Event Horizon

Infinite Space - Infinite Terror

Horror Science Fiction Mystery
96 min     6.5     1997     United Kingdom


In 2047, a group of astronauts are sent to investigate and salvage the starship 'Event Horizon' which disappeared mysteriously 7 years before on its maiden voyage. With its return, the crew of the 'Lewis and Clark' discovers the real truth behind the disappearance of the 'Event Horizon' – and something even more terrifying.


Matt Golden wrote:
In the year 2040, a spacecraft called the Event Horizon was sent out to journey among the stars with an experimental gravity drive that purported to allow faster-than-light travel. On its maiden voyage, however, it vanished. Seven years later, it has returned, orbiting Neptune, and a rescue crew is sent out to investigate, along with the scientist responsible for the ship’s creation. The rescue crew of the Lewis and Clark are a group of no-nonsense blue-collar workers, led by Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne), with Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill) along for his expertise. When they arrive at the Event Horizon, they find the crew long dead. “This ship is a tomb,” judges Captain Miller at one point. The rescue team begins to realize that the ship passed through a black hole created by the gravity drive, but didn’t return alone. The ship with a long-dead crew shows life signs. The rescue team begins to have terrifying visions. The gravity drive begins to spin of its own accord... Something is loose on the ship, and the rescue team has to not only unravel out what happened to the original crew, but also protect themselves from the horrors that returned with the ship. It’s a simple but sturdy setup, standard B-movie stuff. What elevates Event Horizon is its first-class production design and solid atmosphere. Paul W.S. Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil, Alien vs. Predator) is not a name one would generally associate with good film product these days, but here he managed (in spite of himself, one may think given the rest of his output) to present a film steeped in suspense, with strong performances, gorgeous set pieces, and palpable horror. Let’s be honest: there’s nothing new here. The strength of this film lies in how it fits together the pieces it stole from other films. This is very much (and very completely) The Shining by way of Alien, even to the point of lifting the character archetypes directly from Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece. The Event Horizon is the Overlook Hotel, teeming with supernatural power and malice. The film delves into gore in its last third, but it’s not quite proficient enough to have it enhance the scares (which were doing just fine before the blood started flowing so freely). However, the film is even structured like Alien and The Shining, all slow burn and building dread until things begin to go to hell (literally, perhaps). The cast have stock characters but they bring them to life admirably, particularly Neill and Fishburne; among the secondary characters, Kathleen Quinlan, Jack Noseworthy, and Sean Pertwee are particularly memorable. The script by Philip Eisner is derivative but effective, and Anderson was clearly at the peak of his directorial prowess here. Don't misunderstand me to say that the film's lifts from other works make it bad; it's certainly not. Originality is overrated as an attribute, and fairly value-neutral even on the best of days. I'd much rather have a tale well-told than one that does weird things simply for the sake of doing weird things (French sci-fi/fantasy directors, I'm looking at you. Yes, you, Jeunet), though the greatest films find a way to combine both sturdy storytelling and originality in the medium. In total, Event Horizon is a very effective sci-fi horror film, breaking no new ground but doing what it does very well. A minor classic of the sci-fi horror genre.
John Chard wrote:
You know nothing. Hell is only a word. The reality is much, much worse. Event Horizon is directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and written by Philip Eisner. It stars Sam Neil, Laurence Fishburne, Joely Richardson, Kathleen Quinlan, Richard T. Jones, Sean Pertwee, Jason Isaacs and Jack Noseworthy. Music is by Michael Kamen and orbital and cinematography is by Adrian Biddle. 2047 and a group of astronauts are sent to investigate the 'Event Horizon' which disappeared mysteriously 7 years ago. It has returned minus its crew and now the crew of the 'Lewis and Clark' become exposed to horrifying secrets of the ghost ship... It is what it is, a haunted house chiller set on a space ship. It's derivative within the genre but it does the genre staples with no little amount of quality. The tone is set from the opening credits being accompanied by a ferociously foreboding musical score, and from there the pic delivers a "who is going to get killed and in what order" process - and why? Just what is the mystery at the core of it all?. A great cast has been assembled, which lifts it above its "B" movie roots, so with some thoughtful ideas within the narrative, it's easy to buy into the characterisations. Naturally the blood will flow, devilishly so, but the makers here put a different slant on the sci-fi/horror assailant thread. Of course it gets a bit by the numbers come the final quarter, arguably a bit hokey in fact, but it's very effective and perfect for a lights off viewing experience. Smart production design helps keeps up the chilly feel to proceedings, whilst the bleak tonal flows that director Anderson goes for really draws the engaged observer in. It's neither ground breaking or a top line film of its type, but holding up on repeat viewings it proves to be a sturdy and unsettling space based chiller. 7/10
Repo Jack wrote:
A fantastic "horror in space" thriller led by an excellent assemble cast (Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neil, Kathy Quinlann). Do we really want to know what can be found at the edge (event horizon) of a black hole?
Repo Jack wrote:
A fantastic "horror in space" thriller led by an excellent assemble cast (Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neil, Kathy Quinlann). Do we really want to know what can be found at the edge (event horizon) of a black hole?
JPV852 wrote:
This is the third time seeing this one and my opinion pretty much remained the same. Some interesting ideas but not very well executed, though that's kind of Paul W.S. Anderson's style of filmmaking it would seem. Visual effects are at times iffy (the CGI in particuular) but the acting was okay and I can't say I ever was bored or mystified with what I was watching. **3.25/5**