Event Horizon

1997

Event Horizon

Critics Consensus

Despite a strong opening that promises sci-fi thrills, Event Horizon quickly devolves into an exercise of style over substance whose flashy effects and gratuitous gore fail to mask its overreliance on horror clichés.

27%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 74

61%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 67,780
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Movie Info

In this sci-fi/horror scarefest, Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill) is a scientist who has designed a spacecraft called Event Horizon which will explore the outer reaches of space past the planet Neptune; the ship employs a special transport mechanism that, in effect, creates a black hole that the ship can pass through, allowing it to travel tremendous distances in a few seconds. The Event Horizon mysteriously disappears in the midst of a mission with no trace of either the ship or its crew, but it reappears in Neptune's orbit after a seven year absence and it's sending out a distress signal. The spaceship Lewis and Clark, and Dr. Weir, are sent to investigate; the crew -- Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne), pilot Smith (Sean Pertwee), engineer Justin (Jack Noseworthy), navigator Starck (Joely Richardson), physician D.J. (Jason Isaacs), and emergency technicians Peters (Kathleen Quinlan) and Cooper (Richard T. Jones) -- are already tired and unenthusiastic about this assignment, and somewhat confused by Weir's reports. The crew of the Lewis and Clark are convinced that Weir is not telling them something, and when they discover the Event Horizon, they find that things are not what they seem, and an evil presence has taken over the ship. Incidentally, the term "event horizon" describes the outer boundaries of a black hole.

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Critic Reviews for Event Horizon

All Critics (74) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (54)

  • The pits.

    Dec 14, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Climax follows climax until the weary viewer wants to cry, "Stop, already!"

    Dec 14, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The sets are indeed terrific and the special effects quite remarkable, as the chill of the uncertain future is mixed with a steamy gothic past. But, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, never have so many done so much to such little purpose.

    Dec 14, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Director Anderson gets points for skillfully choreographing all of this, but he loses them for a consistent desire to brutalize the audience.

    Dec 14, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Don't worry, it's not you. It really doesn't make any sense.

    Dec 14, 2018 | Full Review…

    Paul Tatara

    CNN.com
    Top Critic
  • By the time the story gets rolling, the filmmakers are trying unsuccessfully to scare the audience with sudden loud noises and gallon upon gallon of fake blood.

