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Pandorum is a 2009 German/British science fiction horror film, with elements of Lovecraftian horror and survival adventure. The film was directed by Christian Alvart and produced by Robert Kulzer, Jeremy Bolt and Paul W. S. Anderson, the latter two through their Impact Pictures banner. Travis Milloy wrote the screenplay from a story by Milloy and Alvart. It stars Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster.

Filming began in Berlin in August 2008. Pandorum was released on 25 September 2009 in the United States, and on 2 October 2009 in the UK. The film s title is a fictional slang term for a form of psychosis called Orbital Dysfunctional Syndrome (ODS) caused by deep space and triggered by emotional stress. This leads to severe paranoia, delirium, and nosebleeding.

The film was poorly received and a box office flop. Despite this, the film has garnered a cult following within the past years as an underrated gem .


After human overpopulation depletes Earth s resources, humanity builds an interstellar ark, the Elysium. It carries 60,000 people on a 123-year trip to colonize Tanis, an Earth-like planet. The passengers are placed in hypersleep, and a rotating crew wake biennially to maintain the ship. Eight years into the mission, the ship receives a transmission from Earth: You re all that s left of us. Good luck, God bless, and godspeed.

Some unknown time later, two members of the flight crew, Corporal Bower and Lieutenant Payton, awaken. Improper emergence from the hibernatory state leaves them both with partial amnesia and possibly suffering from pandorum, a space-related disorder that causes psychosis when under emotional duress. The ship experiences power surges caused by an unstable nuclear reactor, and they are unable to enter the bridge. While Payton stays behind to access the ship s computer, Bower uses the ventilation system to search for the reactor.

Bower first finds a disemboweled body and a wounded mechanic who tells him to escape them . The noise summons a group of cannibalistic humanoids who appear to respond mostly to sound. He continues on and encounters an environmental scientist, Nadia, and a farmer, Manh, who does not speak English; both are hostile. He encourages them to band together, and the trio flees into a barricaded chamber, where they find a cook named Leland. Leland has been awake for years, living off the water leaking into the ship, the algae it creates, and resorting to cannibalism. Payton encounters Corporal Gallo, who claims the ship is lost in space and that he killed his team in self-defense.

Leland feeds Bower s group and shows them mural drawings depicting what has happened: after Earth vanished following an unknown catastrophe, Gallo went insane, killed his crew, and induced pandorum in other passengers. After goading them into a violent and tribal culture, Gallo went back into hypersleep. Aided by accelerated evolution from an enzyme meant to help colonists adjust to life on Tanis, the descendants have turned into cannibalistic mutants. Leland gases the group, intending to eat them, but Bower convinces him the reactor must be stabilized.

As they search the ship for the reactor, Bower hopes to find his wife in an area for family in hypersleep but remembers that she died with everyone else on Earth when she refused to join him. This revelation almost makes him give up and pushes him closer to insanity. After surviving an encounter with the cannibals, Bower s group finds the reactor. A crowd of mutants sleep under the reactor, and Bower crosses a walkway to reset it. The walkway collapses, and Bower climbs down into the mutant pit to reach a ladder. While Manh distracts the mutants, Bower restarts the reactor, killing many mutants. Leland flees, and Manh is cornered by the mutant leader. Manh kills the leader but is killed by a mutant child he hesitates to slay.

Gallo becomes increasingly agitated, and Payton prepares a sedative. As they wrestle over the sedative, Gallo is revealed to be a hallucination as Payton IS Gallo. Gallo killed the real Payton long ago when he developed pandorum upon hearing Earth was gone. Because he went into Payton s pod, Gallo mistakenly believed himself to be Payton when he woke up with amnesia. Leland reaches the bridge, and Gallo kills him with the sedative. When Bower and Nadia confront him, Gallo opens the shutters on the bridge s windows, revealing that the ship is adrift in deep space with no stars visible. The shock pushes Bower further toward insanity. Taking advantage of Bower s mental state, Gallo argues they must maintain the violent society rather than revive civilization.

