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Event Horizon Review (1997)

My History With the Film:
I saw Event Horizon for the first time when it began airing on HBO back in the late 90’s. I was up late and decided to watch it once I noticed that it looked sort of like Alien. Two hours later, I was horrified at what I just watched. It was a ghost story set in space and a damn good ghost story at that.

Since then I’ve watched Event Horizon once every four or five years, and it hasn’t gotten old yet. My most recent viewing in March 2018, was just as terrifying as the first.

What the Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A scientist and a team of astronauts are sent on a mission to answer the distress call of a space ship that has been missing for seven years.

What I Liked About It:
-I love a good ghost story and I love movies that place in space. This is a perfect mixture of both. It truly is expert horror/science fiction.

-Sam Neill goes all out in his descent into madness and every time I watch this film I’m still surprised by how far he takes the character.

-The sound design is amazing and truly enhances and already creepy atmosphere.

-Speaking of atmosphere, the one thing that makes a ghost story great is the feeling of hopeless and isolation. As each year passes, we become more connected and that feeling of isolation diminishes. But by setting this story in the far reaches of space, it truly makes you feel like there is no chance in help ever arriving. I don’t know if there is another movie that makes you feel so isolated like Event Horizon does.

-The special effects hold up well for the most part.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-Nothing… I’m not saying this film is perfect, but there is no major issues that I have with it.

Additional Notes
-The original cut was more violent and ran 130 minutes. The studio forced Paul W.S. Anderson to cut the film down by thirty minutes and tone down the violence. There have many mixed reports about whether or not a version of this cut still exists, but from what I can gather all the footage that they have managed to track down has been improperly archived or too badly damaged to use for a proper re-release.

-The space suits the actors wore weighed sixty-five pounds and made it tiring to wear while standing up and impossible to sit down. Special hanging poles were made to allow the actors to rest between takes.

-The gateway’s interlocking design was an homage to Hellraiser’s puzzle box.

-There is a complete X-Wing on the antenna array of the Event Horizon.

-The shot of the space station orbiting above Earth took up one-third of the visual effects budget.

I love Event Horizon and that is a surprise because I’m not really a fan of any of Paul W.S. Anderson’s other work. The movie hits all the right cues and has the right tone to make me feel uneasy even after watching it several times over the past twenty years.

I rate Event Horizon a four out of five and say it’s a must watch.

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