    Dec 14, 2018 | Full Review…

    John Krewson

    AV Club
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Event Horizon

  • Jul 07, 2018
    So, Event Horizon, we finally meet. Honestly, I don't remember if I saw this in theaters when it came out, I wouldn't have been 10 at the time this came out. My mom was cool like that. Anyway, I mention this because there's something vaguely familiar about this and I don't know if I had seen it or I'm remembering a different movie entirely. But, before we get to that, I feel like I should go over a bit on my 'relationship' with Paul W.S Anderson. I suppose that's overstating the point since, I can only talk about the work of his most famous 'work' and that is the Resident Evil franchise. Granted, two of the films in the franchise were directed by someone else, but he wrote all of them. And, to be honest, I am not a fan of the RE movies. I just feel that they're lacking in, pretty much, everything. The action is lackluster, the horror is nonexistent, the narrative is a mess and the dialogue is bad. Just, as a whole, it's a largely terrible franchise and it perplexed me as to why these films kept being made. If you saw the worldwide gross for these movies, however, you'd understand perfectly. So knowing that this is a Paul W.S Anderson movie, I'm a little bit hesitant. Yes, the movie has a massive cult following and I was definitely open to giving this film a fair shake without any real preconceived notions of what this film would be given who directed it. Having said all of that, despite Mr. Anderson not having a hand in the writing of the script (at least that he was credited for), where in the FUCK has this version of Paul W.S Anderson disappeared to in the 20+ years since this release. Look, if this guy kept making films like this for the last 20 years, we would be talking about him as a horror legend. Or, at least, someone who has kept true to his vision of what horror is. While I'm not gonna sit here and say that this movie is a classic like, say, Rosemary's Baby is a classic, I feel comfortable saying that the cult following is very much deserved. I don't wanna say that the critics' reviews were wrong, because we're all entitled to our opinion regardless of how many people disagree with it, but I felt that this was a good horror movie. With emphasis on the horror, to say the least. The fact that the movie might borrow from, say, the Shining, 2001, Hellraiser, Alien should not instantaneously mean that your movie is terrible Equilibrium is largely regarded as a Matrix-ripoff and the influences of other sci-fi works are obvious but, in my opinion, that is still a good action movie. I read a summary of the reviews on Wikipedia, I think, and one mentioned that, at the very least, the movie is never boring. And that is, honestly, fact now. I think it's impossible to be bored by this movie, even if you end up hating it. The movie's narrative is simple, I suppose. It follows this crew of astronauts sent on a rescue mission after the Event Horizon has been missing for seven years. The crew is meant to look for signs of life, if any. Of course, nothing goes according to plan as it is found out that the Event Horizon was testing this experimental engine that opened a rift in the space time continuum, by creating a black hole in order to teleport to locations that would normally take them 1000 years to get to. However, where the Event Horizon went through after going through this rift/gateway is unknown. What we do know is that, when 'arriving' at its current location, the ship brought something hostile back with it. Something that drives those who are in its presence to the depths of madness by showing them their fears or the darkest part of their past. Dr. Weir (Sam Neill), who designed the Event Horizon is the most drawn to this...force and he, later in the film, acts as sort of Jack Nicholson from the Shining, going insane and preventing the crew from leaving the Event Horizon. I know Paul Anderson isn't pleased with this version of the film, since it was originally meant to be 130 minutes and Paramount demanded it be cut down cause they felt it was too long and too violent. And, while the deleted footage itself is believed to have been lost forever, I'd about give my left nut to be able to see that some day. Because the violence and gore in this movie is absolutely insane as it is. There's very few major horror movies that are actually as gruesome as this movie is, even to this day. So, for there to be an even more gruesome and violent version of this film out there, it's like the Holy Grail for horror fans. I've made my intentions known, if that footage is ever found and a director's cut released, I'm buying that shit. But I don't think the movie is good just because of the gore and the violence. Don't get me wrong, that's obviously part of it. But, for starters, you have a strong cast with Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne heading it up. The cast never phones the performances in. It's not like there's any Oscar-caliber performances here, but they're very solid and enjoyable. The tone and atmosphere of the film is top-notch. The movie, in spite of all its influences, avoids any cliches associated with this genre. And, to top it off, its representation of hell, which this is, really, meant to be is tremendous. Hellish visions, shown to Miller (Fishburne) of what will happen to the crew if they stay on the Event Horizon are absolutely horrifying. Horrifying in a good way, of course. So, at least for once, you can finally get into what these people are going through because I wouldn't want to be in their shoes in the slightest. You invest in these characters and you hope they get as far away from this place as they possibly can. Those that survive at least. That's a credit to their dedication at just crafting strong horror around what happened in this spaceship. The movie also succeeds because they tease and tease that they're going through the same gateway the Event Horizon went to originally, to suffer the same fate as the original crew, and, by the end of the film, Miller puts a stop to that. So, at the same time, they definitely make you want more, because I definitely want to see what's on the other side of that gateway and see what more horrifying and hellish images await for us there. Sadly, though, this movie's lack of success put the kibosh on a sequel. Hell, I think a prequel would be more interesting, because you'd get to explore what actually happened as it happened and that would be kind of cool. Though, in the 20 years that have passed, I feel that they wouldn't be able to capture the same tone from this movie and if they don't have the tone and the atmosphere, then it will just not be the same. I know I'm not giving this more than three stars, I just don't feel like it's a very good movie, but I really liked this movie a whole lot. Far more than I was reasonably expecting. It's just a damn good horror movie from top-to-bottom. I think it succeeds at everything it set out to do, despite the fact that Paul W.S Anderson was not pleased with this cut. If he could make another horror movie like this, and it's good (of course), that'd be great. That's my Bill Lumbergh impression. I definitely liked this a lot and would gladly recommend it to any horror nerd.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Sep 17, 2016
    A great sci-fi horror flick (essentially a haunted house movie in space with a little bit of Hellraiser) that was sadly under-appreciated when it first came out. Paul W.S. Anderson (in a rare moment of creative inspiration) does a great job of keeping up a great tense atmosphere and the practical effects are superb (although instances of CGI in the movie are one of the few weak points). There are plenty of great tense sequences, effective jump scares, and absolutely messed-up imagery. The acting isn't too bad either, actually the quality of the acting goes a long way in selling the plot. Sam Niell and Laurence Fishburne really shine in this but the rest of the supporting cast are solid too, especially Sean Pertwee. If you love sci-fi and horror, then check it out!
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2016
    I definitely didn't see the plot twist and ultimate driving plot point coming in this one. A crew has to survey the return of the ship the Event Horizon years after its disappearance. They encounter the force that created the disappearance still onboard. Very interesting concept for what could happen when humans attempt to develop space-time warp drives. Worth seeing even with the extremely creepy ending.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2016
    Boo! In space. No, wait, it's all in yer mind. Oy. Disappointing.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

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