Captain Miller and his space rescue team of the Lewis and Clark are sent to check out a distress signal from a long disappeared experimental ship, Event Horizon. All is not right with the ship or with Dr. Billy Weir, the scientist who helped design it. Can they stop the eeeeevil ghost ship and save themselves before it’s too late? Find out in… Event Horizon.
How?! Just before going on leave, Captain Miller and the crew of the Lewis and Clark are told to get ready to go to Neptune. They are joined by Dr. Billy Weir and informed that they are going to check out a distress signal from the long lost Event Horizon, an experimental ship meant to test out a new wormhole drive. How does he know? He designed it. Bum bum bum. Once there, it quickly becomes clear that the ship is real spookified and all kinds of terrible things have happened. They want to get out of there ASAP, but an energy pulse from the experimental gravity drive damages the ship. Dr. Weir insists that the drive is perfectly safe, but soon everyone on the ship is seeing and experiencing images of their darkest fears and terrible memories. They start to die one by one at the hands of these visions and Weir goes further and further off the deep end. Turns out the gravity drive didn’t create the artificial black hole to a location far off in space after all… it created a portal to HELL. Bum bum bum! And Weir is completely in its control! Just when they are on the verge of getting their ship repaired and Miller is set to blow up the Event Horizon, Weir is able to sabotage the plan and trap them. Miller is able to blast him out into space and in a last ditch effort blows apart the Event Horizon sending the gravity drive back through a black hole and leaving the remaining survivors floating in stasis through space. Days later they are rescued and are safe (or are they? (I think they are (are they?))) THE END.
Why?! Interesting… I guess the motivation for the good guys is first professionalism. It’s their job so they are going to check out the Event Horizon. Then it’s just survival. As for the eeeevil in the ship… well, it’s evil and pure chaos. It does distill down just how classic horror this really is. That’s been the trend, survival for the good guys and evil for the bad guys. Not particularly interesting.
Who?! Just a small factoid for this section. For whatever reason they note in the credits that Andrew Kevin Walker was a “script doctor (uncredited)” on the film. It’s an interesting note given that there must be thousands of script doctors who have worked on films and don’t get that uncredited credit… so is it just because it was known from an interview or something? How do we even know it’s true? Little known fact, I was a script doctor on Cloud Atlas. Yup. Your move IMDb.
What?! Event Horizon is the perfect film for selling props. Distinct visual effects and large set pieces with a lot of moving parts. Can I dress up as one of the characters? For as little as 10,000 pounds I can. Can I get a piece of the gravity drive? Yup. And that’s really the big one here. It’s almost a MacGuffin. Dr. Weir wants to possess it, Miller wants to destroy it, we don’t know how it works really but we know it’s pretty damn powerful.
Where?! We don’t get a single scene on Earth. Even before setting off for Neptune we only see Dr. Weir waking up on a space station somewhere. This is a true blue (literally) Neptune film. Can we get the whole solar system. We obviously have Earth, Mars, and Jupiter (ascending). And now Neptune. Really we might have hit the limit right there. A-. Very important to the plot, but really couldn’t it have been a different planet.When?! 2047. All told specifically in a series of intertitles. There are even a few more facts given for context. Like 2015 is when the moon is colonized. Breaking news, I guess. You would have thought that President Obama would have made a bigger deal about that on the way out. It is the only major release set in that year… although the sequel to Iron Sky is as well (but that was hardly a major release). A. For all the context given.
When?! 2047. All told specifically in a series of intertitles. There are even a few more facts given for context. Like 2015 is when the moon is colonized. Breaking news, I guess. You would have thought that President Obama would have made a bigger deal about that on the way out. It is the only major release set in that year… although the sequel to Iron Sky is as well (but that was hardly a major release). A. For all the context given.
