It's not easy being a claustrophobic sci-fi horror.
For one thing you have to compete with every Alien movie out there, then you need to adapt to a certain formula while introducing new aspects to the genre yourself. You can go the arty route with something like Solaris, or go for pure cheesy B movie lols Event Horizon-style, or go for something in-between like Sunshine. Being produced by Paul W.S. Anderson, you'd think Pandorum would be closer to Event Horizon and yet it feels more like The Descent. Think that movie directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Pandorum does look great and almost feels like a low-budget Prometheus or a less boring version of Dante 01.
As you can see, I've already listed like 10 other movies.
Yes Pandorum is pretty much almost exactly like any other horror sci-fi film you've ever seen. Which is a shame because it does have its own good ideas and unique style. Rubbishy Descent-style monsters-aside, I like how gross and mean-spirited this movie can get. Unfortunately it never goes all-out like Event Horizon but it does have its moments. The cast is solid if hardly stand-out with Ben Foster (X-Men 3, Six Feet Under) taking the lead, Dennis Quaid supporting and newcomer Antje Traue attempting the badass heroine role and doing a decent enough job. The movie begins with Foster and Quaid waking up in their own pods from hypersleep to find that the ship they're on is full of ghoulish cannibalistic beings who are none other than passengers who have adapted to the ship itself rather than wherever they were meant to get to in the first place. Some kind of replacement Earth I think.
This is basically one of those walking-around-dark-corridors movies where occasionally something leaps out at you. For a movie of that type, Pandorum's better than some but it's still pretty dull. After a while you really feel like this whole plot should evolve into something more but it takes the entire movie to move one step forward. I mean, it's not like the movie has Ridley Scott's Alien to offer, why would you keep watching if the best you're gonna get is more of those bald bastards from The Descent? I'll give Pandorum that, it starts off and ends really well, it's just that more should have happened in that middle chunk because, as it stands, it's not all that involving.
All in all, Pandorum isn't a bad sci-fi/horror flick, it just fails to truly stand out from other films of that type and certainly doesn't live up to any of the Alien films. It's an ok, good-looking B movie but sadly not much more.
In space, no one can hear you yawn.