Pandorum, 2009 sci-fi thriller action film

Pandorum, 2009 - sci-fi horror filmCountry: Germany, Britain
Director: Christian Alvart
Horror themes: Space, loneliness, mutation, creatures, survival, dark, madness, murder
Verdict: 80/100… A fantastic, gripping film

Synopsis of Pandorum (Overture Films)
Two crew members are stranded on a spacecraft and quickly – and horrifically – realize they are not alone. Two astronauts awaken in a hyper-sleep chamber aboard a seemingly abandoned spacecraft. It’s pitch black, they are disoriented, and the only sound is a low rumble and creak from the belly of the ship. They can’t remember anything: Who are they? What is their mission? With Lt. Payton staying behind to guide him via radio transmitter, Cpl. Bower ventures deep into the ship and begins to uncover a terrifying reality. Pandorum, 2009 - sci-fi horror filmSlowly the spacecraft’s shocking, deadly secrets are revealed…and the astronauts find their own survival is more important than they could ever have imagined.

Observations about Pandorum
Several things about Pandorum stood out to me. First of all, Pandorum is a far better movie than some of the variables seem to indicate; for example, according to one set of figures, Pandorum took in around $20 million USD on a budget of $33 million USD – making it a loser. (According to a more recent source, the budget was $40 million USD and the horror film has taken in around $23 million USD.) Pandorum deserves to have been a blockbuster. Second, Ben Foster is even more versatile than I thought. The moment I saw him appear on the screen in Pandorum I thought of how different he appeared as the wanna-be vampire in 30 Days and 30 Nights (one of the best vampire movies, IMHO). Pandorum, 2009 - sci-fi horror film Third, Antje Traue – the lovely girl who plays Nadia – is an incredibly attractive blue-eyed brunette: one of my favorite aesthetic combinations for the fairer sex!

Resources: Pandorum, 2009 sci-fi horror film

Pandorum, 2009 - sci-fi horror film

Pandorum movie reviews

Pandorum, 2009 - sci-fi horror film

Pandorum, 2009 - sci-fi horror film

This post was started on Monday, June 20, 2011

Apollo 18, 2011 sci-fi horror film

Country: U.S.
Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Verdict: 5/10…Average sci-fi horror movie
IMDb Wikipedia
Horror themes: space, unknown cause of death, creatures, infection… Filed under science fiction horror

Plot summary of Apollo 18

Officially, Apollo 17, launched December 17th, 1972 was the last manned mission to the moon. But a year later, in December of 1973, two American astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the moon funded by the US Department of Defense. What you are about to see is the actual footage which the astronauts captured on that mission. While NASA denies its authenticity, others say it’s the real reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.

Apollo 18 (2011) – Official Trailer (YouTube)

About Apollo 18

Apollo 18 was directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego and produced by Timur Bekmambetov and Ron Schmidt, screenplay by Brian Miller. The premise of the movie – López-Gallego’s first English-language title – is that the officially canceled Apollo 18 mission was actually launched in December 1973 but never returned due to a classified disaster. As a result, the United States not attempted to return to the moon. The film is shot in a found-footage style, supposedly representing the lost footage of the doomed Apollo 18 mission that was only recently discovered.

The movie Apollo 18 was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia and features actors Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, and Ryan Robbins. Apollo 18, distributed by Dimension Films, was promoted as a “found footage” film with no acting; in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dimension Films head Bob Weinstein denied the film was a work of fiction, stating that “We didn’t shoot anything, we found it. Found, baby!”

Apollo 18 (2011) – Official trailer #2 (YouTube)

Resources: Apollo 18

The Torment, 2010 U.K. psychological horror film

Country: U.K.
Also known as: The Possession of David O’Reilly
Directed by: Andrew Cull (writer), Steve Isles
Horror themes: Paranoia, nightmares, hallucination, murder, intruders, supernatural creatures, possession

Based on "actual events," The Possession of David O-Reilly is a terrifying supernatural shockumentary about a demonic presence in a young couple’s London home.