Nadia observes bioluminescent ocean life through the windows, and the computer displays that 923 years have elapsed since the mission launched. The ship reached Tanis 800 years ago and landed itself in the ocean. Bower hallucinates a mutant attack and breaks a window. As water pours into the ship, Nadia and Bower climb into a hypersleep pod and eject it. The flood triggers an emergency protocol which ejects the remaining 1,211 pods to the surface, while Gallo and the remaining mutants drown. Bower and Nadia surface near a lush coastline, and they witness the other pods ascend.


  • Dennis Quaid as Lieutenant Payton/Older Corporal Gallo – The Ship s Lieutenant and captain, later revealed to be Corporal Gallo
  • Ben Foster as Corporal Bower – The ship s Corporal and presumed head mechanical engineer
  • Cam Gigandet as Younger Corporal Gallo – A Corporal who went insane and killed his team, and believed himself to be Payton throughout most of the movie
  • Antje Traue as Nadia – the ship s environmentalist, who teams with Bower
  • Cung Le as Manh – an agricultural farmer, who teams with Bower and Nadia
  • Eddie Rouse as Leland – the mentally unstable cook who has resorted to cannibalism.
  • André Hennicke as hunter leader – leader of the Hunters
  • Norman Reedus as Shepard – a mechanic whom Bower encounters
  • Wotan Wilke Möhring as Young Bower s Father
  • Niels-Bruno Schmidt as Insane Officer Eden


The film began life as a preliminary script written by Travis Milloy in the late 1990s. The story was originally set on a prison ship named Pandorum, transporting thousands of Earth s deadliest prisoners to another planet; the cannibal hunters were the end result of the prisoners degeneration. The characters played by Antje Traue and Cung Le were inmates. Ben Foster s character was a non-prisoner who did not trust anyone.

Believing no studio would want to make the film, Milloy thought about making it as a low-budget film shot on video in an abandoned paper mill with unknown actors. However, it attracted the attention of filmmaker Paul W. S. Anderson and Jeremy Bolt, and they gave it to Impact Pictures, who green-lit it. The producers gave the script to director Christian Alvart who was struck by the similarities to his own screenplay titled No Where. His dramatic story was about four astronauts aboard a settlers ship who suffer from amnesia. Alvart decided that they should meld the two screenplays together, and the producers and Milloy agreed. With the ship now changed to a settler s ship, the use of the word Pandorum was changed from the name of the ship to a type of mental illness caused by sustained deep space travel.

Pandorum was announced in May 2008 with Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster in lead roles. Christian Alvart was attached to direct the film, based on a script by Travis Milloy. The movie was financed by Constantin Film through a joint venture deal with subsidiary Impact Pictures. The partnership helped fund the $40 million production. Constantin drew subsidies from Germany s Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB) regional film fund, the German Federal Film Board (FFA) and the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF). The German Federal Film Fund provided $6 million to the production, the fund s second-largest 2008 payout after $7.5 million for Ninja Assassin. Filming took place at Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam, Germany in August 2008.


Summit Entertainment handled foreign sales and presented Pandorum to buyers at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, but due to a deal with Contender Films in the UK, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures took over and handled foreign sales to the film. Overture Films distributed Pandorum in North America, Icon in the United Kingdom and Australia, Svensk Filmindustri in Scandinavia, and Movie Eye in Japan. The film was set up as a possible franchise. According to Travis Milloy, it was to have a sequel and a prequel. If it performed well, Impact Pictures could green-light one or more sequels.

The DVD and Blu-ray Disc release occurred on 19 January 2010 in the United States over Anchor Bay Entertainment.

The director and producer commentaries on the DVD indicate that an unrated version of the movie exists but has not been released.


Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 30% based on 90 reviews and an average rating of 4.6/10. The website s critical consensus reads, While it might prove somewhat satisfying for devout sci-fi fans, Pandorum s bloated, derivative plot ultimately leaves it drifting in space. At Metacritic, which judges on a 0–100 scale, the film holds a generally unfavorable score of 28 based on 13 reviews.

Science fiction magazine SFX stated that Pandorum is the finest interstellar horror in years and awarded the film 4 stars out of 5. Film Ireland also gave Pandorum a positive review, appreciating the film s synergy of cinematic techniques, set design, and developed characters.

The film was a flop, grossing $20.6 million worldwide on a $33 million budget. It opened at No. 6 at the US box office with weekend receipts totaling $4.4 million. Overture Films declared bankruptcy the following year.


Soundtrack album by

Michl Britsch
Released 25 September 2009
Recorded 2009
Genre Electronic
Length 71:06
Label Königskinder Schallplatten GmbH
Producer Michl Britsch

Track listing

Year 2009
ReleaseDate 2009-09-25
RuntimeMins 108
RuntimeStr 1h 48min
Plot Two crew members of a spaceship wake up from hypersleep to discover that all their colleagues are missing. Despite this, it appears that they are not alone.
Directors Christian Alvart
Writers Travis Milloy, Christian Alvart
Stars Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Cam Gigandet
Produced by Paul W.S. Anderson,Jeremy Bolt,Robert Kulzer,Astrid Kühberger,Travis Milloy,Dave Morrison,Martin Moszkowicz
Music by Michl Britsch
Cinematography by Wedigo von Schultzendorff
Film Editing by Philipp Stahl,Yvonne Valdez
Casting By Ana Davila,Sarah Finn,Randi Hiller
Production Design by Richard Bridgland
Art Direction by Cornelia Ott,Ralf Schreck
Set Decoration by Bernhard Henrich
Costume Design by Ivana Milos
Makeup Department Jaremy Aiello,Nathan Andrews,Tamar Aviv,Chris Burke,Chris Cheatham,John Cherevka,Javier Contreras,Ken Culver,Cory Czekaj,Jeff L. Deist,Lou Diaz,Laura Elliott,Damian Fisher,Chris Grossnickle,Jaime Grove,Aline Hafezi,Trevor Hensley,Katharina Hilbert,Jeff Himmel,Allan B. Holt,Akihito Ikeda,Darnell Isom,Birger Laube,Sebastian Lochmann,Göran Lundström,Lindsay MacGowan,Shane Mahan,Mark Maitre,Keith Marbory,Matt Mastrella,Mareike Mohmand,Thanh Hoa Nguyen,Michael Ornelaz,Scott Patton,Björn Rehbein,Katrin Schneider,Annett Schulze,Sabine Schumann,Emilia Seifert,Jörn Seifert,Alexander Soltermann,Ian Stevenson,Scott Stoddard,Christopher Swift,Arjen Tuiten,Simon Webber,Amy Whetsel,Gary Yee,Chris Zega,Cristina Patterson
Production Management Brigitte Hirsch,Daniel Mattig,Gabriele Niemeyer
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Tanja Däberitz,Hendrik Holler,Katja Lebedjewa,Laura Mihartescu,Matthias Nerlich,Daphne Tsaliki
