Director – Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast – Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones, Jack Noseworthy, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee
Release Year – 1997
Reviewed by John of the Dead
As an avid fan of horror/sci-fi films, I knew from the moment I first heard of this film that I would enjoy it. My one immediate concern with this film was that it was being directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, whom at the time had previously directed Shopping, and Mortal Kombat, both mediocre(at best) films(he eventually directed “Resident Evil“). Nonetheless, this film remains one of my favorite horror/sci-fi films becomes it gives us a creative view into the horror/sci-fi genre by not using aliens, but something unexplained, and psychological as the antagonist.
This film follows a rescue team led by Captain Miller(Lawrence Fishburne) that has been called from a well deserved “leave” to transport Dr. William Weir(Sam Neill) to a ship known as The Event Horizon. The Event Horizon is a research vessel capable of heading to other dimensions faster than the speed of light(theoretically). Seven years prior, The Event Horizon simply disappeared without a trace…until now. As the team arrives at The Event Horizon they find evidence supporting something very bad happening to the ship’s crew. Soon enough, the rescue team begins to fall victim to whatever it was that The Event Horizon brought back with it from whatever depths of the universe it disappeared to.
I really enjoyed the look and feel of this film. Director Paul W. S. Anderson really did a swell job working with his production and set designers to give this film a very dark and creepy atmosphere thanks to the elaborate sets used. The long winding corridors gave that “you can run all you want, but you will never get out” feel, which is perfect for the plot of this film. The acting performances were well done as well, and I would expect no less from veteran actors Lawrence Fishburne and Sam Neill. How is Paul W.S. Anderson’s direction in this film? Well to be quite honest…it’s pretty good. Part of the reason behind this is his hands on approach to the design of the sets, which allowed him to give us great awe-inspiring camera angles to show just how over their heads our characters have become in this mess. The pacing in this film is also very well done, and I applaud Mr. Anderson for keeping this film very tight and interesting from beginning to end.
Speaking of interesting…this film’s interesting plot is the biggest reason I enjoy this film. I love the idea of the “unexplained”, and this film perfects that to the “T”. Just the thought of a big, scary looking ship with long corridors and dark shadows everywhere coming back from an alternate dimension that forced the ship’s crew to engage in barbaric and sadistic carnage until they killed each other off just rings CREEPY. I am personally very glad that the filmmakers opted to go this direction, instead of having aliens behind the carnage like the film’s original script had written. However, for all we know…aliens really are behind all of this, but it is never shown in the film, and left for the viewer to figure out on their own. Yes!
I do not have any major gripes about this film. I would have preferred a little bit more carnage at the hands of the rescue team when they come in contact with whatever it is that the ship brought back, but that is strictly my opinion. Also a little more depth into the origins of this evil force, but while keeping the same “unknown” factor would have been awesome, if it were possible to have been written into the film.
Overall, I really enjoy this film and recommend it to all people, horror fans or not. This film includes elements sure to please horror fans, yet does not have the overall cheesiness that “other” moviegoers tend to not like about horror flicks.