2267 and the earth is uninhabitable due to inevitable ecological collapse. The people left alive eke out an unjoyous overcrowded existence on space stations orbiting the pitiful planet.
All those that is, except the lucky or rich few who have made it to the terraformed paradise that is the distant planet ‘Rhea’. Laura Portmann (Anna-Katharina Schwabroh) dreams of Rhea and seeing her sister again, but to get to her she needs money and the only way to get it is to sign on to a mission on a broken down cargo ship headed for an eight year flight to nowhere.
Spending most of the journey in hyper-sleep on an automated ship, Laura is disturbed by strange noises and makes a gruesome discover which prompts her to wake the rest of the crew to help her investigate.
Could the anti-technology terrorist group the “Machine Strikers” be hunting them down to prove their cause, or is it someone from inside the crew with an ulterior motive? As the death toll rises Laura makes some shocking discoveries about the cargo of the ship and its true mission that will change the future of the human race.
Directed by newcomers Ralph Etter and Ivan Engler, who also co-wrote it, Cargo is a science fiction film with a good dose of thriller tension and horror movie moments.
Billed as Switzerland’s first science fiction film and entirely in German, the production values are very high with some special effects rivaling any Hollywood blockbuster.
Reminiscent of the recently reviewed Pandorum, Cargo swaps the the action and fight scenes for a more cerebral storyline and plenty of creeping tension.
It also takes elements from Sunshine, Solaris, Alien, 2001, The Matrix and Event Horizon in its look, style and plot however it is well directed throughout.
Although not overly original Cargo is exceedingly watchable thanks to an excellent cast, especially Schwarbroh and the reverently named Samuel Decker played by Martin Rapold. It is in its atmosphere where Cargo excels rarely showing anything but still making the viewer feel tense and on edge at all times.
Cargo is a satisfying slice of Swiss sci-fi with excellent effects and a horror thriller edge that certainly elevates it above other offerings.