Movie Review – Event Horizon

1997 Paramount Pictures

Three Stars

Event HorizonEvent Horizon is a seriously dark and twisted science fiction/horror movie. I saw this in the theater with my nephew and I wasn’t really that impressed on the initial viewing. I didn’t think it was a bad movie but it just didn’t catch my attention all that much. Over time my opinion changed as the movie grew on me and I came to appreciate it more.

Set in the year 2047 Event Horizon tells the story of the crew of the rescue ship Lewis and Clark on a mission to discover what happened on board the experimental vessel called the Event Horizon. The Event Horizon was the first ship to be equipped with a new gravity drive that generates an artificial black hole to connect two distance points in space and theoretically move the ship anywhere in the blink of an eye. During its maiden voyage in the year 2040 the ship disappeared without a trace. Now seven years later a signal is received and the ship is discovered in a decaying orbit near Neptune in an appropriately murky and stormy section of the upper atmosphere. The status of the ship and crew are unknown so the Lewis and Clark is sent to seek to find out what went wrong. Also on board is the creator of the Event Horizon and the gravity drive Dr. Weir. When they finally board the long missing ship they discover that the crew is dead and the ship itself is harboring a malevolent and dark force.

It’s weird the way this movie kind of snuck up on me. Even though I wasn’t a fan after the first viewing I bought it on DVD and found it to be a well crafted and scary movie. I’m glad I gave it a second chance. It’s not really on par with Alien in terms of quality but it’s a great looking movie with above average characters and performances and the story is compelling and sufficiently chilling.

Event Horizon is not a movie for the faint of heart. This is a creepy and disturbing movie that really goes right for the jugular. There are some truly nightmarish images and the atmosphere is oppressive and bleak and it does not make you feel all happy and joyful at the end. I am not easily scared but there are some scenes that totally freak me out in this movie.

If you are a casual horror fan or not a fan of the genre at all I would skip this but if you are a fan watch this movie late at night with all the lights out when no one else is home.

The good:

The cast is excellent.

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Laurence Fishburne as Captain Miller, possibly the most unlucky space traveler ever.

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I always like Jack Noseworthy no matter what he’s in. Very likable.

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I’ve had a crush on Kathleen Quinlan ever since I saw her in Twilight Zone The Movie in 1983.

Both the exterior and interior design of the Event Horizon are very impressive and unique. I have never seen designs quite like those featured in Event Horizon. There is almost a medieval feel to the interior of the ship especially in the engine room and the bridge. The set designs of the Lewis and Clark are just as good.dvd_snapshot_00.29.57_[2013.04.09_21.04.47]

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The decision to have the Event Horizon located in the upper ionosphere of Neptune was pure genius. The electrical activity creates a non-stop thunder-storm adding to the already eerie haunted spaceship theme.

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The haunted house in space.

The special effects are excellent. The model work is beautiful.

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The Event Horizon dwarfs the Lewis and Clark. Great shot.

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The not so good:

Sam Neil’s character succumbs to the evil just a little to easily. I would have liked to have seen somewhat of an inner struggle.

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Sam Neil sucks at shaving.

This movie may actually be a little too dark. I don’t mind dark movies but some of the briefly glimpsed images are brutal and Captain Miller’s fate is awful.

Random thoughts and observations:

The possessed Sam Neil character explains that the ship was pulled into a dimension of chaos and total evil. Could a truly evil universe exist? Evil by its very nature preys on beings that are good and unaware of their impending doom. In a totally evil dimension there would be no one to prey upon and if the evil beings prey upon themselves I can see the universe becoming barren of any life rather quickly. So unless this evil dimension is visited often by ships from other dimensions I can’t see how this concept would work.

My nephew Matt and I were discussing this movie and he mentioned that he doesn’t think the music in the opening credits fits the movie very well. I actually think it fits perfectly. The credits begin with the Paramount logo and then segue directly into a vortex leading, in my view, to a very dark place. The discordant music fits very well with the imagery in my opinion.  So in honor of my nephew, a fellow movie fan who really is more like a brother, I give you this: Event Horizon Opening Credits.

Like I mentioned earlier this is a basically a haunted house story in space but made even scarier by one fact: in a haunted house you can walk out the door but it’s hard to leave a spaceship that’s approximately 32 AU’s (roughly 2,976,000,000 miles) away from the Earth especially when your ride home gets blown up.

This movie is filled with cool visuals. Great looking movie all around:

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