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Stars: Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Antje Traue, Cam Gigandet, Cung Le, Eddie Rouse, Norman Reedus

Director: Christian Alvart

Astronauts running around a vast (and very dark) spaceship pursued by monsters. Surely we've been here before. And, without a plot that anyone can understand, that's all Pandorum has to offer. But, for fans of the genre, it could be enough.

It's 2153 or so, and the ship sets out from an over-populated Earth to colonise a new planet, Tanis, that's capable of sustaining human life. Years later, two astronauts (Quaid, Foster) awake from hyper-sleep to take their tour of duty. But's it's immediately obvious that something is wrong. No one else is around, and eerie noises fill the bowels of the ship.

Foster investigates while Quaid stays at control. At first, he finds a dead crewman, then lone hunters (Traue, Le) fighting to survive. The usual white-faced, fang-toothed, blood-feasting monsters soon emerge, though it's never clear how they've evolved, nor what Foster or Quaid might have done previously to trigger such twists in the plot.

So the thrill of the chase is all we're left with, and that grows stale after the film gets off to a good start. Some day, maybe, filmmakers will learn it's the fear of what we can't see rather than what we do that scares the bejasus out of us. But not this time round.

David Quinlan

Germany/Czech Republic/USA 2009. UK Distributor: Icon. Colour by Kodak.
107 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 26 Sep 2009