Event Horizon has gotten a lot of bad press which, after seeing the movie, I do not entirely agree with, but it is NO Fifth Element. The short version is it is 2001 meets Alien (the first one) with a dash of Hellraiser. A bunch of astronauts pop out to pick up a ship that disappeared and reappeared near Neptune (the Event Horizon is the ship, as well as a reference to the point at which a ship would cross over from less than light to more than light speed, kinda).
Many people I have asked (including my rocket scientist friend) have concurred that the story is stupid and science is all wrong. BUT there has been some grudging concession that it was quite scary and exciting too. I found it to be interesting (I went in knowing that the science would be all wrong but let me tell you, MOST people don’t know the kind of science these folks are talking about…it didn’t bother me, OK?) and I found it to be quite scary and quite unnerving and REALLY loud (could have been the theatre too but I rarely find movies too loud) and pretty disturbing.
There is some metaphysical “I’ve seen things you don’t want to imagine” type stuff which I always find tiresome – like the Lovecraftian convention of something so horrible, all one can do is tell me how a character went mad in a second looking at it – YAWN.
However, director Paul (not Poul) Anderson seems to agree with my distaste for that tell-don’t-show philosophy, and flashes, Exorcist like, some really ghastly visuals to rev us up. Oogie! This is where Hellraiser comes in. Some personal psychological terror is involved, some booga booga to the nth power, and some really unnecessarily cool looking sets make this movie quite spooky. There is a whiff of Stargate and Dune to the production design – that is a good thing.
You’ll notice that the two movies I think parented Event Horizon are two slowly paced, quiet 70’s style suspense sci fi films. The interesting (and therefore merited) part of Event Horizon is how it captures that old school style of spooky spooky weirdness and taking its time to get around to what it has to say without being all slow and boring about it. I admit it, I am a spoiled, attention-span-starved early MTV kinda chick; I have used Alien to overcome insomnia (but Aliens is one of my top 5 films of all time!) and this film has the pacing that works in 2001 and Alien (and some direct shot and plot ripoff, in my opinion) but with a more modern tempo that keeps me interested.
If this means nothing to you, and you just wanna know if it is stupid or not, here is your answer: It’s kinda stupid, but it will booga booga the crap out of you. Not a good first date movie either, unless you want to filter out squeamish people. I have no patience with squeamish people (eww grosss that is disgusting!) but this movie has almost every bodily mutilation to test the most squeamish-intolerant of us all. Try a Matinee Price showing.
MPAA Rating R -strong violence/gore, language and some nudity.
Release date 7/28/97
Time in minutes 95
Director Paul Anderson
Studio Paramount Pictures