If you’re a fan of Ridley Scott’s monumental space shocker, Alien, chances are fair that you’ll get a serious kick out of Paul Anderson’s 1997 effort, Event Horizon.
The film certainly follows the Alien formula, though it builds a completely different brand of tenon, and offers forth some unique ideas and well executed scares. Where Alien relied on thorough character examination and strong mystery, Event Horizon relies on disturbing visuals and psychological jolts. All the same, the atmosphere of both features is fairly milar, and for Anderson to accomplish something of that nature is actually (it almost sounds as if I’m calling Paul a rip-off there, which I’m certainly not) quite admirable (especially when you conder the fact that this is Paul’s first legitimate genre offering).
The outline of the story is rather mplistic: a recovery crew boards a ship (the Event Horizon) that disappeared for years before suddenly resurfacing, completely abandoned, in space. Well, I take part of that back, the ship isn’t completely abandoned; there’s clearly some form of twisted entity aboard, and whatever it truly is, it’s got a taste for carnage.
That’s just about the extent of the Alien milarities (ade from a touch of technical mimicry here and there and the nature of Justin’s demise), at least those blatantly obvious. Scribe Philip Eisner incorporates some nice directional shifts that should serve to adequately distance the film from further comparisons to Ridley’s work (especially the black hole twist), and he keeps the action fresh with a fast paced plot.
Speaking of the plot, I’m praing the film pretty heavily, but I should definitely note that there are a few holes within the script. A couple early sequences can be construed as confung as well, as a few characters begin seeing some hideous vions long before they even set space boot on the Event Horizon. There’s logic in the sequences (back story), but it’s pretty easy to find the scenes out-of-place given their timing.
The performances on display are really quite impresve. The slick ensemble features genre favorites Kathleen Quinlan, and Sean Pertwee, while Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill and Jason Isaacs also appear in pivotal roles. The crew fails to miss a beat, and both Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne play oppote one another wonderfully. Quinlan phons the greatest emotion, and televion frequenter Richard T. Jones brings just enough comic relief to keep the downtime fresh.
You’ll likely enjoy the special effects work, as both the practical and the digital are executed with definitive believability, purposely steering clear of any tongue-in-cheek intent; it’s a wise approach, as Jones’ laughs are enough for the film, going comedy in the gore department (even to a minimal extent) would have conjured a sense of confuon rather than humor. Keep an eye on Isaacs’ character, D.J., there’s an awesome scene that offers some disturbing ghts following an altercation he has with Dr. Weird (Neill).
A wonderful finale caps off a fine film; flashy visuals and buckets of blood make for an appropriate concluon to this balls-to-the-wall frightfest. If you’re disappointed in any way with the final thirty minutes of the picture, you’re either queasy, or extremely picky, because this one truly is a winner. Condering the landscape of 1990’s horror, this may actually be a top 10 pick of the decade for me, personally.