“31 Days of Horror” Day 14: “Event Horizon” (1997)
The Point of No Return; The Event Horizon
The definition of an “event horizon” is ‘the theoretical boundary around a black hole beyond which no light or other radiation can escape. A secondary definition reads: ‘the point of no return’. Perhaps if the characters of 1997’s sci-fi horror “Event Horizon” had known this, they wouldn’t have agreed to go on their top-secret mission.
The opening title cards of “Event Horizon” give us a short breakdown of humanity’s journey to the stars. In 2015 the first permanent colony was established on the moon. In 2032 mining operations began on Mars. And in 2040 the deep-space vessel ‘Event Horizon’ set out for the outer reaches of the solar system, only to disappear without a trace just beyond Neptune. Seven years later, the crew of the ‘Lewis and Clark’ is hired for a top secret mission to investigate and rescue after a distress signal from the ‘Event Horizon’ suddenly surfaces. What they find is far more than they had bargained for. It transpires that they really don’t want to know where the ‘Horizon’s crew has been the past seven years.
Right off the bat, this movie has a great cast, including the likes of Laurence Fishburne as Captain Miller, Sam Neill as Dr. Weir, and Jason Isaacs as D.J., among others. Everyone, in my opinion, does a great job of portraying a mostly-professional space crew who have had their leave cut short for this mission. Neill in particular is perfect as the creator of the ‘Event Horizon’, who is a decent guy with a dangerous belief in his creation.
The film’s effects are a little dated now, with the CGI effects in particular being a bit jarring. Many of the practical effects, however, stand up quite well and are extremely creepy (and in some cases, disgusting). In places “Event Horizon” even has a bit of a “Hellraiser” feel, gifting us with physical and psychological torment, not to mention some good old fashioned body horror. In particular the random flashes of horrific, bloody visions are quite effective in creating a growing sense of dismay. And for me, personally, the airlock scene (of which I will say no more) was painfully anxiety-inducing the first time I saw it. In fact, it still is to this day.
“Save Yourself…From Hell!”
I didn’t see “Event Horizon” for the first time until a good fifteen years after it debuted, but I feel I can safely say that it would have been terrifying to see in cinemas when it was first released. As it stands now, I still find the story, the effects, and the constant sense of foreboding to be absolutely excellent. This is the kind of movie that grips you tight and keeps you tense, revealing drips of information without ever really giving you enough to have a solid grasp on things. It leaves you wondering what you would see if you got too close to the ‘Event Horizon’.
All in all, this is just an excellent film. If you’re a fan of sci-fi horror you will enjoy this one, and even if that’s not necessarily your bag you may want to consider it anyway. Add it to your watchlist, my friends.
What are you watching for the spooky season? Have you seen “Event Horizon”? Let me know your own thoughts and give your own suggestions for horror movie musts in the comments! And don’t forget to check out my other ‘31 Days of Horror‘ movie reviews!
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