a critiQal film review Event Horizon (1997)

Plot: In the year 2040, a deep space vessel named Event Horizon is launched with a new type of gravity drive. She disappears without a trace. 7 years later, a mysterious transmission from the Event Horizon is intercepted. The inventor of the gravity drive, Dr.Weir (Neill), commissions a search and rescue spaceship named the Lewis & Clark, headed by Cpt. Miller (Fishburne), to go find out what happened.

Reviewed
459 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 17s)
  • ...the viewer is better off if they stop this one about 4/5's of the way through.

I had heard about Event Horizon when it came out a few years ago, and the trailer made it look interesting, but I had never gotten around to checking it out. While in the video store the other day, I noticed it on the shelf and figured that now would be as good a time as any to watch it.

With the tendency of horror films to go the space thriller route recently (Jason X (2002) & Hellraiser: Bloodline) would this just be a slasher knockoff, or would it be worth watching after all?

The characters were well acted to a point. Sam Neill, always fun to watch after In the Mouth of Madness (1995) (despite his stint in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001)), played the role of the pet-project-obsessed scientist very well and made his mania for the “Event Horizon” clearly visible.

Laurence Fishburne, as the captain of the Lewis & Clark, played his part well, but didn’t stray too much from his memorable Morpheus characterization in The Matrix (1999).

Jack Noseworthy, Kathleen Quinlan, Jason Isaacs and Sean Pertwee help round out a pretty decent cast for a horror film. Unfortunately, the acting tends to degenerate a bit as the movie draws to a conclusion.

The plot tended to follow along a general theme that runs throughout most space horror films: a new invention is created, which bridges the gap to another dimension which in turn brings evil back with it (see Stargate, etc.). Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to come up with very many new ideas along this theme. They seemed to try and make up for this lack of originality by augmenting almost every scene with a vast array of visual effects.

The special effects were both abundant and spectacular. There were many scenes portraying gravity, or lack thereof, realistically, a pitfall in most space films. The special effects never seem to falter much, but maybe that’s because there was so much riding on them. After all, if your gonad wow the audience with special effects to the point where they forget about the originality of the plot, then the effect have to be truly great, don’t they?

With a decent cast of characters, a great plot, and an astounding array of special effects, Event Horizon would have been a great space horror/thriller. But, I guess 2 out of 3 ain’t that bad. With the lack of plot originality, Event Horizon becomes just one of the better slasher flicks in space (minus the slasher, sort of.)

If you liked Stargate And Jason X (2002), and you were dying for a combination of the two, than the wait is over!

If you’re just a fan of Laurence Fishburne or Sam Neill, rent the movie, and stop at about 4/5 of the way through.

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