Old 05-06-2010, 05:33 PM
Pandorum Review

Set in the near future, two passenger ship crew members awaken from hyper-sleep to find their vessel deserted. Or so they thought. Before long a fight for survival ensues against a race of man-eating monstrosities. Basically, the good old "people trapped somewhere with killer monsters/aliens" formula. If you've seen Pitch Black, The Descent, or anything resembling those, you already know the plot.

Originality aside, the real question is does it offer up some good scares? The answer is no. For starters, Director Christian Alvert clearly lacks the skills or patience to create genuine suspense. He follows the same formula as ninety-nine percent of today's horror directors. Within ten minutes, the camera starts shaking violently and unnecessary rapid-cutting begins. Either the camera man was having seizures or the director snorted a mountain of cocaine before each shoot. Regardless, Alvert clearly fails to understand it's what the audience doesn't see that's truly scary. That nail-biting anticipation of something bad just around the corner.

To make matters worse, the creatures themselves don't look very frightening. A major oversight considering we see them repeatedly throughout the movie. Picture Cate Blanchett and Papa Smurf birthed a small army of deformed love-children. That's basically what's hunting down the crew.

Luckily, there is one terrifying element to this film. The acting. Particularly that of Dennis Quaid as Lieutenant Payton. Literally the entire film Quaid sits in the main control room drinking coffee and looking extremely irritated. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew battles tooth-and-nail through the bowls of the ship while being hunted down by merciless cannibals.

Every once in a while Quaid will yell over the intercom something like "Do you copy?" or "Hang in there." Then he goes and makes another cup of coffee. In a movie about disgruntled Starbucks employees, his performance would have been perfect. Sadly, it doesn't quite work here. Most likely Quaid read the script and realized he wouldn't have to move from his chair or shave throughout filming. It was just too much to resist. Personally, I couldn't resist a general feeling of nausea being forced to watch this abomination.
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