Saturday, October 22, 2011

EVENT HORIZON (1997)

When I first saw EVENT HORIZON on cable back in the late 90's it freaked me out, but watching it again now I see it as a good example of a horror film that was so close to being awesome, but failed and ended up being just barely above average.

The Event Horizon in the title is an experimental spacecraft that disappeared seven years ago and has now reappeared way the fuck out by Neptune. A distress signal was sent from the ship and the film opens aboard a rescue vessel that is headed towards the Event Horizon. Along the way the crew is briefed (by Sam Neill, the creator of the Event Horizon) about how the ship was able to create an artificial black hole that would allow it to travel through a wormhole to a destination far away in just a fraction of the time it would have taken using traditional travel.

When the rescue crew arrives at the now ice cold Event Horizon they discover what appears to be the aftermath of a complete massacre. During their investigation and efforts to get the EH back into working order they start to suspect that there is something very, very sinister going on aboard the ship.

I love outer space films like this, just the thought of being placed in a terrifying situation in such an isolated location is an exciting premise for a movie (just look at ALIEN and THE THING), but EVENT HORIZON couldn't seal the deal. The build up is fine, but when is comes time for shit to get real it only got "Ehhh.". Instead of suspense and unbridled terror it's just the same ol' shit we've seen a million times before. It almost came off like a bizarre 90's outer space lovechild of THE SHINING and HELLRAISER.

It's still worth watching, it is entertaining, but in the end I was more frustrated by what didn't happen than by what did. Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne both give very good performances. Also according to IMDb the "original cut" is 130 minutes long. I have never seen that version available anywhere. The Blu-Ray is only 95 minutes.

Director Paul W. S. Anderson went on to produce the equally disappointing PANDORUM and direct the blasphemous ALIEN VS. PREDATOR.