Movie trailer: The Possession of David O’Reilly – YouTube

More info coming soon…

Resources: The Torment, a.k.a. The Possession of David O’Reilly

Reviews of The Possession of David O’Reilly, a.k.a. The Torment (2010)

Originally written Monday, June 13, 2011

Boogeyman, 2005 supernatural horror movie

Boogeyman, 2005 supernatural horror movie, Sam RaimiAlthough Boogeyman (2005) received poor reviews overall, the first few moments of the film are among the most deeply and personally frightening in all of horror (to this fan, at least). When Tim, as a young boy, is going to bed, he’s scared out of his wits by shapes and movements he perceives in the room. One small but strong example of a personally terrifying horror theme expressed in the opening of Boogeyman includes clothing that just happens to be arranged in the shape of a person. (That reminds me of the intro to the horror TV series Fear Itself; a similar image of clothing is shown.)

horror theme - clothing in human shape - Fear Itself introThe attempted CGI portrayal of the boogeyman entity in that film is a major weakness of Boogeyman, IMHO; apart from that, it was a rather creepy, atmospheric supernatural horror movie. I believe Boogeyman would have been much scarier throughout – and that this would have been reflected critically, in the movie reviews – had no attempt been made to show the entity onscreen. As all horror fans know, sometimes these things are best left to the imagination.

Boogeyman is another feather in the cap of one of the most notable names in supernatural horror entertainment: Sam Raimi, who served as producer. [Products tagged creepy at Amazoncreepy]

Boogeyman plot summary

Boogeyman, 2005 supernatural horror movie, Sam RaimiA man learns his past was more truth than imagination in this horror story. Tim Jensen (Barry Watson) is a man who is still haunted by traumatic childhood memories, many linked to the death/disappearance of his father while Tim was still a boy. Desperate to resolve his issues, the death of his mother while visiting his beautiful girlfriend Jessica gives Tim a reason to return to his hometown and the old house he grew up in. Tim would prefer to learn that the terrifying memories he still carries with him are merely a figment of his imagination; however, the evidence and events revealed during his visit point to something more – something more real than not.

More about Boogeyman

beautiful woman - Emily Deschanel - beautiful eye colorBoogeyman was directed by Stephen Kay and also features the ravishing Emily Deschanel (with those incredibly beautiful eyes), Lucy Lawless, and Skye McCole Bartusiak.

Resources: Boogeyman, 2005 horror film

Dead Space: Downfall, 2008 animated horror

movie poster - Dead Space: Downfall, 2008 animated horror movie

Dead Space: Downfall is the animated prequel to the Electronic Arts (EA) survival horror video game of the same name. Dead Space has become quite a franchise, now including games, movies, and books.

Synopsis of Dead Space: Downfall
The USG Ishimura, a miner spaceship, is transporting a strange artifact called the Red Marker. In the Aegis VII colony, where the Red Marker was found, there are some suicides and murders and the people are slowly going mad. The people are being infected by something. Barrow, the foreman, finds the body of his wife having committed suicide. Barrow decides to escape the colony’s madness and, taking his wife’s body, goes on board the Ishimura. But something happens to Barrow’s wife on board the Ishimura.

My comments about Dead Space: Downfall
To a broad audience I would not recommend this animated sci-fi horror affair: most adults don’t want to spend their time watching animation, much less animated blood spatter, fantastically and rapidly mutating creatures, and so on. To a strictly horror audience I likewise would not recommend this flick. Actually, just don’t watch Dead Space: Downfall unless you are a fan of the video game it’s based on or a big-time animation aficionado. The animation is average, the plot is standard fare; nothing really stands out. There’s not much depth.

If you’ve seen Dead Space: Downfall and enjoyed it to any extent, but you remain unaware of or unwilling to experiment with anime (animation from Japan), then you are really missing out. Frankly, I believe all movie lovers who appreciate and enjoy animation (it’s a smallish slice of the adult population) owe it to themselves to become familiar with some of the best anime.

That old image of anime being only for young geeks is not only passe but patently false.

The truth is, if you enjoy animation but you’re still unfamiliar with anime, then you have a whole world of entertainment just waiting to be discovered! I did not test the waters of anime until after age 40 – and then I fell head-over-heels for anime, virtually immersing myself into it for a couple of years. I found quite a few anime titles that adults can enjoy without feeling they’re watching kid stuff. At a minimum any sci-fi fan should see Ghost in the Shell. Boy, did I get sidetracked…

Even though I did not praise Dead Space: Downfall, I am about to watch the sequel, Dead Space: Aftermath. I’m a fan of horror, sci-fi, and animation, and I’m a bit curious to see if this is a rare case of a superior follow-up. We shall see.

movie screenshot - Dead Space: Downfall, 2008 animated horror movie


Review of Dead Space: Downfall