Dark Sci-Fi Psychological Horror Hidden Gem You Can Stream Without Netflix

By Jason Collins | Updated


Here’s an unpopular opinion: there haven’t been that many good horror movies in the past 20 years since the genre was reduced to action scenes combined with jump scares and loud audio mixes. They all follow the same formula and feature nebulous elements, such as demonic nuns or killer dolls (this statement excludes the Child’s Play franchise.) However, there have been a few movies that have been worth revisiting since their release, and Pandorum is definitely one of those movies.

The Set-Up

Pandorum follows the story of the remnants of the human race who, following the depletion of Earth’s resources due to human overpopulation, board an interstellar ark, which embarks on a 123-year trip to colonize a different Earth-like planet. Its passengers are placed in hypersleep, and a rotating crew of techs and engineers wake up biennially to maintain the ship. However, not everything went according to plan, and sometime later, two members of the flight crew, Bower and Payton, awakened.

However, the improper emergence from hypersleep leaves them with partial amnesia and Pandorum, a space-related disorder that causes psychosis when under stress. They also find the interstellar arc in a horrific condition; their journey still lasts, but the unstable nuclear reactor is causing power surges throughout the spaceship, which Bower sets out to find. But instead of a faulty reactor, he finds cannibalistic space mutants he now has to evade while attempting to reset the reactor and restore normal power to the ship.  

Space Mutants!!!!


As it turns out, the cannibalistic space mutants have been on board for quite some time, hunting several crew members who had been awake for some time as well—some of whom have also developed the Pandorum disorder. By the film’s end, several plot twists occur, keeping the viewers at the edge of their seats, as the horrifying facts about the ark, its inhabitants, and the mutants begin to reveal themselves, after which a fight for survival ensues.

A Solid Story


We won’t spoil Pandorum for any of our readers, but we’ll state that the script—which is actually an amalgamation of two separate but similar works—is good, with a good introduction to the story. The screenplay is also masterfully done, while the whole narrative immerses the viewers in exploring the ship and its history along with the protagonists. The downside is that certain characters could have been developed better.

The Response

The special effects were good but ultimately useless in this case because Pandorum failed to recuperate its production budget of $33 million; it failed at the box office, managing to earn some $20 million worldwide. We usually maintain that the earnings are a sign of quality, but that rule doesn’t always apply. The fact remains that Pandorum is a fantastically thought-out movie that wasn’t executed as well as it was written.

Where To Stream

Despite being set in a sci-fi setting, Pandorum is actually a good psychological survival horror that explores isolation and madness, as well as survival, all while playing with the themes of memory and identity, as well as civilization and anarchy.

Furthermore, its ending promised a sequel, which was most likely scrapped following the film’s poor performance at the box office. Those interested in watching Pandorum can stream the movie on Prime Video and Vudu.