Hey, everyone! It’s Dash Jordan here and I just want to give a quick warning for today’s review. ‘Event Horizon’ contains scenes of explicit gore and partial nudity. Granted the majority of that content was cut from the finished film for both time and the level of intensity of the gore. While clips may be quick, they’re still pretty graphic, so I just want to warn anyone under the age of 18 or who are overly-sensitive to violence in films. Thank you and enjoy the review!
What’s going on, everybody! It’s the Dash Man and there are only five days left until the Most Wonderful Time of The Year…try not to think too hard about that joke, guys. Well, seeing as how I managed to survive reviewing ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’, it’s time to poke fun and possibly upset another loyal fan base. Don’t worry, THESE guys are harmless.
…yep. This time, the headache will be…out of this world.
‘Event Horizon’ is a 1997 sci-fi horror film directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. The film follows a rescue team as they receive a distress signal from a long-lost experimental spaceship; capable of bending the laws of space and time. Where the ship came back from…is an entirely different story. With a budget of $60 Million, it only made $47 Million at the box office and was pretty much slammed by most critics; making the film an initial failure. So, guys…now’s your chance to prove me wrong. Is there something I’m missing? Or is Paul W.S. Anderson still a hack and is this movie truly a lame knockoff of other sci-fi and horror films?
Wow, that’s my exact reaction the first time I’ve ever watched this movie. I’m just gonna go ahead and call the kettle uninspired. I love to break it to you people, but ‘Event Horizon’ IS a lame knockoff of other sci-fi and horror films. One thing I will give Paul Anderson is that at least he knows how to read because he clearly follows the sci-fi horror handbook, step by step. The problem with that, however, is that the result is borderline plagiarism and tries nothing new. When I see a crew of astronauts, I think of ‘Alien’. When I see bloodied bodies wrapped in barbed wire and nails, I think of ‘Hellraiser’. It’s ‘Hellraiser In Space’ for god’s sake! No, ‘Hellraiser In Space’ was better than ‘Hellraiser In Space’!
Speaking of which, of course, you the set pieces itself had to be lifted…I mean, “heavily inspired” by Clive Barker’s work. I will give this to the rest of the film crew in charge of the sets and practical effects, they were much more adept than the film’s director and writer. The special effects, however, were very hit or miss for me…mostly miss. I know that the film was made in the late 90s, a time where CGI wasn’t completely perfected yet. At the same time, ‘Jurassic Park’ was made back in 1993 and the special effects in that movie still hold up in 2016. I flip-flop from laughing to screaming in anger every time I saw PlayStation 2 graphic spaceships or cartoony-looking floating stuff. Oh, FYI Anderson…not only should there be any sound in space, but water should technically be frozen in space too. Also, WHY IS THERE THUNDER & LIGHTNING IN OUTER SPACE?!? THERE’S NO SOUND IN OUTER SPACE, IDIOT!!!
Oh, I’m just going to nip this right in the bud right now. Yes, I’m aware of the infamous “blood orgy” and the many other cuts from this movie; which includes even more intense gore and Hell scenes…and? Look, guys. I’ve been watching gory horror films since I was four-years-old. I’ve grown up with guys like David Cronenberg, George A. Romero, and Sam Raimi. So, when I finally had the chance to look at all of this gory goodness that you guys would try to use to defend this movie…I wasn’t impressed. I’ve seen plenty of gore and I’ve seen it done better in other movies. Maybe you should’ve included all of that blood and gore in your failed attempt at a ‘Mortal Kombat’ movie, and focused more on being a good director and coming up with genuine scares for this movie. Besides, you need genuine horror to make gore all the more effective anyway…just saying.
…nope, still funny. Now, I know that a director is only as good as the script. So what happens when you have a bad director working on a bad script? ‘Event Horizon’ answers that question. To be fair, I suppose I don’t have a problem with the cast. Mostly because I know the actors can do better, and they at least tried to make me care about what’s going on. Hell, even some of the minor characters tried their absolute best with such an awful script.
Obviously, the best actors in this whole thing were Laurence Fishburne & Sam Neill as Captain Miller and Dr. Weir, respectively. These two guys always manage to put in good performances, even in their bad movies. Fishburne plays your typical stern and level-headed space captain but does it in his own cool and charismatic way. What we get a determined and strong-willed man who’s willing to sacrifice himself to save his crew. Then you have Neill’s, Dr. Weir. I’ll try not to spoil anything if you actually want to be disappointed in this movie. Dr. Weir is the man you created the titular spaceship. Neill plays the doctor as a brilliant yet flawed individual with a tragic backstory that makes you feel sorry for him…at least in the beginning. I’ll just leave it at that. Bottom line, Fishburne and Neill are the glue that holds this so-called film together.
See, guys? I got no problem pointing out the things that work in a film. It’s just that there’s very few to like in these movies. I probably would’ve turned off this movie early on when I had to rewatch it for this review. Luckily, I had some amazing music from the late, great Michael Kamen to keep me invested, because it was that good. To this day, it’s sad to know that he’s passed on were not able to hear any new music from him. But at the same time, it warms my heart to know that his music had become the stuff of legend. From ‘Lethal Weapon’ to ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ to ‘The Iron Giant’, he’s always heard.
The music for ‘Event Horizon’ is by far the truly good thing about this movie. I’d like to think that if he had made this kind of music for another horror movie, it would be a million times more effective. Here, it comes off as the true monster of the whole thing as it adds a level of dread, terror, and mystery that was sorely missing from the film’s writing. If I may say so, I think that ‘Event Horizon’ is probably some of Kamen’s best work.
Well, I did say “probably”. Michael Kamen used to come up with amazing scores in his sleep. Which is why I was confused as to why he needed Electro-Dance group Orbital. Not to say that they’re bad or anything, and I guess you can make the argument that the combination of their music stylings and Michael Kamen’s style added to the film’s atmosphere. I personally feel that Kamen would’ve done well by himself with his signature orchestral style, but the added synthesizers and electronic beats did give it more of a futuristic tone which helps give this film its own identity.
In a way, you could still make the argument that this is probably Paul W.S. Anderson’s best movie, but that really not saying much. Ignoring the excellent music and a great cast, ‘Event Horizon’ still has Anderson’s greasy fingerprints all over it. It’s just one big mess of jump scares, cheap special effects, and hokey scene-chewing by the end. If there was a more experienced and competent director at the helm, a tighter script, and some actual scares, this movie could’ve been something special. Instead, it’s only special to a select few.
And there’s no stopping me, hack. Until next time, Anderson…Gotta Dash!
Written by Shane Moose
A very special thanks to the three big F’s in my life(Friends, Family & Fans) for helping me get this far, pushing me to go even further and for putting up with me when I try going further than that. To hell with my limitations!
Videos & Photos:
Event Horizon(owned by Paramount Pictures, Golar Productions & Impact Pictures)
Bedazzled(2000)(owned by 20th Century Fox, Regency Enterprises & Kirch Media)
Hellraiser: Bloodline(owned by Miramax Films & Dimension Films)
Dogma(owned by Lionsgate & View Askew Productions)
Captain America: The First Avenger(owned by Paramount Pictures & Marvel Studios)