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He Said, She Said Review Site
Event Horizon

Godzilla

What She said:

She

You know, astronauts are supposed to be the cream of the crop when it comes to overall intelligence.  And yet I’m amazed how time and time again they make poor decisions like, say boarding a seemingly abandoned spaceship floating aimlessly through space.  Not only does this go against anyone’s better judgment, but let’s face it, we all know how it ends.  People confined to spacecraft don’t just disappear, they’re killed, whether it’s by others on their own crew, space monsters, aliens, or ghosts.  So why knowingly board a ship with no detectable life on it?  Dumb, dumb, dumb.

But, then again, if our astronauts weren’t so dumb, then I guess we would be missing out on the whole “space horror” movie genre.  And that’s exactly what Event Horizon is all about.  The film came out in 1997, but the special effects are surprisingly decent, if you can get through the opening credits sequence.  The movie follows the crew of the Lewis and Clark a rescue ship that has been sent to Neptune to check out another ship, the Event Horizon.  The Event Horizon is super advanced, harboring the ability to create its own black holes through which it can travel to other dimensions in space.  A pretty cool concept.  But something has gone horribly wrong, and the Event Horizon went missing seven years ago.  It has now reappeared and is sending out a distress signal. 

Some would let sleeping dogs lie, but you know we’ve got to find out what happened.  And so that’s what the Lewis and Clark has been sent to do.  They have Dr. William Weir on board for assistance.  He’s the designer of the Event Horizon, and he’s just a little bit shady.  He kind of holds his insider knowledge above everyone else’s heads, and it’s clear that he worships himself and the ship that he has created.  The crew of the Event Horizon is led by the noble Captain Miller.  He’s smart and a good leader, but nothing has prepared him for what he’s about to encounter.

When the Lewis and Clark finally hooks up with the Event Horizon, it becomes evident fairly quickly that something is amiss.  There is no sight of the crew, and the ship is behaving weirdly.  It does not take too long before they realize that all who were aboard the Event Horizon are now dead—and boy did they meet some nasty demises.  And guess what?  Something or someone wants to kill the crew of the Lewis and Clark as well.  Before we know it, people are going nuts and clawing each other’s eyes out, literally.  And it’s all being caused by some sort of demonic presence that is lurking aboard both ships.

Event Horizon

So that’s the gist of things.  Let me tell you what works about this film before I bore you with what does not.  Visually, this movie is very strong.  Believe it or not, I didn’t find myself having to overlook the fact that it was created in 1997, prior to today’s advances in special effects technology.  I think director Paul W.S. Anderson used models well to create spacecraft that are very realistic.  He also utilized lighting and camera angles to add a sense of peril and general creepiness to the events unfolding on screen.  I admit, some of it may have been a little overdone, but I still liked it.  It added a sense of tension and thrills to what was otherwise a convoluted and confusing plot.

Oh yeah, that’s my number one gripe.  The story was surprisingly flat and often confusing.  It was unclear to me what exactly what chasing and/or killing the crew for most of the movie, and not in a mysterious sort of way.  Just in a bad storytelling kind of way.  It was obvious that something had possessed Dr. Weir (Sam Neill), but I couldn’t figure out if it was alien, demon, ghost, or what.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it was something demonic, but that’s still just my best guess based solely on Dr. Weir’s “devil eyes”.  And it was unclear to me why all of this was happening in the first place.

My favorite moments in this movie were the ones that were funny, and I’m not even sure if they were intentionally so.  But the film itself was just not smart enough to work as a straight up sci-fi drama/horror.  Nor was it interesting enough.  The fact that there were a couple of funny moments was actually awkward, because the movie otherwise took itself so seriously, but I needed the levity.  It’s kind of baffling how a film based on the fact that these intellectually gifted people can make monumentally stupid decisions can try to itself act so smart.  Sorry, but your characters are pretty stupid and so is your plot.

But oh well, Event Horizon was certainly visually stimulating.  Acting-wise, I think Sam Neill kind of overdid it a little, but Laurence Fishburne as Captain Miller was solid.  He’s always been a talented actor who plays a leader well.  The other characters were mostly forgettable, so I’ll do exactly that.  This wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but I’m not in any hurry to watch it again.

Thumbs mostly down.

Event Horizon

What He said:

He
Event Horizon

In space no one can hear you scream. Wait, that’s the wrong movie.
It is 2047 and the crew of the of the Lewis and Clark, a spaceship, has been sent out into deep space on a secret mission. It’s so secret, that not even the captain knows what they are doing. All they know is they were taken away from their leave for what they were told is an important mission.
The only guy that knows the whole story is Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill). Dr. Weird is some kind of physicist who specializes theoretical methods of space travel. He designed a ship called the Event Horizon. The Event Horizon is the first and only ship of its kind. It was designed for space travel beyond the reaches of our galaxy. It disappeared seven years ago and recently popped back up orbiting Neptune. The goal of the crew of the Lewis and Clark is to retrieve, and rescue the crew if necessary, data from the ship to find out where it was for the last several years.

The crew makes it to Neptune in a little less than two months. Before long, they are able to locate the Event Horizon, as well as partially interpret  a message sent by the crew; whom seem to be missing from the ship. Once they board the ship, some bad stuff starts to happen. Most of the crew is suffering from visions and really nasty ones too. Dead relatives are some of what starts to pop up. There’s also a lot of screaming, blood, guys, and sadomasochistic stuff. It starts to drive people insane. They aren’t sure what is going on and who they can trust. Paranoia sets in, they turn on one another, and they generally can’t figure out what is real and what isn’t.

Event Horizon

During the course of all this, the crew figures out that the ship went somewhere truly terrible – place that is so terrible it drives people insane. Wherever the ship went, whether it be hell, another dimension, or just another planet that is filled with horrible things, the ship brought that horribleness back with it. It’s basically the equivalent of a haunted house. It’s “alive” and wishes to do nothing other than hurt people.

This movie had some really good visuals.  The design of the Event Horizon was pretty damn cool. It looked like something out of a Clive Barker (Hellraiser). I was down with that. I didn’t mind seeing Hellraiser or Poltergeist in space. There was also a pretty solid build up. I didn’t know what was going on – really didn’t see the horror angle coming – and was genuinely interested in the mystery surrounding the ship and it’s missing crew. But once they revealed what was going on, boy did this movie go down the crapper. It’s not that I had a problem with the plot device. I didn’t at all. Like I said, I was down with the premise. The movie had some gothic, if not downright Satanic imagery. It was legitimately creepy for a while. But for as creepy as it was, but got went hokey and went there fast and hard. Sam Neill just became ridiculous. His character pretty much ruins the final act of the movie and it was so bad, it ruined the whole thing for me. Most of the crew, Laurence Fishburne aside, were totally forgettable. That’s not the worst thing in the world, but between Sam Neill’s over-the-top antics in the latter part of the movie, and Richard T. Jones’ laughably bad one-liners. The bland characters would have been easy to ignore, but the antics of these two was just so bad that the movie wen from horror to comedy; and I’m pretty sure that was not their intention. I was pretty disappointed in the final act, because I really didn’t have much of a problem with the movie up until that, but boy-oh-boy did this movie tank hard in the end.

Rating: Thumbs down.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on September 28, 2014.

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