Posted on 9/09/10 06:33 AM
Event Horizon was director Paul W. S. Anderson's Third major film. This movie was about 2 years after Anderson's highly successful film ?Mortal Combat? which is why he was offered the gig in the first place. The movie starts out with an innovative and memorable take on the Paramount logo with a killer opening musical score by Micheal Kamen. While the opening credits start, we are audience to a computer generated black hole. Even though this movie is dated, the special effects were state of the art in 1997 when it was released and they don't let up from start to finish.
The story begins in the year 2040 where a prototype super ship named the ?Event Horizon? was built to explore the depths of space. The event horizon was equipped with a special engine called a ?gravity drive? that was designed to create an artificial black hole in the attempt fold space time and reduce the travel time to distant space. The ship was massive and represented a feat of engineering. During the Event Horizon's initial test flight, the gravity drive is activated and ship vanishes without a trace. It is the biggest space disaster on record.
I'm sure that the last thing Anderson or the film's writer Phillip Eisner were trying to do here was be historically accurate, but 2040 is not far enough into the future to depict the level of technology portrayed in this movie. Even for a far fetched plot, it is preposterous to think that we will be anywhere near this capability even in the next 50 to 100 years. Besides this minor discrepancy, up to this point the story is solid. Of course we haven?t made it past the opening sequence yet because this is just the backdrop for the movie.
The movie begins seven years later with the crew of the ?Lewis and Clark? an emergency rescue ship being dispatched on a top secrete mission. As it is soon revealed, the event horizon has reappeared and is broadcasting an emergency beacon. Accompanying the crew is the Event Horizon's designer Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill). After docking with the Event Horizon, the captain of the Lewis and Clark (Laurence Fishburne) leads his crew as they begin to search the lost ship for survivors and try to find out why the ship vanished. What they find defies belief.
This is quite possibly one of my favorite horror movies to date. The premise of the movie was truly unique. It's not by any means a ?great? movie, but it was and still is fun to watch. The most intriguing element to the movie was the spaceship. The set design and production are top tier and the production spared no expense in providing a better than adequate scope to the detail and the grandiosity of both the interior and exterior of the ship. It should be clear that this is a science fiction horror film. The movie was very graphic and violent even for today's standards. What made it so disturbing wasn?t just the violence or gore, but the way that it was shot. Think of it as ?Pinhead? in space but without the cheesiness of the hell raiser movies of course. It is true the story gets a little shallow about three quarters of the way through, but by that time I felt like the movie had firmly established what it was all about and I was just along for the ride.
I remember watching this movie twice in the theater when it came out. Both times I watched it I lost sleep. I don't consider that a bad thing. It's hard for a movie to effect me like that. Despite the misleading RT rating this is a cult favorite. The graphic nature of this movie is what turned people off. Needless to say that I personally feel this movie was very underrated. The hugely successful video game titled ?Dead Space? was inspired by some of the film's varied thematic elements such as the spaceship's interior design, the gravity boots and the airlock hatch designs.
There was a special addition release of this movie. You can actually see some of the scenes that were cut in the official full length trailer. It was a shame that Anderson was forced to make the cuts that he did because according to Anderson about thirty minutes of footage was cut, including extended gore and violence. After a test screening people were apparently shaken up by what they saw. The studio (Paramount) forced Anderson to tone the violence down and shorten the film to around the 90 minute mark. All because it shook people in the test screening audience up? Well good! That's what it was supposed to do you idiots! Of course Anderson regretted this decision and I think to some extent this is why the film did so poorly in theaters. Of course bad advertisement doesn?t help either.
Commercially, Event Horizon was a flop. It came in around 15 million dollars under budget and was one of two films Anderson made (the other of course being Soldier) that almost tanked his career. I gave it an 80 percent strictly for shock value and visual effects. There are some very disturbing elements to this movie including the ?hell? sequences which were as stunning as they were disturbing. I can only recommend this film to the non-squeamish science fiction/ horror enthusiast. In other words be warned, it's good but watch it on an empty stomach.