Five strangers awaken to find themselves trapped aboard an alien spaceship that seems to be harnessing their terror to power the ship. They begin to understand that these species have been abducting humans for decades and possibly centuries.
‘A group of strangers find themselves locked in a confined space together and hope to puzzle their way out in order to survive’ is not exactly a new premise. Decent examples include Cube, which managed to get three movies out of the concept (only the first one is good), and Saw, which is is up to number eight in the franchise (with a re-boot on the way, as the franchise couldn’t keep living up to its first instalment either).
Project Ithaca adds a ‘sci-fi’ angle to this – the strangers find themselves in an alien vessel in outer space, and seem to each have been transported from different times. I put sci-fi between quotation marks, as there is no science at play here unfortunately, only an extra-terrestrial angle which adds very little other than a lot of goo. There is no understandable logic or puzzle for the victims to work on, and the storyline becomes dependent on a bit of mumbo-jumbo. In itself this doesn’t have to be a problem at all, had they gone all-out for either horror or intrige, but there is no tension to speak of in this movie. In order to bring things to a conclusion, a lady who clearly was instructed to ‘take inspiration from’ (i.e. copy-cat) The Matrix’ Oracle is introduced to ask the victims various deep and meaningful questions. I think the script writer forgot that in The Matrix The Oracle and The Architect were nemeses rather than a single being…
Even at a short running time of 85 minutes, it is rather hard to stay interested in the movie as it lacks any kind of hook to its story. It leaves you wondering what the film makers were trying to achieve; the film is neither surprising nor thought-provoking, neither scary nor fun. If you enjoy low-budget claustrophobia I would recommend the original Cube instead.