Review of 'Event Horizon'

event_horizon.jpg In the year 2040 the space ship “Event Horizon” was sent on a secret mission but disappeared near Neptune. In 2047 the ship suddenly reappears so the rescue ship “Lewis and Clark” is sent to investigate commanded by Capt. Miller (Laurence Fishburne), accompanied by a small crew and the Event Horizon's original designer Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill). They discover the ship is exposed to space with no survivors…but unusual things start to happen. They learn the ship was built to travel faster than light by “folding space” and that it disappeared when the original crew first attempted the manoeuvre. The original crew now dead it seems that when between origin and destination they brought something back with them…

A simple story with fairly one dimensional characters in a film that could easily be classed as “horror” with the blood and nasty stuff frequently, and gratuitously, splashed across the screen. Though looking a bit low-budget the space effects are actually quite good (excepting the floating debris in the Event Horizon which looks like something from a cheesy computer game). The acting is OK though Sam Neill's Dr. Weir never entirely convinces as a scientist then, suddenly, psychopath (it just doesn't seem to suit him…though it is quite creepy). Fishburne, on the other hand, is perfectly cast as the steely, rock steady, captain clearly focused on completing the mission…preferably with the fewest crew losses.

I can't say I found the story entirely convincing and more of an excuse for ultra-violence which, itself, seems often out of place and there simply to shock. Perhaps the film-makers would have ended up with something better had they followed the advice “less is more” and chosen to tone down the violence which, after a while, is simply tedious and grotesque. The end is a bit of a Hollywood cop-out complete with the obligatory preparatory “race against the clock”.

A shock-fest that is sure to be a cult favourite for many years but ultimately fails to satisfy.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2020-01-19

Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson

Studio: Golar Productions

Year: 1997

Length: 96 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction