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Event Horizon (1997)

DVD Cover (Paramount)
Genres:
Horror, Sci-Fi Horror, Science Fiction
Director:
Paul W.S. Anderson Paul W.S. Anderson
Starring:
Laurence Fishburne Laurence Fishburne
Sam Neill Sam Neill
Kathleen Quinlan Kathleen Quinlan
Joely Richardson Joely Richardson
Richard T. Jones Richard T. Jones
User Lists:
> Surprsingly Good

6.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: June 08, 2007
Before director Paul W.S. Anderson managed to make even Kurt Russell look bad in "Soldier" -- long before he gave us gems like "Resident Evil" and "Alien Vs. Predator" -- long before those, he actually made a decent film. I know -- I know -- it's difficult to believe, but that film was "Event Horizon". Released in 1997, the film was more than a little bit of a disaster for the studio. With a budget of $70 million, the film barely topped $25 million. It would do rather well with video rentals, and it did kind of take on a cult status in the horror world, but it is still pretty much a failure by every other standard. Failure or not, "Event Horizon" does pack its share of scares.

Science fiction or horror? Actually, it's a little bit of both. Thew crew of the Lewis & Clark have been sent on a new assignment -- to find a ship called the Event Horizon which disappeared into a black hole years before. Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne) is all business and is simply doing what he has been ordered to do. Dr. Weir (Sam Neill) designed the Event Horizon and is fascinated by her sudden return. Where did it go? Where has it been all those years? When the crew finally do board the Event Horizon, bizarre things begin to happen. Peters (Kathleen Quinlan) starts seeing her deceased son running around; Justin (Jack Noseworthy) is attacked by an unknown force and ends up trying to kill himself; and Captain Miller keeps seeing a former crew member who was accidentally killed in a fire. When a strange video recording is located, the crew of the Lewis & Clark start to realize that the Event Horizon has been to places no human being could ever fathom.

There is a strange feel to this film that might have actually been unintentional. The video that the crew discovers is frighteningly well done and it adds to the sense that something terrible is lurking behind the shadows. I also love the premise of this ship disappearing for years and no one knowing where it went -- and the idea that this world of pure evil in an alternate dimension exists. It's a terrifying thought. And when Sam Neill changes towards the end of the film, the make-up effects as well as his performance are absolutely perfected. One of the problems with the film, however, is that it also wants to be a standard sci-fi/action flick, and that doesn't work. It's hard to be both of those, and a horror film. Personally, they should have focused primarily on the horror elements, and then maybe this film wouldn't have been littered with so many flaws and problems.

The special effects are on par with the other special effects of the time, but most of the budget money likely went to the production of the elaborate set pieces that comprise both of the ships. A top notch cast was assembled for the film. Laurence Fishburne is fine in his role as the commander of the ship. Kathleen Quinlan and Joely Richardson add some needed levity to the roles. Richard T. Jones handles the role of comic relief well. And, Sam Neill steals the show as the creepy scientist who just wants to be reunited with his ship. All in all, "Event Horizon" packs some nice visuals and its fair share of scares. It's one of the better science fiction horror films to come along since "Alien", but could have been much better with more clarity and direction. I don't blame Paul W.S. Anderson for that so much as a scattered screenplay. 7/10.
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Tristan #1: Tristan - added 06/08/2007, 06:57 AM
"Well fuck layman's terms, do you speak English?" This movie had some great lines.
Vash #2: Vash - added 06/08/2007, 11:55 AM
this movie ruled. i remember loving it as a kid when it came out. i liked how the people you thought were least likely to survive ended up living. also, i guess this was after paul anderson's other not terrible movie, mortal kombat... but then he made the second one. ugh.
BuryMeAlive #3: BuryMeAlive - added 06/08/2007, 12:43 PM
I'm gonna be honest, I like Paul W.S. Anderson. He is not one of my favorites, but I think the hate against the man is overblown. With that said, I need to rewatch this one, I don't remember it good enough to rate it.

And yeah, Paul W.S. Anderson had nothing to do with the mortal Kombat sequals.
bluemeanie #4: bluemeanie - added 06/08/2007, 03:11 PM
I was just about to point that out -- he was blameless on the sequel, and the first "Mortal Kombat" could have been a lot worse. However, I think we need to examine his body of work as a whole. He hasn't really directed enough films to be labeled as a 'bad director'. Out of the 5 mainstream films he has directed, they all have a certain level of 'quality' to them that makes him seem more like a B-list director. "Event Horizon" avoided this, but not his other ones. He might end up going down as an amazing director -- he has a whole career ahead of him.
Crispy #5: Crispy - added 06/08/2007, 10:24 PM
It took me a long time to "appreciate" Paul Anderson. Most of his movies are by no means good, but they fill that guilty pleasure bit for me.
grain of sand #6: grain of sand - added 06/10/2007, 05:37 AM
this movie was really creepy as a kid, I'd like to see it again and see how it pans out
Rik #7: Rik - added 09/22/2007, 02:03 AM
Event Horizon creeped the fuck outta me. Especially watching that video of the guy who gouged his eyes out.
Chad #8: Chad - added 01/30/2008, 10:17 AM
Much, much better than I expected given the premise and the man behind the camera. Agreed with the review, but I think I'll go 8/10.
Lucid Dreams #9: Lucid Dreams - added 05/30/2010, 05:06 PM
He has made some good movies and some stinkers, but this one was pretty damn good. 8/10
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