Event Horizon

Finally, here we have a movie that’s much more appropriate to Halloween. Sure, it’s a science-fiction movie but that doesn’t really change anything. Event Horizon is a splatter-shocker-horror-movie, plain and simple.

Event Horizon stars Laurence Fishburne (in the role of the cool, calm and collected salvage ship captain) and Sam Neill as the scientist person that built the mysterious missing ship that gave the movie its title. When it first reached the big screen – received a mixed reaction at best. People told me that the movie starts off well enough but that it went downhill from there.

I try, of course, to not let such comments influence me overly. What I had read about the story itself sounded interesting enough: A research vessel disappeared without a trace several years ago. And now, totally unexpectedly, it re-appeared in an orbit around Neptune. Captain Miller and his crew are sent to investigate.

The movie certainly doesn’t waste any time in getting us down to the action. The voyage starts in a hurry, time for explanations is only taken upon arrival at Neptune. Looks like the research vessel Event Horizon wasn’t on such a routine mission afterall. It was testing a trans-dimensional drive that would propel it to the stars at speeds faster than light. Something went wrong… and now Miller and his crew have to explore the derelict vessel. And within minutes, the terror begins…

Event Horizon certainly keeps you on the edge of the seat. This isn’t so much because of the original story – far from it. From the very first moment you can identify various elements that were liberally borrowed from other movies. Take 2001, add a good deal of Aliens (the second movie), and replace the space alien with satanic/cabbalistic images and you’ve got Event Horizon. However, the fact that you know pretty much what is going to happen is building up quite a lot of tension. There’s also several scenes that should keep the friends of the more bloody sort of horror movie satisfied. I watched an uncut version of the movie (I presume), and some of the stuff really wasn’t pretty. I won’t give it away, but what happens to the doctor guy really wasn’t nice.

As for the end of the movie, I would agree with the people who criticized it. The movie does go downhill from about the mid-point, but it’s not nearly as bad as I had feared. It could have been done better, yes, but it really is more than adequate.

Event Horizon is nicely filmed. There are some really cool scenes and nice images in the movie. It does ignore some basic science, and blatantly so, but who cares, it’s not supposed to be scientifically accurate. There are good characters (I liked the salvage crew), the acting isn’t too bad, overall, Event Horizon makes for a rather decent evening of horror entertainment.

The DVD itself (I watched the German release) is sparse as most DVDs are these days. I guess the days of DVDs being released with many extras and produced with care and enthusiasm are over. We’re in the age of cheap mass-produced releases now. Besides a few languages it carries the theatrical trailer. Bah – What good is that? I really do not understand it, especially since for a modern movie like Event Horizont a lot of extra material probably already exists – Interviews, Making-Of, whatever.

**Bottom line**: Fun movie, disappointing DVD.