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This is without a doubt one of the greatest horror films ever made! I
wouldn't classify it as sci-fi even though it does pay homage (or some
would say rip-off) to many of the greats, such as Alien and The Black
Hole. This is a pure horror film and also has a b-movie charm. This is
the kind of movie William Castle would be directing if he was still
alive today, but much better! It is the best haunted house movie of the
lot, but its set in a spaceship.
OK, the movie doesn't have the most complicated plot or character development, it works because of the atmosphere and Paul Anderson has pulled off a one-trick pony here. The atmosphere in this film is so friggin brilliant that you forget you're watching a movie and it physically affects you! James Cameron and Ridley Scott reached this level of brilliance in the Alien films and David Fincher with Seven.
I've seen this movie over 20 times. It is incredibly entertaining, with fine performances, amazing special FX, one of the best and creepy music scores ever, the best space production design ever, the best subwoofer explosions, the best cinematography, energetic and brilliant direction...I could go on....
It's also become a bit of a cult classic nowadays. I've loved the film since it was first released and every friend I show it to agrees and considers it a sleeper. It is also one of the only films I know that induces fear into the audience and provokes them to curse in awe. Every time my mates and I watch it, we are gobsmacked in its craziness! 10/10 - Easily in the top 10 horror films of all time! One of the most entertaining movies ever made. Paul Anderson has never surpassed this film and it will be the one he is remembered for.
This is actually one of my favorite horror movies. It is smart, scary,
and yes, even a little disturbing at times. While some of the ideas
behind the science are absurd, that is why it's called
The cast does a good job in their roles, and the setting for the movie is dark, creepy, and perfectly done.
I have read several bad reviews in these comments, and I have seen basically two categories of such. One is that the science involved is ridiculous. This is a movie. A horror movie. A horror movie on a spaceship in the future. I think it's time to suspend your disbelief and enjoy the movie.
The second complaint I have been reading is even worse. That the movie is too scary and disturbing! I don't think I have EVER sat down to watch a scary movie and been upset that it was...scary. Perhaps the movie was accidentally placed in the children's section.
Regardless, the movie is fun and scary. Exactly what most people look for in a scary movie. I highly suggest renting this gem and enjoying it for what it is: One of the better horror movies of the late 90's.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Unfairly dismissed as a combination of Alien and Hellraiser, Event
Horizon is one of those films that should be ranked among the classics
of it's genre yet has somehow fallen by the wayside to be revered by
movie geeks and horror aficionados but ultimately ignored by the
mainstream. What's especially surprising is that this excellent film
came from the directing skills of Paul W Anderson who was also
responsible for such tragic misfires as Resident Evil and Alien Versus
Predator and shows that there is more to Hollywood's Generic Director
For Hire than first imagined.
Set in the year 2047 the story concerns the sudden reappearance of a prototype spaceship (the Event Horizon of the title) which vanished on it's maiden voyage seven years previously. A salvage ship called The Lewis And Clark is sent out to investigate and brings along Dr William Weir (Sam Neil), a physics expert originally responsible for the ship's creation. They dock with the Horizon but find no signs of life and as they set about making repairs, the crew begin to experience hallucinations and sense that they are not alone...
So far so very familiar but this is far, far more than a rip off disguising itself as a 'homage.' For one thing there is no predatory alien hunter on the loose and instead the horror is far more psychological. Not that there isn't a fair amount of violence and gore but the gradual sense of unease that builds up to it is crafted more on the crew's growing sense of anxiety and paranoia. Plus, there is no definitive explanation given for what they are experiencing. Just what are these Ghosts from their pasts doing on this ship? And what exists on the other side of the black hole? Another dimension where mankind was never meant to go or as the movie itself suggests but doesn't confirm, the very depths of hell itself? Couple this with the excellent set design - the ship is modelled on the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris - and the pulse-pounding moments in the latter half when the chaos sets in and you have one tremendously enjoyable horror film. Best watched alone at night with all the lights off where you can properly get swept up in it's claustrophobic atmosphere, you'll never need eyes to see again.