Art Department Ben Bagley,Christoph Baumstieger,Stephen Bream,Henning Brehm,Christin Busse,Paul Catling,James Cowley,Markus Donhauser,Mariano Díaz,Michael Düwel,Christian Ehlert,Katja Fischer,Michael Fissneider,Tobias Frank,Alex Friedrich,Jane Gilchrist,Saskia Heinzel,Brita Hofmann,Andreas Horstmann,Philipp Hübner,Ulli Isfort,Max Konrad,Roxy Konrad,Robert Krüger,Dominic Lavery,Alejandro Lecuna,Patrick Lojek,Angel Pedro Martinez,Claus Mayr,Marc Murawski,Mike Paul Müller,Konstantin Ness,Benjamin Palmer,Astrid Poeschke,Marco Pressler,Robert Reblin,Steve Register,Melanie Reichert,Jan Saße,Bettina Scheibe,Cindy Schnitter,Jochen Schuetz,Till Sennhenn,Sergej Simonenko,Kasia Swiezak,Kurt van der Basch,Ilona Vovchyk,Dan Walker,Simon Webber,Simon Weisse,Adina Wolff
Sound Department Felix Andriessens,Alexej Ashkenazy,Manfred Banach,Adrian Baumeister,Philipp Baur,Christian Biegai,Tschangis Chahrokh,Bernd Clauss,Christof Ebhardt,Jürgen Funk,Rebekka Garrido,Rainer Heesch,Michael Hinreiner,Achim Hofmann,Florian Holzner,Eric Horstmann,Michael Karl Huber,Deni King,Stephan Liepe,Laura Lovejoy,Henry Mayr,Clemens Nürnberger,Jordan O’Neill,Christoph Oertel,Carsten Richter,Alexander Saal,Almut Schwacke,Oswald Schwander,Kuen-Il Song,Michael Stancyk,Daniel Vogl,Florian von Frenckell,Hanse Warns,Philip Young,Jason Chiodo
Special Effects by Herbert Blank,Steffen Blechschmidt,Katharina Boehm,Johannes Brömel,Tom Christ,Laura Elliott,Norman Ernst,Damian Fisher,Thomas Friedrich,Andreas Herberg,Anthony Julio,Mark Keetch,Alex Kopf,Chris Kunzmann,Sylvio Lienert,Michael Luppino,Klaus Mielich,Peter Muehlenkamp,Gerd Nefzer,Uli Nefzer,Monty Ploch,Marcus Preussing,Claudius Rauch,Bernd Rautenberg,Michael Rudnik,Tobias Schroeter,Thomas Schultz,Jürgen Thiel,Ulf Thiele,Rico Weder,Rufin Wiesemann,Chris Zega,Solon Luigi
Visual Effects by Andreas Alesik,Vincent Badia,Stepán Batousek,Patrik Bergman,Jan Brukner,Ondrej Bystry,Jaroslava Chalasova,Ondrej Ctibor,Robert Cvengros,Ales Dlabac,David Drbal,Mario Dubec,Martin Dusek,Dradek Dvorak,Petr Dvorak,Kerstin Eberlein,Blanka Faitova,Roland Friedrich,Miro Gal,Ales Gargulak,Tyler Gooden,Tomas Hajek,Vlastimil Hajek,Petr Hastík,Lukas Herrmann,Jan Heusler,Zuzana Hlavkova,Frantisek Hradecky,Milos Hudec,Lukas Hytych,Dalibor Janda,Jakub Jarova,Jan Jinda,Jana Jurnickova,Tomas Kalhous,Helena Keslova,Ales Killian,Nina Knott,Pavel Kolar,Vít Komrzý,Jan Konicek,Martin Kostun,Vaclav Kostun,Martin Kotrba,Tomas Kral,Nikolay Kravchenko,Tomas Krejzek,Ines Krüger,David Kubias,Jan Kurka,David Laubsch,Geoff Leavitt,Lenka Likarova,Jirí Linhart,Jason Lopes,Jana Macenauerová,Vaclav Marsik,Petr Masek,Vladimír Matousek,Jaroslav Matys,Daniel Melich,Jaroslav Minarik,Jan Ali Moravec,Alexandr Muller,Viktor Muller,Tomas Munzar,Marketa Nemcova,Ales Novak,Peter Orlicky,Monika Pavlickova,David Pekarek,Zavorka Petr,Robert Pik,Viktor Plch,Katerina Popelova,Martin Ruizl,Marek Ruth,Ondrej Samohel,Christoph Schmidt,Abraham Schneider,Vit Sedlacek,Tereza Severova,Josef Skvrcek,Jiri Stamfest,Mirek Suchomel,Petra Svabkova,Michal Sverma,Michal Synek,Jakub Szilvasi,Michal Teprik,Stefan Tischner,Milan Tofel,Dominik Trimborn,Ryan Valade,Vladimir Valovic,Jan Vareka,Petr Vcelicka,Jiri Vycital,Alisa Wimmer,Lucie Zemanova,Ralph Reinle
