When I’m writing within a particular genre or sub-genre, I like to surround myself with films, books, comics, games and whatever else I can find within such. It gets me into the zone; helps me home in better on what stones are still left unturned.
Directed by Christian Alvert and starring Ben Foster, Dennis Quaid and Anje Traue, 2009′s PANDORUM is a sci-fi horror sitting somewhere between Ridley Scott’s ALIEN and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (with a little bit of Neil Marshall’s THE DESCENT thrown in for good measure).
Tonally, it’s exactly what I need right now.
Basic premise has ship Engineer Bower (Foster) and his commanding officer Payton (Quaid) awaking from suspended animation with no knowledge of where they are or what their mission is. Turns out they’re on the Elysian, a huge freighter ship from a severely under resourced Earth en route to a newly discovered and habitable world. But the Elysian itself is dying, life support dangerously close to nil, its reactor inactive. Bower must battle his way through the shadowy remains of the ship, and hordes of mutated adversaries, in order to reactivate the reactor.
This is an excellent film. It’s everything a sci-fi horror should be, the perfect blend of action and suspense. There are a lot of twists and turns; a lot of shifts in gear and tone. In some ways, it plays out like a survival horror game; something like DEAD SPACE, maybe; Bower interacting with the ragtag remains of the crew, each giving him a new piece to the puzzle as he moves through various doors and passageways to reach the reactor. It’s both moody and fast-paced and, although sombre throughout, with some incredibly bleak moments of horror, is ultimately an uplifting movie.
PANDORUM is a HUGE recommend from me. One of the finest sci-fi horrors out there.
View PANDORUM on AMAZON UK
View PANDORUM on AMAZON US