5th Passenger (2018)

Director: Scotty Baker
Starring: Doug Jones, Marina Sirtis, Morgan Lariah, Mindy Robinson, Armin Shimerman, David Lim.USA .1h 29m.

In the opening scenes a woman’s body is retrieved from a space vessel, while recuperating, her memories of the events that led up to her rescue are watched by Marina Sirtis, who’s an agent trying to find out what happened to the crew, in order to report to a committee she is charged with viewing the memory “playback”.

In a turbulent maladjusted future there are two distinct classes, Citizens and Non-Citizens, the later class are considered bottom feeders who have very little rights and are generally only entrusted with meanal jobs, looking after livestock etc. But one woman stands out among them, Eve (Lariah) a technical officer despite her exclusion from the higher class.

The ship enters some problems and everyone scrapers for the life pods, but these only hold 4 people but through a twist of fate Eve manages to become the 5th passenger in desperation she fights her way into a pod. While onboard there’s a massive power struggle, as her presence is abhorred, the 3 Citizens on board basically see the 2 non citizens as pests, but she makes herself useful despite not being welcomed.

With the extra person the food and oxygen supplies are depleting quicker so after some scanning of the region Eve finds a ship, a sign of hope, but as she and the other non citizen board to collect valuable supplies they might have come back with something quite deadly.

For the most part the film has a pretty solid storyline and ends on a twist I didn’t agree with but it was pretty intriguing. There aren’t too many crazy blaring silly plot holes and if it did have a bit more of a production budget it really could be an impressive sci fi project and with even more money the outer space and alien invasion scenes could have been amazing. Considering what was available the setting could have been different or maybe if the acting was amped up a more convincing environment could have been generated. Lifepod (1993), is a prime example of working within a tight budget while delivering a blinding story. The creature design is a bit lacking, it reminded me of the Vindaloo monster from Red Dwarf.  but the monster is only half the horror here, there’s something else in the mix which is more deadly.

As the film unwinds and Marina Sirtis starts to notice some irregularities in the playback she realizes that perception of events coming from Eve might just be warped… there’s a Keyser Soze reveal that could have done with a bit more drama but still it’s there and it’s somewhat clever. It’s always a shame when b movie sci fi falters like this but I do like the concept.

Rating: 3/10

R: Lifepod (1993)
L: Lost in Space, Sci Fi Social Classes of the future

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