Stunts Lukas Johannes Aue,Michael Bornhütter,François Doge,Dennis Döhmland,Stefan Frobel,Kristoffer Fuss,Sascha Girndt,Joshua Grothe,Matthias Günther,Ralph Güthler,Markus Haas,Nadia Hernandez,Oliver Juhrs,Alois Knapps,Philipp Kohn,Sascha Krija,Stefan Langel,Alessija Lause,Mike Möller,Josephine Müller,Julian Oppen,Christian Petersson,Kim Ruhnau,Bjoern Scheffler,Romeo Schirmer,Thomas Schubert,Hannes Seibert,Daniel Stockhorst,Asuka Tovazzi
Camera and Electrical Department Mithat Baskan,Sebastian Beutler,Sebastian Brademann,Jan Brun,Oliver Böhm,Tilman Büttner,Helge Felgendreher,Gregor Grieshaber,Pip Hare,Thomas Hübener,Malte Kneib,Jérôme Lauer,Jay Maidment,Nicolaus Metzger,Sebastian Meuschel,Marko Peros,Andre Poser,Karim Rahmani,Ron Rakowski,Thibault Roginas,Stefan Rüsenberg,Bernd Schultz,Christian Alvart
Animation Department Lutz Lemke
Casting Department Ana Davila,Sorrel Athina Jardine,Johanna Ragwitz,Tanja Schuh
Costume and Wardrobe Department Jeanette Apel,Dietke Brandt,Simone Kreska,Nadine Waeldchen
Editorial Department Sebastian Bonde,Michael J. Duthie,Arne Hastedt,Christian Herrmann,Martin Hunter,Alex Klippe,Andreas Lautil,Boris Link,Franz Rabl,Gottfried Reisecker,Daniel Scheimberg,Hari Schernthaner,Daniel Schwerdtfeger,Bjørnar Rydland Thyholdt,Manfred Turek
Location Management Michael Herbell,Friederike von Rauch
Music Department Minna Aalto,Joris Bartsch Buhle,Christoph Becker,Michl Britsch,Mikael Carlsson,Martin Framke,Jan-Peter Klöpfel,Tobias Lehmann,Tom Russbueldt,Phillip Schulz,Natalie Suleiman,Florian Tessloff,Roman Vinuesa,Ama Walton,Hannah Weber
Script and Continuity Department Nancy Rivas
Transportation Department Tom Kirsten,Erich Kraus
Additional Crew Ali Ahmed,Susan Bliss,Klaus Boechel,John Charles,Sarah Crompton,Sabina Friedland,Sean Furst,Elias Gabele,Marcel Genzmer,Paloma Guridi,Severino Gürtler,Michael Hackl,Steffen Hagen,Angelika Honig,Viktor Jakovleski,Lieve Jansen,Matthias Kall,Mario Klaszynski,Erich Kraus,Lisa Kregness,Denis Küper,Lutz Lemke,Franz Materne,Nadia Meier,Marsha Metz,Peter Müller,Larena Patrick,Luke Randolph,Desiree Schildt,Matthias Schnedler,Megan Shaw,Franz Trosthammer,Shawn Wallace,Ugur Yildirim,Matthew Coleshill,Daniel Villagomez
Thanks Scott Kamins
Genres Action, Horror, Mystery
Companies Constantin Film, Impact Pictures, Studio Babelsberg
Countries Germany, UK
Languages English, Vietnamese, German
ContentRating R
ImDbRating 6.7
ImDbRatingVotes 151561
MetacriticRating 28
Keywords spaceship,survival,future,outer space,survival horror