‘Orbiter 9’ Review: The Human Guinea Pig

Orbiter 9: Helena (Clara Logo) and Alex (Alex Gonzalez)

A scientist falls in love with his experiment and breaks her out of a simulated prison. Orbiter 9 follows Helena, a woman who thinks she’s traveling in space alone to colonize a new planet. Unknowingly she’s still stuck on earth as a human guinea pig destined to die for the benefit of humanity.

This is a foreign film with English subtitles only

With not enough oxygen to reach the new planet of Celeste, a man and woman decide to abandon ship, leaving behind their young daughter, Helena (Clara Logo), in hopes she would survive the journey alone.

Years later, Helena is still on course for the new planet when the ship begins to malfunction. Luckily for her, she is traveling through an area of space with humans nearby and someone is dispatched to assist.

Robotics Engineer, Alex (Alex Gonzalez), docks with her ship and begins the much-needed repairs. Suffering from a lack of human contact, Helena instantly becomes infatuated with Alex, which leads to a romantic encounter.

The next day, Alex quickly finishes the repairs and disembarks in his ship, leaving Helena to continue her journey. Only Alex doesn’t depart, he’s inside an underground bunker known as Orbiter 9. Helena has been held at the secret facility since she was a baby to test the long-term effects of space travel.

Orbiter 9: Alex (Alex Gonzalez) and Helena (Clara Logo) walking

Alex begins to have second thoughts about the program and decides to break Helena out. He returns and convinces her that her entire life has been a lie. He spoofs her vital signs so no one will know she is gone, then he sneaks her out of the facility.

Soon, Helena discovers Alex has been hiding a dark secret from her, that is far worse than anything she could have imagined. Adding to her troubles, the man in charge of the Orbiter Program has discovered she has escaped and will do anything to get her back.

The film raises an ethical question about how different people determine what is “good” for humanity. The way Helena and other victims of the secret experiment are treated is a moral gray area.

The Earth is dying, and Helena could provide information that is vital for space explorers colonizing other worlds. On the other side, Alex starts to question the ethics of what he and his colleagues have been doing in the name of humanity.

The mockup spaceship Helena has been imprisoned in looks authentic and is well designed. While small, it offers enough room for a three-person crew. The bridge has large windows peering into a simulated dark void of space. Past the bridge, Helena travels through rounded corridors similar to the ones you would see on the Millennium Falcon.

Orbiter 9: Helena (Clara Logo) looking at small globe

A functioning hydroponics lab provides all the food needed for the journey to Celeste. A robotic voice named, Rebecca, keeps track of Helena’s oxygen supply and becomes her only form of emotional contact. Unfortunately, after the breakout, the ship will become a distant memory.

Helena has a childlike innocence that viewers will get to experience the first time she steps outside. You can see the sheer amazement on her face as she looks up at the sky and touches trees to make sense of her new surroundings.

Helena’s joyous fascination can be summed up by a scene where she stands out in a torrential rainstorm drenched and laughing as she beckons Alex to join her.

Orbiter 9 is just your average sci-fi flick that raises some moral questions. Clara Lago does a great job of showing Helena experiencing her new world as a magical place full of wonders.

The fake spaceship prison and Helena’s life aboard it was interesting, and more time could have been spent there. The reveal of the experiment comes too soon at the cost of viewers being able to relate to Helena and her environment.

Orbiter 9
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