Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Event Horizon

directed by Paul Anderson

Event Horizon poster  
In this space horror the crew of the Lewis and Clarke are sent to investigate what happened to the Event Horizon, a craft which disappeared beyond Neptune seven years previously. They will be beyond all help and missing some well-deserved leave, so the crew don't welcome this mission.

The skipper Miller (Laurence Fishburne) isn't overjoyed to have Dr Weir (Sam Neill) aboard. But Weir is the expert on the Event Horizon, which is no ordinary vessel. As they approach the ship and explore it they start to notice anomalies, and accidents happen. The crew try to rationalise the accidents as the kind of things that might normally take place in a spacecraft that has been out of use and drifting for years. But a strange nightmare unfolds as they gradually realise that the events can't necessarily be explained away by the known laws of physics.

The Event Horizon is a dark, gothic castle of a spaceship, full of spiky embellishments and arcane machines. There's an enjoyable atmosphere of suspense as the crew battle for survival against sinister forces on the ship. As the horror builds up crew members start to hallucinate. Blood and gore slick the walls as Paul Anderson finds creative ways to slice, dice and blow up the cast.

Event Horizon is a Faustian warning about overreaching scientists and engineers meddling in matters they know nothing about, and have no business finding out. For the most part it's convincingly terrifying. But towards the end of the film it goes too far, almost becoming a parody of a horror movie.

Richard T. Jones is amusing as the cheeky rescue technician Cooper. The rest of the cast offer solid performances in their more serious roles, although Sam Neill chews through some ham in the final scenes, thanks to dialogue that does get quite silly. Nevertheless this is a reasonable space horror with an interesting look and plenty of splattery thrills.

Film Details

Decade: 1990s

Categories: Films

  Science fiction

Classification: 18

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3 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson