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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Dennis Quaid
Ben Foster
Cam Gigandet
Antje Traue.
Directors
Christian Alvart.
Screenwriters
Christian Alvart
Travis Milloy.
Running Time
108 minutes

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Pandorum
Dennis Quaid in a sci-fi space horror


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Plot
Lieutenant Payton (Dennis Quaid) and Corporal Bower (Ben Foster) wake up from cryogenic suspension on an apparently deserted spaceship, with no memory of who they are, what their mission is or what the noises coming from the belly of the ship could be.


Review
Pandorum
Astronauts Payton (Dennis Quaid) and Bower (Ben Foster), serving on a space ark which is conveying the last Earth folks to a fresh new planet, come out of cryo-sleep suffering from partial amnesia. 

The ship is malfunctioning, and degenerate body-pierced mutant cannibals are running wild, so Bower takes a perilous journey through dark tunnels to fire up the reactors while Payton argues with a pessimist mystery man (Cam Gigandet) in the control room.

Pandorum is a hodge-podge of familiar sci-fi stuff, which feels as if it were adapted from a computer game – it’s a Paul W.S. Anderson production, directed by Christian Alvart (Case 39) – and spends so much time in the dark, with irritating jittery edits and indistinct action, that it barely flickers into life when all its mysteries are resolved. 


Verdict
Not much fun.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Pandorum
Empire Star Rating

RE: what a shame...

anyone say this was awful? would not say awful, but VERY confused, its a jumbled film and certainly not one I will be adding to my film collection 2/5 is about right in my opinion, I saw Surrogates the week before and enjoyed watching that and found it thought provoking in places Pandorum was not really enjoyable, and the only thoughts it provoked were "???" and "What the hell is going on?" ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hampstead bandit at 19:57, 07 October 2009 | Report This Post


what a shame...

contrary to some of the reviews on here this does start off well and builds up a fair chunk of tension. the darkness and industrial space setting is actually pulled off very well at first. unfortunately when the decision is made to move to shaky cam things go more than a little down hill. add in to that a couple of pointless characters that just remove tension and seek to over explain a story that really didn't need it and you can't help but wonder how good this could have been if kept lean and... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jamie_speak at 22:08, 06 October 2009 | Report This Post


Did I watch a different film?

How can anyone say this was awful? Looking at the comments on here I almost didn't go and watch this film and that would have been a mistake. A lot of you are moaning about it being dark? HELLO its set on a spaceship with intermittent power, there would be no light! I thought that the darkness added more atmosphere of the movie. It kept the suspense of waiting for something to jump out going almost all the way through the film and had enough action/chasing/violence throughout without being ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dwavid at 23:24, 05 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Pandorum

Dear god.  A film so bad it made me angry.    The acting was awful.  The editing and direction was one of the worse I have ever seen.  I could not make out what was going on during any of the fight scenes.  The script and plot was dire.  I am all for dark in horror films but this was too dark had to squint through most of it.    This had no atmosphere at all.  Had all the right idea for a horror film.  Isolation, claustrophobia, e... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Death_Row_Marv at 20:49, 05 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE:

just saw it today, the only local cinema I could find it showing in (a telling sign if any?) was Odeon in Holloway Road, London the cinema itself was very unusual, with a majestic entrance and a very complex set of multiple turns, doors and long sweeping corridors that lead down and then up, leading to Screen 8 where I saw the film; I actually found the cinema more interesting than the film! within about 10 minutes, I knew something was "wrong" with Pandorum, it just didn't do anythi... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hampstead bandit at 19:37, 05 October 2009 | Report This Post


If your idea of what makes a good film is sitting in the dark trying vainly to pick out what is happening on an almost perpetually dark screen then you'll love Pandorum. If you like trying to figure out what is going on as the camera is flung around left. right and centre then you'll love Pandorum. Howvever if you like a plot, decent lighting, good editing or good effects then you'll find nothing to enjoy here. Watch Alien again instead to see how it can be done if you have some skill. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Shaun666 at 15:20, 05 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Awful

There is a really good film in there, but they just widened it out a little too much. It could have been like The Edge...in Space. Two men trying to surivie while something is after them. Instead they kinda loose their way about a third into the film. Which is a shame as I can see a lot to like in it. ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 22:05, 04 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Awful

I get your point kenada_woo, it's a difficult thing to be truly original.  My point about 'Moon' was not really to offer it is a direct comparison to 'Pandorum' but to illustrate the fact that it created a tone through story and character as opposed to bad lighting and poor editing.  I just thought it was a really lazy film which offered nothing interesting or engaging. ... More

Posted by mackey at 21:52, 04 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Awful

L: Deviation L: kenada_woo L: mackey I don't think the sci-fi channel is the best place to judge the genre UTB.  As you say, the stuff they show on there is almost total drivel.  Unfortunately 'Pandorum' would not look out of place amongst it's programming.  It's a truly awful film which liberally 'borrows' ideas from several far better sci-fi/horror films and recycles them into a murky, mundane mess - gloomy lighting is no substitute for atmosphere, regardless of budget (... More

Posted by kenada_woo at 19:56, 04 October 2009 | Report This Post


pandorum

The worst pile of shite Ive seen this year. Boring and stupid Alien/Event Horizon Clone ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 18:47, 04 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Awful

L: kenada_woo L: mackey I don't think the sci-fi channel is the best place to judge the genre UTB.  As you say, the stuff they show on there is almost total drivel.  Unfortunately 'Pandorum' would not look out of place amongst it's programming.  It's a truly awful film which liberally 'borrows' ideas from several far better sci-fi/horror films and recycles them into a murky, mundane mess - gloomy lighting is no substitute for atmosphere, regardless of budget (see 'Mo... More

Posted by Deviation at 17:14, 04 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Awful

L: mackey I don't think the sci-fi channel is the best place to judge the genre UTB.  As you say, the stuff they show on there is almost total drivel.  Unfortunately 'Pandorum' would not look out of place amongst it's programming.  It's a truly awful film which liberally 'borrows' ideas from several far better sci-fi/horror films and recycles them into a murky, mundane mess - gloomy lighting is no substitute for atmosphere, regardless of budget (see 'Moon' for how to do it right).  The... More

Posted by kenada_woo at 11:48, 04 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Awful

I didn't hate the film but felt there were some pretty big flaws. 1. The editing, in particular the creatures. They looked grea, why the crazy speed editing when they were running/. 2. The lighting - the set design looked great, but a lot of it was in pitch blackness. 3. The human "warrior" characters - they looked like they came from Xena: Warrior Princess. There is nothing here that you haven't seen before and the twist is so so obvious. I suspect there was once a t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 11:39, 04 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Awful

I don't think the sci-fi channel is the best place to judge the genre UTB.  As you say, the stuff they show on there is almost total drivel.  Unfortunately 'Pandorum' would not look out of place amongst it's programming.  It's a truly awful film which liberally 'borrows' ideas from several far better sci-fi/horror films and recycles them into a murky, mundane mess - gloomy lighting is no substitute for atmosphere, regardless of budget (see 'Moon' for how to do it right).  Th... More

Posted by mackey at 08:53, 04 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Awful

L: The kUrGaN How dare they contaminate the sci fi genre with this pile of tripe sn't sci-fi /i] tripe? 10 mins viewing of the sci-fi channel at any point during any given day proves this. ... More

Posted by UTB at 18:50, 03 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Pandorum

4/5 Big enjoyment. I liked the story. Boss fight bits were a bit out of place, and the pace wasn't so great. Cool twists though and a satisfying ending. ... More

Posted by MoBiUGeArSkIn at 17:41, 03 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Went to see it yesterday

L: Tokkas100 While I must admit, it's no Alien, it's, to be fair, not even Event Horizon. But it's nowhere near as bad as some people seem to think. I must say it's the best film I've seen in the last few weeks. Although it was only up against Surrogates and Gamer, which were terrible. A commendation must be handed out to Ben Foster who single-handedly carries this movie, he would be a member of the "Makes a film 15% better club" but he was X-Men 3, unlucky Ben. 'd go along with this... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by kenada_woo at 14:11, 03 October 2009 | Report This Post


Went to see it yesterday

While I must admit, it's no Alien, it's, to be fair, not even Event Horizon. But it's nowhere near as bad as some people seem to think. I must say it's the best film I've seen in the last few weeks. Although it was only up against Surrogates and Gamer, which were terrible. A commendation must be handed out to Ben Foster who single-handedly carries this movie, he would be a member of the "Makes a film 15% better club" but he was X-Men 3, unlucky Ben. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Tokkas100 at 10:43, 03 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Pandorum

Wow, people really don't like this. Shall I not bother then? ... More

Posted by iconzero at 07:28, 03 October 2009 | Report This Post


Awful

How dare they contaminate the sci fi genre with this pile of tripe. The first 15 minutes are intriguing...then it all down hill from there. It's all in the dark, and any action sequences just appear in a frenzied mess of editing. Don't waste your time with this !! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The kUrGaN at 07:21, 03 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: In space no one can see you scream...

Exactly what did I give away to spoil it for you? Anyway the film makers did a far better job of spoiling this than any review could and if I have put you off seeing it then I have done you a favour. (Lame insult btw) ... More

Posted by VincentWire at 21:35, 02 October 2009 | Report This Post


BEN FOSTER MAKES THE FILM

A tough review above for a film that nicely combines elements of ALIEN and EVENT HORIZON. There wasnt anything new within the script but BEN FOSTER carries the film well and makes it an enjoyable watch. There have been better sci fi film out this year such as MOON and TERMINATOR but this is better than TRANSFORMER 2. So for a action packed and scary SciFi film PANDORUM definitely ticks the right boxes. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by slugman at 20:50, 02 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: In space no one can see you scream...

Thanks for the spoiler warning dunder head! ... More

Posted by Woger at 18:52, 02 October 2009 | Report This Post


In space no one can see you scream...

This is a genuine contender for worst film of the year! An extremely messy attempted blend of The Descent (the creatures are almost identical in fact), Event Horizon and Alien that barely makes sense and is shot and lit so appallingly you hardly tell whats going on half the time. Avoid. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by VincentWire at 13:14, 02 October 2009 | Report This Post


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