Last month if you happened to catch me on Twitter, I was diligently professing my admiration for the opening music to Mortal Kombat. I didn't say I loved the film mind you, I was just making sure people knew that the Mortal Kombat music will never fail to make me couch dance and start air punching things.
One day when I'm cured of my laziness, I will rise and create an entire routine with air punches and kicks that will make The Power Rangers truly jealous of my moves. Now because I don't know anything, I had no idea that the man behind Mortal Kombat, one Paul W.S. Anderson, was also responsible for Event Horizon. I had been sort of trying to see Event Horizon for the last year or so. Note that sort of trying means that it was on YouTube for a period of time, and then taken down which made me forget to put it back on my queue. Also, I'm lazy. However, this all changed September 1st 2010 when Event Horizon became available for everyone's eyes (that is a member) on Netflix Instant Watch.
I will admit to not knowing a whole lot about the plot before watching. This I think was a good move on my part although I didn't intend things to be that way. I typically like to spoil things for myself, but again for some reason I forgot to do so. Luckily like a lot of Sci-Fi movies, most of what you need to know is presented to us through a screen grab.
Whoops I guess my cursor made a surprise cameo...
So now in present day 2047, a signal is received which signifies the return of the Event Horizon. A rescue ship named Lewis and Clark is dispatched to find out if the crew still lives and also to find out, what the hell happened? On board with the crew, is the designer of the Event Horizon, Dr. William Weir who informs the crew that the Event Horizon is also capable of (thanks to his design of an artificial black hole) travelling within two points in space. After finding the Event Horizon and entering on the ship, the crew finds no trace of the former crew, and soon discovers why they vanished and just where they may have travelled to.
I have to say that I really enjoyed this film. Like really enjoyed it. My eyes did not wander, and I did not contemplate opening my book. Everything was interesting and I wanted to make sure that I witnessed all of it. I hear a lot talk about people giving Event Horizon crap and people brushing it off as anything but a horror film and I just want to say that people #1 I can understand why it gets lumped into the not that great category (although I don't agree) and people #2 are you serious? In much the same way that Alien retains a solid mold of a horror film so does Event Horizon. Event Horizon actually goes a step further in that mold but considerably upping the gore quotient.
Not only that but I was terrified for at least 75% of the film. I felt like the film almost took a haunted/ psychological angle for a great deal of it. It utilized those techniques that I find entirely agonizing--including turning the camera into our character's eyes meaning that whatever they are seeing, so are we. This makes it virtually impossible to prepare yourself for the discovery of something very scary. See the scene where Laurence Fishburne thinks he hears something, or when Sam Neil is in the green tunnel of doom.
I was so amazed by the sheer number of scary moments in this film that I lost count fairly soon after the crew landed on the Event Horizon. Seeing Peters say that she found a "little blood" on some equipment, and then seeing the real problem behind her, made my stomach turn.
It's one of those moments where even though we know that something bad is aboard that ship with them, seeing the evidence and realizing what they are really up against is quite dreadful. I also got chills when we heard the tape recording of the last moments of the original crew. There was something very haunting about it that almost reminded me of something straight out of The Changeling or possibly The Orphanage. Sounds of agony I suppose....but then again what we are dealing with on the Event Horizon is anything short of agony...
Which brings me to my next point, I am simultaneously glad and angry that no one told me about the lost footage of the video tapes. If you've never seen Event Horizon look away now because I guess this is a....SPOILER!
What the fuck. No one and I mean no one deserves to have that shoved in their face without warning. There I was eager to see what this "hell" thing was all about figuring oh you know Pinhead will be there and my friends Butterball and Chatterer and that female, but no, nope.
Just some you know, butt sex! Plus a collection of the most disturbing things you will ever see in brief half second glimpses. Apparently, 40 minutes or something was cut, a large portion of that being extended scenes of the whole situation in hell. I'm not entirely sure I have the heart to ever find out what extended scenes we were missing, I really don't. Event Horizon goes places man. It's terrifying and disgusting and it doesn't necessarily go where you think it will.
Like I said, I was pleasantly surprised when I found that I genuinely loved this film. I can understand why people may not feel the same way. Cooper, our token funny black man has some serious mood killing comic relief moments that really destroy the intense suspense and fear that was so nicely built up. I'm also not entirely convinced that Dr. Weir's (SPOILER) sudden transformation into evil devil asshole was clear enough, or that it transitioned well. One minute he was normal and experiencing hallucinations that had him doubling over in fear the next he is the Antichrist. It seemed a little too quick for me. Again, this could be due to the extent that the film was edited down but I would have still liked to see a little more convincing in that area.
Aside from those blunders, Event Horizon is a really amazing sci fi film. It seems to be an almost perfect combination of Alien and Hellraiser. Aside from all that good stuff, some of these stills are even breath taking.
Although I do find that the black hole orb reminded me a lot of something from the remake of Thirteen Ghosts which means nothing except that Thirteen Ghosts gains inspiration from Event Horizon. But still...kind of a little too Gothic for me and my fear of Gothic things. It's exactly the kind of film that I wouldn't mind watching again AND showing to my friends. It's exciting, and keeps you guessing till the very end. It's also revolting and terrifying and bonus--it's entertaining. Now if only more movies could be all three of those things...minus the butt sex.