Órbita 9 (Orbiter 9 – 2017)
written and directed by Hatem Khraiche
The setup to Órbita 9 (English title: Orbiter 9) is intriguing: In the future, Earth is on a downward spiral to extinction, and humans are sent on a mission to colonize a planet named Celeste. Helena (Clara Lago) is a young woman who has lived all of her life alone inside one of the spaceships. When an alarm goes off, an engineer named Alex (Álex González) arrives at the ship to make repairs, and Helena – who’s hasn’t seen anyone in years or even been kissed – convinces him to make love. Then he leaves… and we suddenly discover that there’s no spaceship at all. Helena is a guinea pig in an underground module designed to monitor human behavior before the eventual journey to colonize Celeste.
However, that’s pretty much where Órbita 9, a Spanish/Colombian production, ceases to be interesting. By giving away the twist so early, the film becomes a sluggish thriller/romance in which Alex rescues Helena from the experiment, shows her the real world, and realizes he can’t save her from the evil scientists who want her back in the pod. Should’ve stayed there in the first place. In Órbita 9 the kernel of a good idea gets lost in space.
Carlos I. Cuevas