31 Scary Movies: ‘Event Horizon’

“Event Horizon” (1997) – Director W.S. Anderson’s film is set near the planet Neptune in the year 2047.  Capt. Miller (Laurence Fishburne) leads his team to recover the deep space research ship Event Horizon which disappeared without a trace seven years earlier.

For Capt. Miller and his team, rescue missions are nothing new.

“(When) someone drops the ball, we get the call,” he says.

This particular job, however, is most unique, due to the whereabouts (for reasons that this critic will not reveal) of the Event Horizon over the last seven years.  Dr. Weir (Sam Neill), who built it, comes along for the salvage-ride and answers some of the crew’s questions, but he seems to be hiding something.  This is especially true when embarking on the Event Horizon, because nearly everyone experiences disturbing visions of loved ones or colleagues or hears loud noises and soft creaks around dark and barren hallways.

This film is more than your standard spooky haunted house affair.

Screenwriter Philip Eisner introduces some sickening concepts to his story that will make you shudder and cringe, and Anderson doesn’t hold back by splattering horrifying gore in key spots.  The crew – including Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones and Sean Pertwee – play their intended roles well, but the picture features Fishburne’s Miller and Neill’s Weir in constant conflict throughout the picture.

Of course, their relationship becomes more contentious in the film’s second half, when the ship’s fate hangs in the balance.  The special effects impress too, as Anderson treats us to a long sweeping shot of the Event Horizon in the film’s opening scene, and the rest of the action in space looks and feels realistic.

This heightens the suspension of disbelief, but that’s a disadvantage when repeating to yourself, “It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie.”

When the film ends, you might also say to yourself, “What twisted soul dreamt this up?”

Philip Eisner, remember?

Image credits: Paramount Pictures; Trailer credits: FilmTrailersChannel

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