October 11, 2009

Pandorum: Bad News for Extrasolar Spacefarers

The good news: We've found another habitable planet. And we're on our way there.

The bad news: Pandorum.

Pandorum outlines some horrifying things that could happen to spacefaring humans during a trip to another habitable exoplanet. A psychological sickness called "Pandorum" is just one of the many problems that humans may encounter along the way...plus some flesh-eating mutants.

Inside the colony spaceship called Elysium is where most of the action happens: the psychological thriller, battle with mutant creatures, gore, suspense, terror, and mystery.

Mystery is a key part of the movie. Pandorum must be treated as a puzzle to appreciate it. Thus it may not appeal to those who think linearly.

The Elysium spaceship is a kind of mystery in itself. I wondered about how the human colony of tens of thousands would grow their food to support such a large number of people on such a long journey. It is, however not a problem for the "other" passengers on the ship: The humans are their food! The designer of the colony ship seem not a big fan of windows, for a big reason: windows would've obliterated the punchline of the movie. You have to see it to solve the mystery. :)

I have to give credit to Pandorum for being the first scifi thriller movie that deals with the plot that has all the hallmarks of Exoplanetology: Mankind detects a habitable world, successfully sends a probe there, receives back the probe's signal that confirms the presence of life, then Humanity sends the first colony to explore that exoplanet.

Furthermore, the creators of this movie were able to fuse a spine-tingling story around that plot in an excellent manner. Thus it makes Pandorum my favorite scifi thriller movie.