Event Horizon (1997)

Paul W. S. Anderson directs Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill and Joely Richardson in this sci-fi horror hybrid where an intergalactic rescue team board a ghost ship with a hyperdrive that has opened a gateway to hell.

The Shining in space. Hellraiser meets Alien. Event Horizon is full of promise in its lovingly cadged visuals and its potent, eerie set-up. Caring not a jot for originality in a way that actually warms the cockles in its blatant, unashamed pilfering. Anderson makes a genre flick for the VHS generation who grew up on exactly this kinda hardcore world building, fantasy visuals. Yet the extreme dismemberments and mindfucks are far too rushed, Event Horizon is almost subliminal in its deaths and gore. Part of that comes from studio interference. Titanic was delayed and they needed a summer blockbuster. Event Horizon seemed to be the back cover advert for every comic I bought that summer. Paramount knew how to sell it, just not how to allow it to be good. This went from greenlight to released in the time it takes to render a digital floating tooth. Last minute re-edits after test screenings neutered its power. You get stunning FX work sitting side by side with glaringly unfinished CGI shots. You get a peep show glimpse of a very transgressive NC-17 torture-fest. Maybe these extreme shock moments work better when only glimpsed? The acting is variable – Neill and Fishburne are wasted with choppy arcs while some other characters are very jarring late 1990s creations. Event Horizon isn’t better than you remember or worse than its reputation… just an average film with maddening peaks and dips of quality. There’s both a fantastic movie and a terrible movie fighting for dominance.

7

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

One comment

  1. Sam Simon · July 21

    Anderson’s best movie, in my opinion. There’s a video by the Nostalgia Critic which explains what this movie could have been, and it would have been even better. Still, it’s an enjoyable flikck, as you wrote! :–)

    Liked by 1 person

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