Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2010 Geek Fright Fest: Event Horizon

Event Horizon (1997)
Rated R (for violence and disturbing images)

Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson

Laurence Fishburne
Sam Neill
Kathleen Quinlan
Jason Isaacs

In the year 2047, the crew of rescue ship Lewis and Clark receives a distress signal from the Event Horizon, a ship that disappeared behind Neptune seven years before. The crew of the Lewis and Clark, along with the Event Horizon's designer Dr. Weir (Sam Neill) decide to make the trip out to see what's left of the ship. When they arrive, they find the Event Horizon intact, but empty. The crew members are gone, save one - a frozen corpse, sans eyes. The ship holds an experimental gravity drive, which was used to create an artifical black hole, something Dr. Weir hoped would allow for space/time travel. Instead, the drive seems to have propelled the ship to another dimension, driving the original crew of the Event Horizon insane. The longer the Lewis and Clark crew stay on the ship, the more likely they are to experience the same fate. Their only hope is destroy the Event Horizon before it destroys them.

Usually modern alien/space movies aren't my thing (I'm more of an Atomic Age kind of girl), but this one worked for me because it's really more like a ghost story that happens to be set in space. (Writer Phillip Eisner pitched it as "The Shining in space".) Like Ridley Scott's Alien, this flick has a very Geiger-esque feel and the Event Horizon sets were reportedly based on the Notre Dame cathedral - both have multiple archways and cruciforms within their designs.

This role starts out as a common one for Neill - the uber-intelligent, slightly eccentric doctor who specializes in a unique field (a la Jurassic Park) - but he is quickly sucked under the ship's control, and he becomes the physical manifestation of the Event Horizon's evil. Neill has done horror before and since (The Omen III, Daybreakers), but this is an unusual turn for him compared to the rest of his filmography. Laurence Fishburne is good, as always; in addition to possessing one of the coolest voices in Hollywood, he seems to revel in leadership roles (The Matrix, "CSI", et al.) My favorite character, however, was Cooper, played by Richard T. Jones. Jones has done mostly televison work (he had recurring characters on "Judging Amy" and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"), but he brings excellent comic relief to this film (and he's not bad to look at either!).

This film has some pretty serious gore, and Anderson's original director's cut was even gorier before Paramount ordered it to be cut in both length and content. (Word of warning: if eyes creep you out, stay away from this one) The violence is not gratuitous, however, and is artfully done. I usually don't like a lot of blood and guts, but this flick was worth suffering through the gross scenes.

Fright Rating: 3 1/2 gasps out of a possible five

This flick is both scary and gory, so those without strong stomachs and/or who scare easily - watch this film with someone in the daylight.


  1. Eyes definetly gross me out so I think I'll be passing on this one. Tab~ You write such well thought out reviews!!!


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