Review: Event Horizon [1997]

a review by the Azure-Winged Magpie.
Btw… does anyone else hear wedding bells?!

EVENT HORIZON

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OPENING THOUGHTS

Magpie’s note: This post is SFW! This post is also Spoiler free!

Fa’ goof’s sake. Why do I watch these films when I’m drunk?!
Orite… because I love ’em!
Honestly surprised I’m ever sober enough to remember most of what happened in some of them. 

(ಠ ‿ ಠ)

So as you all know… apart from the fact that I really really hate using commas (a comma once murdered an Azure-Winged Magpie you know) I love watching some weird shit. That’s one of the reasons why the Crow and I get along so well. But even he gets worried about my old brainbox sometimes when I tell him about the shit I jus’ done watched.

Event Horizon isn’t one of them.

Event Horizon is a very… peculiar kind of film (whoops! Almost gave my opinion on it away too soon!). And even the Crow(bless that innocent child!) agrees. We both watched it a long long time before we met. But we’d never watched it together up until recently, (grah! A comma!) and we both kinda agree on what we think about it.

So while the Crow’s ‘away sick’ (okay: full disclosure is he tried to sneak some of my vodka. He fell off our branch and has a major ouchie. The fucking lightweight!)… why don’t I tell you what I think about it from up here on my comfy perch?


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PLOT

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS [MINOR] SPOILERS

The Event Horizon shows up on the radar (around Neptune –hnnng! …sexy planet that one!) a couple of years after it disappeared during its maiden voyage. A rescue vessel is sent out to Neptune to get get ‘er. Along with the crew this pillock Dr Weir (Sam Neill)’s on-board. Weir is the one who designed the ship way back when.

Wait… so he’s the combined Crow & Azure-Winged Magpie of this story?! We help design human flying contraptions too!

Wait! Let me get a quote from the Crow just because of this!

Crow! You built The Corvid Review to show humans the real world. What can you tell them about what we’ll show them when we take over?

Where we’re taking these humans… they won’t need to be human to see…

– the Crow

(⊙︿⊙)?!

That’s just the vodka talking. He misspoke… That’s all.
Nearly gave it all away… the twat! 

Anyway… let’s just continue.

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Once out of the freezer (and following a nightmare about his dead wife) Weir joins up with the rest of the crew. And a colourful bunch of characters they are!

He tells them a little about the Event Horizon. The cool thing about the name is that it’s really really apt for the ship (an ugly crane-like non-passerine scummish vessel).

It runs on a “gravity drive” which somehow builds an artificial black hole which somehow then reduces the space between here and there to near-zero. It’s described in the way most people would think of Einstein-Rosen Bridges.

Interstellar shares almost an exactimundo scene in which the basic principle of this kind of travel is described (or did it not have the stabby part?) and we’ll just fly with it because I’m not the type to speculate much on “magic physics”. Anyway… it’s a FTL Drive. And its target? Proxima Centauri.

But then… it were gone!

(⊙ o ⊙)!

They make a nervy approach to the ship in the upper reaches of Neptune. They get their arses over onto it after some docking shenanigans. And after a little walkabout… they find…

(⊙ o ⊙)!

Oh my feathers! Someone grab a hose! Cleanup needed on Aisle Event Horizon!

There’s gore smeared fucking everywhere! Well… on the bridge at the least. Does this explain the life signs they find when making their first approach? But no. Wait… they found those “all over the ship”. What was all that about? I wonder…

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Eventually the crew figure out some of the Event Horizon‘s secrets. And the storyline lurches into a pretty action-y scifi horror movie that never (somehow) disappoints as much as these films usually do.

It even manages to have a bit of humour in it (although that was one of the film’s weaker points). The choice of villain is predictable early on but there are still surprises where he comes from.

And the scenes of “hell”… Oh holy …hell…?

Those… I watched slowed down to a creep. And it’s… pretty nasty stuff. I loved how far they went with it. I have this film on DVD and I had the Crow slow those scenes down and give me every single frame (remember how I said he sometimes gets worried about me?) so that I could see.

Yes. I could see. Yes. I saw.

And so will you (if you slow it down that is…)


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EXECUTION

It’s admittedly not the best film of its time. And apart from maybe just maybe! Mortal KombatMORTAL KOMBAAT! and marrying bae-for-life Milla Jovovichsigh! Be mine! it’s the only good thing Paul W. S. Anderson has ever done.

The film has a ‘lost’ extended edition as well which no one who’s known has ever seen since its disappearance. And of which only one known copy exists. On VHS.

The film was rushed out because Titanic (♥!) was delayed. This led to production troubles. And when people finally saw it at early screenings… they thought it was a leeetle bit too extreme.

So around 40-odd minutes were cut. And the only known copy is rotting away on some VHS tape somewhere.

(T︿T)I wanna watch it!

It’s the same old story all over again. Executives mess with a film and we lose out. I mean I’m okay with less gore and orgies. It’s not like I exclusively watch them (even though it might sound like I do). But I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of things that explain this film better that’s been lost when everyone went all choppy-choppy with it.


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CLOSING THOUGHTS

It’s not a bad flick. But it’s not too good either. As a horror film it cuts the mustard (from its skin so it can go home again… okay. That were a bad one. I’ll show myself out.) but overall it’s pretty ‘meh’.

It’s got that feeling of dread that horror films should have. The music sets the tone nicely. There are some jump scares. But they’re good ones. I’d have preferred the alternate ending I read about on Wikipedia where Miller fights the man from his past instead of the big bad we do get.

And speaking of the big bad… well. He starts out all cool and all, but as the film goes on and we get near the end… I think he looks a little silly.

So yeah. There you have it. It’s an all round fun night-time watch with mates over drinks. It’s no piece of art. But it’s the best damn thing Paul W. S. Anderson’s ever made.

Also: Thanks to the Crow for helping me brainstorm this one!


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FINAL RATINGS

THE CROW: 4.5/10

THE AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE: 6/10


See also: Event Horizon on /r/HorrorReviewed

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One thought on “Review: Event Horizon [1997]

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