In the year 2174 with the Earth massively overpopulated, the spaceship Elysium leaves on a 123 year trip to the distant Earth-like planet of Tanis. The 60,000 passengers are all in cryogenic sleep while a rotating crew run the ship for two year shifts. Eight years into the flight Elysium receives a transmission from Earth informing the crew that they are all that’s left. Earth is gone.
Crew member Bower (Ben Foster) wakes up in his tube, disorientated and confused. Something has gone wrong and he’s suffering from temporary amnesia. Another crew member also wakes up named Payton (Dennis Quaid). He’s suffering the same disorientation and memory loss. There’s something wrong with the ship. There’s no crew and the bridge is sealed off because of power surges. It’s seems like the ship’s reactor is unstable and the doors won’t open. Payton takes command and sends Bower through the air ducts to fix the reactor.
Bower is starting to show signs that he’s suffering from Pandorum or Orbital Dysfunction Syndrome, a mental breakdown from deep space traveling aka space madness. It causes paranoia, hallucinations and more. Bower starts to move through the ship but finds freaky mutated looking cannibal humans that seem to be preying on each other. He runs into Nadia (Antje Traue) and Manh (Cung Le) who have been awakened months ago and have running around the ship fighting for survival. Bower is confused on what’s happened to the ship but thinks that he has to find his wife who is supposed to be somewhere on board. And he has to fix the reactor before it blows the ship up. Nadia and Manh help Bower to the reactor meanwhile Payton runs into a crew member named Gallo (Cam Gigandet) who might also be exhibiting signs of Pandorum.
This German/British film didn’t make much of an impact at the box office when it was first released but the film has gathered a cult following since. It’s actually a pretty entertaining thriller. It doesn’t really bring anything new to the space horror genre but it’s well made and fun to watch.