This film was a lot better than what most people gave it credit for. The cinematography was excellent, and the lighting gave the film a very eerie feel to it. Certainly better than the average sci-fi film. Not only did the film mix two mediums almost perfectly (sci-fi and horror), it completed the union almost flawlessly. Not a perfect movie, but then again, Sam Neill was amazing in this film. Virtually all of the technical aspects in the film were top-notch. While it didn't advance the film industry overall, it did make an impact in the sci-fi genre.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There's something really special about this movie, but I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's the combination of sci-fi and horror, which create a very distinct atmosphere that you can just feel throughout the entire flick. Maybe it's the idea of a hell-dimension, accessible through a black hole, something so far away yet so close-by that gives me the creeps. Even though you don't see anything of this don't-wanna-be-there-dimension, the effect it has on the crew just says it all. The plot maybe quite simple, but the film doesn't dwell too much on it, it does not imply it is a mind-blowing idea. You won't hear Laurence Fishburne saying: 'Oh, my God! A hell dimension! How is it even possible?!' Nothing in the movie is scarier than stuff I've seen before, still the scariness of Event Horizon isn't in the gore, nor in the shock and awe moments. No, it's in the atmosphere. It's in the ominousness which somehow grabs you and doesn't let go. It's in the gut-feeling. Event Horizon is a gut-movie. Maybe that's the thing I couldn't put my finger on.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
At first glance, Event Horizon would appear to be a science fiction
film through and through. It's set in the future, features spacecraft
and the men and women who fly them, and is about a rescue mission to
another spacecraft. Yet, before long, it's quickly obvious that Event
Horizon is, in fact, a horror film set in space, and a surprisingly
effective one at that. While not a masterpiece, it is a reasonably
Event Horizon opens in the mid 21st century, where man has attempted faster-than-light travel. The vessel built for this was the space ship the Event Horizon, and it contained at it's heart an artificial singularity, a miniature black hole if you will, that will open a door to another part of the universe. Upon first test of the engine, the ship disappeared, not to be heard from again. Seven years later, it reappears in orbit over Neptune and a rescue ship, the Lewis & Clark, is dispatched to determine if there are survivors, and what happened to the Event Horizon. Along for the ride is the ship's designer, Dr. Weir (Sam Neill), whos going through a strong trauma in his life after his wife has recently committed suicide. The crew of the Lewis & Clark, commanded by Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne), listen to Weir's explanation of what happened to the Event Horizon and then receive a transmission from the ship that is garbled but seems to suggest a not so pleasant fate for the crew. The Lewis & Clark crew dock with the Event Horizon and begin investigating the ghost ship, but find strange happenings occurring throughout, with different members of the crew seeing strange things: Miller sees a man he left for dead on an exploding vessel, medical officer Peters (Kathleen Quinland) sees her crippled son, and the ships engineer, Justin (Jack Noseworthy) looked into the singularity engine and is put into a state of shock and Weir begins seeing visions of his wife.
It quickly becomes apparent that the Event Horizon has been somewhere other than another part of the galaxy, and it has brought something back with it.
Event Horizon is not a groundbreaking entry in the horror genre, that's for sure. Many aspects on display have been utilized in countless other films. And yet, director Paul Anderson manages to give us the requisite chills and leave us on the edge of our seats. A primary element that helps the film is the Event Horizon itself. Designed with a very Gothic look in mind, the ship just looks and feels scary. It is place I can't imagine anyone ever being comfortable being in. The dark, empty hallways and rooms are menacing themselves, and that helps ratchet up the tension. Anderson also does a good job of crafting suspenseful scenes involving the character's visions. Almost every one of those sequences will leave you unsure of what you will see and that keeps the audience in a state of unease.
As the film progresses, there is an increase in make-up effects grusomeness, so I would agree that it makes it a difficult film to watch as it goes on. However, most everything in the last half-hour is payoff to the setup, so while it's not always pretty to watch, it makes it all the more effective.
Acting wise, Event Horizon is decent, but nobody will be well remembered for their work. Sam Neill is probably the most memorable as the slowly disintegrating Weir, tumbling to madness before our eyes. Laurence Fishbure is effective as the hard-nosed captain, and everyone else gets the job done.
A lot of people gave Event Horizon flack upon it's release, and again, it's not the most original horror film made, but it is one of the more disturbing I saw in the mid to late '90s, and I would give it a recommendation, just be careful watching it by yourself.