I kinda dug this movie. It’s got fun atmosphere and was using CGI to some effect given that it was 1997. I can certainly understand the criticisms. It was much more of a Hellraiser ripoff than I thought it would be. Particularly near the end. And while creepy at times it wasn’t really all that scary. Definitely stronger first half than second half, but didn’t peter out as much as I thought it would and I enjoyed the spectacle more than I typically do. Guess I’m a sucker for some sci-fi thrills and chills. The only thing that rankles a little bit is that this had a definite whiff of anti-science, where in the pursuit of space travel scientists have pushed too far and have arrogantly flown too close to the realm of God and thus released hell. This is a little pointed too as the scientist is the one insisting that the Gravity Drive is perfectly safe all while clawing his own eyes out. Not looking so hot in this day and age. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Somehow, this is the fourth sci-fi film we’ve watched for BMT which involved demons in space. Ghosts of Mars, Doom, and Hellraiser: Bloodline. Against all odds, this hard sci-fi cult classic is closest to Hellraiser. Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – Growing up being spooky scared of horror films, there had been a few films on my watch list periphery which never got touched because, it turned out, they were horror films. Event Horizon seeeeems like it is just a regular sci-fi film about black holes, but in reality it was a horror film, so I never watched it. Then I realized it qualifies for BMT, and, even better, was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson who makes a whole lotta bad movies. So here we are, finally watching his follow up to Mortal Kombat. What were my expectations? I … don’t know. I guess I imagined it would be cheesy like Mortal Kombat, but all of the reviews online suggest it was just too gory for the era. I don’t like gory horror films, but if that was its biggest issue then … maybe it isn’t bad anymore? I guess we’d see.
The Good – Ultra cool designs. The Event Horizon in particular is an amazingly designed sci-fi ship, and perfectly explains why the film is a cult classic in the first place. The haunted-house-in-space concept works really well here. This is maybe the best possible example of that niche genre as I could imagine. And a bunch of the actors are great as well, Laurence Fishburne in particular. Finally, while I disagree with some of the lore choices here, I appreciate the direction they went with the question of what is beyond the black hole in the Event Horizon’s engine. Best Bit: Ship design.
The Bad – Mainly I’ll just say the lore falls a bit short. The main reason for this is that it unfortunately comes across as a Hellraiser rip-off. Sam Neill’s descent into Hell and as an extension of the Event Horizon is effectively the same as Dr. Phillip Channard in Hellraiser II. Both desire their destiny, and run towards their demise with open arms. And it is no coincidence that the Event Horizon engine and the Lament Configuration share some design choices. I think it is a testament to this film that this was really the only complaint I had about it. If Event Horizon comes out a decade earlier and Hellraiser didn’t exist, would we have seen multiple Event Horizon sequels? I think it is possible. Fatal flaw: Derivative.
The BMT – It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad! I couldn’t even bring myself to mention the gore in the good or bad parts of the recap. I just don’t think it was ultra-gory, or at least not enough to note. The film itself though is quite entertaining, and it works really really well as a haunted house in space (I haven’t seen another more successful version of that in fact, the terrible Hellraiser: Bloodlines is closest maybe). I liked it, even if it feels like it borrows a tad too much from the superior Hellraiser lore. Did it meet my expectations? I didn’t really have expectations, but that didn’t matter because I think this is not a bad movie in the first place. So no matter my bad movie expectations, this didn’t meet it, since it is a good movie.
Roast-radamus – Who What Where When Why How – Once again, as will be usual with this cycle the Setting as a Character (Where?) and Period Piece (When?) is off the chain. The setting is literally a character (the Event Horizon), but space is always an excellent setting. And the film is set in the kind-of-near-future of 2047 must have seemed super realistic at the time, 50 years to making trips to Neptune. I like this for MacGuffin (Why?) in that the entire film is focused on finding and recovering the mysterious Event Horizon. And I think this has a decent shot for Good in the end.
StreetCreditReport.com – I don’t think it is that surprising this film doesn’t show up on many lists, specifically because gore seems to be the main critic complaint and that doesn’t really translate to “worst film of the year” material. I did find a list for worst horror films set in space where it is number 11. Which I think it fair, worse than something like Alien: Covenant, but better than Alien: Resurrection. I don’t even think this is the worst black hole centric films! The Black Hole I think is genuinely worse, and I liked The Black Hole.
You Just got Schooled – Here I think I had a few choices, just because Event Horizon apparently draws a lot from classic sci-fi like The Forbidden Planet (which I believe I’ve seen before). I went with Disney’s 1979 box office flop The Black Hole though. And I have to say, it was really good. It looks pretty old school, with clearly just-people-in-costumes versions of robots. But overall it fits in nicely with Event Horizon. Both films deal with the egomaniac who has created the ability to go through black holes, and the exploration of his ship which holds dark secrets within. Whereas Event Horizon draws on The Haunting to become a haunted house film, The Black Hole ends up drawing on something like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, with our heroes trapped aboard an incredible craft with Dr. Hans Reinhardt and his army of automatons. It is a pretty impressive space adventure, even if it would appear dated side-by-side with Star Wars (which had come out two years prior). And the cast is pretty sweet with Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, and Ernest Borgnine to name a few. B+. Not the nicest film to look at from that time period, but a cool space film and an apt non-horror film to watch alongside Event Horizon.