Thursday, September 12, 2013

Event Horizon (1997) - A Review

Infinite Space – Infinite Terror 

There are a few flicks that I remember vividly from childhood. Not because I watched them every day or because they made up that prized stack of VHS tapes that received the honor of repeat viewings, but because they absolutely horrified me. I’m talking, being dragged out of the theater/room while screaming and bawling my eyes out horrified. I love, love, love revisiting those old horror flicks. They make up a huge part of the reason why I love the genre today, and continue to be fascinated by it. 

While I may not necessarily love the films themselves, I love the feelings that they imparted and I enjoy having another watch after all these years to see if those fears might be reignited and terrify me yet again. While most of them, Child’s Play, Tremors and End of Days, cause me to laugh at my ability to be so terrified at them, Event Horizon is a film that has been on my list for a while. I have extremely vivid memories of this one; having to sit outside of the theater for the duration of the film, because I simply and absolutely could not handle the film. Even covering my eyes didn’t seem to help, the sounds alone terrified me and made me cry. 

While re-watching this film (unfortunately) didn’t send me back into a state of comatose fear, I did enjoy it thoroughly. I believe that this film is a good example of Rotten Tomatoes not always being right, as it boasts a rather sad rating of 22% on the site.

Title: Event Horizon
Director(s): Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer(s): Philip Eisner, Andrew Kevin Walker (uncredited)
Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release: August 15, 1997

When it comes to these synopsis’ I keep getting lazier and lazier, so here’s the synopsis courtesy of IMDB: 

“In the year 2047 a group of astronauts are sent to investigate and salvage the long lost starship "Event Horizon". The ship disappeared mysteriously 7 years before on its maiden voyage and with its return comes even more mystery as the crew of the "Lewis and Clark" discover the real truth behind its disappearance and something even more terrifying.”

Wow, that was easy. Perhaps that’s the way to go from now on, then I don’t have to worry about spoilers. Anyway, on with the review.

SO, this movie has been all the rage on Reddit lately. It seems like you can’t avoid some mention of it. As I mentioned earlier, it was absolutely terrifying to me a young tot so I had been wanting to revisit for a while, even before I saw it all over Reddit. I finally decided to give it a go, and I’m glad I did. 

The film wastes little time into introducing you to what you are going to be experiencing throughout the duration of the film. With the opening shot, we see the depths of the Event Horizon and get a small but effective taste of the torture that it can inflict. Immediately I was overcome with a fond love the influences that went into this film. They are evident, but not overbearing, the two strongest being Hellraiser (if you want to be really picky, you can say Hellraiser: Bloodlines), and Alien(s). Some consider this film to even be a film that could exist within the mythos of Hellraiser, which I wouldn’t necessarily wholly disagree with, especially when you get a look at Sam Neill at the end. 

I have little complaints about the cast, Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne carried the film well. I do always think it’s interesting to see Fishburne in roles like this, as he’s classically trained as a Shakespearean actor, he was probably the strongest in the cast. Amazingly, this is one in which I’d say that there really wasn’t a wink link the casting department. 

While, for the most part, I thought it was a solid flick, there were a few things that I left me confused. SPOILER: The giant “windshield” is cracked in the Event Horizon and nobody dies because of the whole, space = no fucking oxygen thing? Did we not see Justin pretty much meet his doom, from pretty much the exact same situation (albeit self inflicted?). Also, while the ending was pretty damn sweet, Dr. Weir got a tad bit cheese, but hey, it’s not like the dude plays a villain all the time and he was able to hold his own pretty well. 

Overall, I enjoyed this flick. It was fun, it was gory (as fuck), it was (for the most part) well written and it had a cool aesthetic that you really don’t see all that often. It’s rare when a horror film set in space really makes it work, and I think that Event Horizon was one of those flicks. That being said, I don’t fully understand the 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I’d recommend it. 


- Rg Lovecraft


  1. Totally agree. I loved this film when I was young, and while I'll admit I haven't seen it in some time, 22% doesn't seem right at all. I think I'll take your lead and revisit it again soon too.

    Great review!

    1. Thank you, cheers! Glad you liked the review and thanks for reading,I'll definitely be checking out yours as well.

      - Rg