I tried to remember the last time I found myself scared or disturbed by
a movie. It was so long ago in fact that I simply couldn't recall. I
was 35 when I first saw this movie; after it had finished I felt like I
was 10 years old and had just finished watching an old scratchy B&W
It had been so long since I had truly been disturbed in a scared way I'd almost forgotten what it felt like. Schindlers List troubled me, but not in this way, this was a true feeling of shock and horror. Four or five minutes after the screen had gone blank and the music faded, I'm still staring at the TV screen in a nicely terrorized state. I had to shake myself to snap out of it. Fabulous!!!!!
I love seeing peoples faces after I have told them to watch this film. They give me that, "Oh my God!!!!!!" look and breath in deeply at the same time. They too have been truly traumatized for a short while. When they discover the nature of the garbled video message is a great recoil moment within the film and one I can still remember some 5 years after seeing it. If you're easily scared don't watch this movie, you'll have a heart attack. If you haven't been scared in a while then be prepared for how marvelous that feeling is.
YOU HAVE BEEN DULY WARNED!!!!!!!!!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Once upon a time there were two movies, both considered masterpieces of
One was callied "Alien", the brilliantly realized SF/Horror film from Ridley Scott, about a deep space mission that brought back an unwanted predatory visitor from the imagination of Giger.
The other film was called "Solaris", about a deep space mission that caused the crew to exhibit psychotic behavior and keep living out scenes from their earth life. Solaris, an intellectual film from the Soviet-era genius Andrei Tarkovsky, is the more complex film. It does not attempt to explain whether the hallucinations are caused by an external force, space fever, passage into a time-space warp, or just the fact that you can't ever run from yourself, not matter how far you go. No monsters.
"Event Horizon" is a cross breed between these two legendary deep-space films. The monster is there, but it inhabits the minds of the crew, learns everything about them, every fear, every memory, and causes their insanity. Solaris with action, and an identified external cause. The idea was pretty damned good, the special effects and visuals were brilliant, and they hired a good cast. Some of the moments will scare the beejeepers out of you.
But they went over the top in some ways. Too many explosions. A fist-fight with the monster, what's that all about? Too many empty-headed discussions about what man was or wasn't meant to know. Ultimately too little really original. Reviewers were sharply divided on this film. Some said it was a truly brilliant scare-fest, others thought is was a zero-star waste of their precious time. I don't know. It isn't Alien or Solaris, but it has a lot of positives and I enjoyed it, but I don't plan to watch it again.
Event Horizon is a decent movie. There's no question it's never going to win awards for originality, or anything else, frankly, but what it does it does well. It's based on the idea of a space ship, which disappeared just under a decade ago, reappearing mysteriously, prompting a search and rescue vessel to go in and investigate. Telling more would spoil the premise, so no more will be said. It is all set in the future, as much sci-fi is, and deep in outer space, of course. The performances are as polished as you'd expect from Sam Neill, as the doctor, and Laurence Fishbourne, as the scout ship captain, so there are generally no complaints there. The gore levels at times are not for the squeamish, but what else would you expect from an 18 (UK) rated movie? There are a fair number of predictable moments, and cliched lines, but the overall production is more than decent and able to keep your attention focused on the plot. A good effort all round, and the overall 5.5 rating it received here is a touch harsh. I'd say 7.
'Event Horizon' is very much an atmospheric sci-fi horror. It does not rely on gore (although there is enough of that) but rather it is the creepy atmosphere that engages the viewer. Andersen successfully creates a tense, depressing, and claustrophobic atmosphere. The suspense and pace are well maintained. It pays tribute to several movies of the same genre (like 'The Shining', 'Aliens' etc). Character development is slightly weak but the actors do a good job and the viewer cares for them. Sam Neill, Laurence Fishburne, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Richard Jones and Jason Isaacs do a fine job with what they're given. The sets look very unwelcoming and creepy. The special effects and sound effects are good. The cinematography is superb. The plot is a little complex and difficult to follow in the beginning leaving the viewer wondering with what exactly is going on but this becomes easier with repeated viewings. In my view, 'Event Horizon' is an underrated film and perhaps did not get enough recognition because it did not have any stars or enough 'monsters' and 'blood' or perhaps the subject was a little too complex for some to grasp.
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