Event Horizon (1997) – Paul W.S. Anderson

I have always dug this movie, since I saw it on the big screen in 1997. I love the cast, I love the score (Micheal Kamen), and I love the ideas at work in this science fiction horror film, and like all fans of the film I lament the fact that we will never get to see the 130 minute cut of the film that explores more of the horrors we glimpse on screen.

The film basically takes the haunted house trope, something that worked so well for 1979’s Alien, and places it in space, tying in the concepts of religion, specifically hell, and melding them with physics. Obviously the film is going to have religious overtures, especially once you learn that the ship, the Event Horizon, itself, is modelled after the floor plan of Notre Dame.

Sam Neill (who is always awesome) plays Dr. Weir, a quantum physicist who is haunted by the suicide of his wife, and the disappearance of the ship he designed, the Horizon, some seven years earlier. He’d designed and built a gravity engine that would have the ability to fold space and allow instantaneous transport to any point in the universe (and possibly beyond).

Now, the ship has returned, in a decaying orbit around Neptune, and Weir boards the rescue vehicle Lewis & Clark to find out what happened.

The crew is headed by Miller (Laurence Fisburne!), and features a very recognisable cast around the two leads, Joely Richardson, Sean Pertwee, Jason Isaacs, Kathleen Quinlan, Richard T. Jones and Jack Noseworthy.

On arriving at the Event Horizon, they find that, impossibly, the gravity engine is still active, its open to somewhere, and it seems to be spreading through the ship. The crew begin to see things, horrifying visions, and the body count begins as Weir slowly begins to fall under the spell of the Horizon.

Man I dig this flick. Sure, some of the visual effects haven’t endured, but some of them stand up nicely, and I love the design of the Horizon, as well as the Clark, and the fact that the world the character in habit has a sense of history, and there are dozens of little details that add an authenticity to that world. And the combining of religious horror and haunted house tropes on this neo-gothic designed starship – love it!

I think the only thing I didn’t like was Miller’s captain’s chair – I think his feet were forced too close together, it never looks like he can relax or command from that position. Everything else though was like this film was made for me!

If only they could have properly saved the cut footage to restore it now that the film is cult classic.

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