Director: Paul W. S. Anderson
Running Time: 96 Minutes
I remember watching this movie as a kid and having nightmares for days! I figured that my overactive imagination made everything scarier than it really as. Fast forward 15 years, I re-watched it in about 2010 because my husband had never seen it. Needless to say, it was equally terrifying and even more fucked up because my now adult mind could fully process the nuances and subtleties which were lost on me before.
The Event Horizon goes missing on her maiden voyage to Proxima Centauri. Seven years later, the Lewis and Clark rescue vessel and her six man crew is sent to answer a distress beacon believed to be the Event Horizon. In addition to the crew, the ship also has the Event Horizon‘s designer on board. He was the creator of the ship’s unique gravity drive. The drive is believed to alter spacetime by creating an artificial black hole/worm hole from one point in space to another. This cuts down interstellar travel time. So what went wrong and where has the ship been all this time?
The crew locate the ship and prepare to board. Once on board, it fast becomes apparent that the fate of the ship’s unlucky crew was a bloody and painful one but no-one seems to be able to find evidence of exactly what happened on board.
Performances & Special Effects
Truly stellar performances were given by all members of the cast. Their terror and confusion was palpable. Laurence Fishburne was entirely convincing as the Lewis and Clark‘s unfortunate captain, making difficult but necessary decisions and using his authority to ensure that all crewmen/women are safe at all times.
Sam Neill was superb. The viewer is not entirely sure of what to make of the character. He seems too eager to get aboard the prodigal ship returned. As much I enjoyed him in Jurassic Park, I feel that this is one of his best performances to date.
The special effects, even now, look good. They are simple and have clearly stood the test of time. Each scene is beautifully crafted giving the audience a truly visceral experience, which I think is why it is such a terrifying film to watch. The horror is not reliant entirely on jump scares. Often is is the audio which is more chilling. There isn’t the gratuitous use of GCI, as we saw in Red Planet but rather just enough to keep you watching and waiting. The colour pallet was gloomy and dark but managed to add to the tension and feelings of uncertainty. The make up and set dressing must also be mentioned here. The torturous overtones and hedonistic motives give this film a decidedly Hellraiser in Space feel.
This is a sublime film which manages to pay homage to Hellraiser while still managing to remain original in plot and character. I can entirely understand why this film was used as the basis for the Dead Space game franchise.
The pace was perfect, it didn’t feel like I was running a marathon to get to the end, nor did I feel like I was trudging along just to finish the film. Often tension building can be tedious but this reached its objective of slow burn horror. Again, the special effects were fantastic, especially the really gory stuff!
If you’ve never watch this film, please take the time to sit down and terrorise yourself. You’ll soon realise just how many subsequent Sci-Fi and Horror film have been influenced by this one.
My Rating: 5/5
Buy or rent Event Horizon from Amazon.
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