagination or doesn't like fantastic movies , then don't post comments nor vote if you went to see it without liking this types of movies. Period. Go and see it it 's worth the big screen... More of this type of movies please .

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