(15) Running time: 84 minutes
Director: Roger Christian
Writer: Christian Piers Betley
Cast: Christian Slater, Brendan Fehr, Amy Matysio, Michael Therriault
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish
Coming off as a bad rip off of films like Event Horizon, Sunshine and Pandorum is Stranded, the latest in a long line of sci-fi horrors. Now, don’t get me wrong, I adore sci-fi horrors, even the slightly bad ones, but there is no excuse for making a film quite as bad as this. Even boasting the great Christian Slater in the cast can’t save this dire mess of a film, and poor Slater generally has a looked of “what the hell am I doing here” about him.
The film see’s a group of dim-witted astronauts and so-called scientists hit by a meteor shower in space, and hence get ‘stranded’ with no hope of rescue. As with all great space horrors, there is something nasty lurking in the shadows, and a rushed moment of baffling script writing somehow explains that they may not be alone, and that some alien life form may have gotten on to the ship. Worse still, Ava (Matysio) falls heavily pregnant, and without even batting an eye lid, the crew calmly put her out of harm’s way. However, it would seem that she has made contact with the alien goo, and might be carrying an alien child (hello Inseminoid!). Things get even more scary when the crew begin seeing dead people walking around, and suddenly believe they might be going mad.
No need to panic though, and they don’t. Each character calmly goes about their business trying to figure out what is going wrong, with no sense of urgency or fear, and everything honestly comes across to the viewer as if things are totally normal. Characters DO NOT react to the situation as a normal person would, and these so-called experts paid thousands of pounds to be in space for God knows what, come across as total idiots. They can’t act, their script is dreadful, and they most certainly do not convince us that they are indeed specialists in their fields. They are simply a bunch of actors placed of a darkly lit set trying to convince us they are in space, and in danger. It doesn’t work.
The music adds nothing to the film, and the pacing and timing of events by the director is terrible. There is zero tension, barely a hint of menace, and the claustrophobic setting it totally wasted. The only good thing about this shambles is there are some cool practical effects for the creature, and I just can’t help but always enjoy Slater, no matter what he does. But seriously, Stranded is bad, and should have stayed stranded as an idea in someone’s head, nothing more.