Friday, May 2, 2014

MR Event Horizon

They said in space no one can you hear you scream...

This is probably as close as we'll ever get to an actually good Doom film.

Movie: Event Horizon 
Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson 
Release date 1997
Genre Science-fiction/horror
Country USA/United Kingdom

Following his success with the live action adaptation of Mortal Kombat in 1995, debuting director Paul W. S. Anderson was offered the very rare chance in Hollywood, to explore any of the numerous scripts the studios were receiving at the time.

Anderson wanted to make a hard R-Rated film following his PG-13 Mortal Kombat.

Paramount Pictures allowed him to pick any pet project of his.

For such he even turned down an early attempt at a X-Men film for Event Horizon.

Event Horizon is a horror/science-fiction film.

In short, it's like a big budget  B-movie done right. The idea was to make a ghost story set in space, taking place aboard an haunted vessel of sort.

Our story takes place in the year 2047.

The spaceship "Lewis and Clark " was put in charge of a rescue operation (you gotta admit it's both the most random yet awesome name for a starship you've ever heard!).

Seven years ago, a huge spacecraft named the "Event Horizon" disappeared when testing an experimental gravity drive that was supposed to open up a man-made artificial black hole. It was a revolutionary technology supposed to finally unlock the secrets of space travel for mankind. Allowing a ship to open a controlled "path" between two separate points in space.

Now the Event Horizon appeared back around Neptune emitting a distress signal people were able to locate. The United States Aerospace Command sent a salvage mission to find out exactly what happened at the source signal.

The movie opens with Captain Miller and his crew of the Lewis and Clark arriving at the location, with the lost ship designer himself  Dr. William Weir aboard the rescue vessel.

But once inside, they find no survivors, nobody left alive... Only what remains of a massacre...

What exactly happened on the Event Horizon 7 years ago...?

One of Miller's engineer is grabbed into a remaining portal... when they find him he's left in a catatonic state. What is going on!?

They put him in stasis as he was trying to kill himself now.

Something happened to him.. the same thing caused during the disappearance of the entire Event Horizon's crew...

Miller's crew is forced to leave the Lewis and Clark for the Event Horizon... They slowly start to get some hallucinations... Like they deepest fears come to life, they have visions of people they knew and have long lost. Someone has visions of a long lost son aboard the ship, Dr Weir himself is seeing his own long-departed wife calling him to join her on "the other side"...

Dark forces are playing with their mind...  people hear noises and catch mysterious sights in the shadows... Until they find a video log, a warning from the original crew revealing everything...

It seems everyone went insane... They were "infected", taken over by something...

What the gravity drive did, was not merely opening a simple gateway in spacetime. But they actually went through another dimension along the day, or another universe (several hints in the film explicity hint to actual Hell).

Miller has to destroy the Event Horizon. But Weir turns evil. People start dying left and right. As the plot moves forward, Weir gets worse by the minute...

Weir tries to activate a door back to the Hellish dimension to contact the other side....

The movie ramps all the tension and ditches the slow pacing in the end for a rapid brutal conclusion.

We get a final epilogue, taking place 72 days later. Another ship located the Event Horizon's beacon and are coming for a new rescue mission.

Are people cursed to go through the same tale happening over and over again...?!

Event Horizon is easily my all-time favorite Paul W. S. Anderson film, in my eyes it's easily his best film - by far. He truly never achieved such a fun, creepy, suspenseful and masterfully directed film ever again. A once-in-a-lifetime lucked-out unique project. Almost artistic. Specially coming from such a popcorn flick "studio director".

His best film to date, a great cult film through and through.

I actually it's a good film despite Paul W. S. Anderson. An unexpected pleasant result coming from such a hack...

Event Horizon stars Laurence Fishburne who hadn't starred in The Matrix yet at the time but already had a long impressive resumé and Sam Neill who except Jurassic Park, has specialized himself in a lot of horror films over his career.

While our captain (Laurence Fishburne) tries to locate the source behind the disappearance of the lost ship, its designer (Sam Neill) is able to make a first contact and is slowly perverted by what the crew of the Event Horizon found by accident... The salvage mission turns into an escape plot.

The Event Horizon itself is more than a simple space station and almost a character in itself. Imagined like a sort of Dracula's castle in space. It looks as impressive as it is seems not plausible. How would such a massive behemoth even make it planet-side? No matter.. It looks great and has such a distinctive presence.

The film has a great slow rhythm at first, and much tension. Served by an excellent cast.

But then the terror leaves the scene for a more action-packed tone.

The film kinda loses the psychological tension in its final act. The final act is pretty predictable and almost disappointing compared to the rest. Just because it falls into the trap of a much simpler monster film, with lots of explosions and an all-out action final scene.

Anyways, besides that cop-out climax, the film is great. Anderson made a fantastic use of contrasts and light.

The music is quite dynamic, fast paced (contrasting with the slow-built pacing of the film) and creepy. Composed by a masterful Michael Kamen (Die Hard, Lethal Weapon) and the electronic group Orbital.

Overall, creepy, dark, sometimes scary, sometimes plain distrubing, Event Horizon is a fantastic mature film. With plenty of gore and memorable scenes.

The film makes use of a very strong Christian imagery (the ship looking like both a cross and a church roaming space,...). Even that mysterious dimension is with no doubt a big allusion to Christian Hell.

Dare I say, it's probably one of the best sicifi horror films ever produced since the original Alien back in '79.

At least, without hesitation, the best film Paul W. S. Anderson ever directed. A far cry from any of the films he ever made since then.

I blame it on the scripts, all of them since then have all been written by Anderson himself. And he sucks big time as the uninspired screenwriter he is (the Resident Evil film series? AVP?). Whereas Event Horizon was written by Philip Eisner & Andrew Kevin Walker.

Highly recommended.

I give it:
3 / 3 Necronomicons!

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