Directed by: Christian Alvart
Premise: Two crew members of a space ship awake from hibernation in the middle of the trip and discover that barbaric, mutant creatures have overtaken the ship.
What Works: The beginning of Pandorum includes some new approaches to familiar images and ideas, such as the lead characters experiencing amnesia from being in hibernation for so long and the film makes a partially successful attempt at incorporating a mystery into the sci-fi story.
What Doesn’t: Despite early attempts at originality, the film falls back into genre conventions pretty quickly. Pandorum is extremely cliché, borrowing so much from Alien and The Descent that the film plays more like a mash up of these two superior films than a movie in its own right. Pandorum has trouble with its pacing, not spending enough time at the beginning establishing the setting, and launching the audience into chases throughout the dark corridors of the ship but it is unclear who these people are, where they are going, or why. When the story pauses to give the back-story, the exposition is mishandled and it is unclear how all the pieces fit together. The editing, especially in the fight scenes, is frantic to the point that the action is unintelligible and the sound design is sloppy and poorly mixed.
Bottom Line: Pandorum has some impressive set design but the muddled story and chaotic assembly butchers the film and leaves it a hackneyed mess.
Episode: #258 (October 4, 2009)