I have always held out hope for Roger Christian as an unsung talent on the basis of The Sender. Alas, Stranded is a desultory Alien knockoff an irony given that Christian acted as art director on the original and is now stuck making copies of it. Although given the alien pregnancy nature of the plot, what we have feels more like a copy of the Alien ripoff Inseminoid (1981). Or perhaps the team were thinking of the similar scenes in the recent Prometheus (2012). The film makes a beeline for the cheesy elements of the genre Amy Matysio gets alien impregnated in next-to-no time and the show quickly descends to creatures and mutations pursuing crewmembers around darkened corridors. Even then the film has to throw in pointless dream sequences with Amy Matysio gorily giving birth to spice the action up.
What Stranded tries to add over Alien is an element of ambiguity where we cannot be sure whether there really is an alien creature or a pregnancy or whether this is paranoia created by the spores. This is an interesting idea that was first conducted in the very similar Alien Cargo (1999). Here though, the idea is so clumsily handled that we have no idea what is going for much of the latter half of the film. At one point, we have Christian Slater trying to insist on quarantine procedures for the spores and then rather absurdly turning around and refusing to do anything that would in any way test to prove what the people are claiming and ignoring Amy Matysios infection. Despite the fact that she gets pregnant and gives birth to an entire creature, the rest of the people seem more interested in the fact that she has a cut on her finger.
Stranded gives the impression of having been cheaply produced. Unlike most modern science-fiction films, Roger Christian has chosen to rely not on CGI but on more traditional model effects. Alas, these are not particularly good and there are some unconvincing shots of the meteor shower striking the moons surface and of the moonbase. The film has also clearly made no effort to replicate the Moons lower gravity and so the crew walk about as though they are simply on a terrestrial set.
Stranded should not to be confused with numerous other films with the same title. Science-fiction alone has used the same title for three other films Stranded (1987) about alien refugees on Earth; the Spanish Stranded (2001) about astronauts crashed on Mars; and Fred Olen Rays Stranded (2002) about a space station disaster.