'Event Horizon' Review: Where We're Going, We Won't Need Eyes to See
Today's entry in the Kulture Shocked Sci-Fi Marathon is the sci-fi/horror cult classic Event Horizon. On the cover I thought I was going to be a huge fan of this film. I'm a huge fan of Sam Neill and have loved nearly every film I've seen him in, save for Possession (whatever you do, do not go see that film, check out our thoughts though). However, I have to say on the whole, there was very little I was impressed with here.
That's not to say that there wasn't anything impressive in this film. Aesthetically, Event Horizon is gorgeous and that's not something anyone would typically say of a horror film. Movies in this genre are typically gritty due to the fact that we're focused on the suspense and scares. However, the screenplay is so bland that you can't help but study the sets and admire the cinematography. There's a reason that Adrian Biddle had been continuously sought after to shoot in Hollywood, and it's too bad that he passed away in 2006. If you don't recognize the name, you'll recognize his work. V for Vendetta, Reign of Fire, The Mummy & its sequel, and Judge Dredd.
The visual effects are also rather good for a film that's now approaching the twenty year old mark. This is undoubtedly due to the involvement of Richard Yuricich who had pivotal involvement in not only Event Horizon, but quite a few sci-fi staples, some of which we'll be reviewing and talking about later this month. Blade Runner, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and 2001: A Space Odyssey all saw involvement from Yuricich and he's become a main stay in 21st century film making.
Unfortunately, all the visual beauty in the world can't save a mediocre screenplay, even if you have phenomenal actors. Lawrence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee, and Richard T. Jones are amazing. However, the writing is so poor that you could easily swap which actors portray which characters and you would still have the same film. This is a bummer because I love seeing Sam Neill play an antagonist. It's not a role he takes very often, but Fishburne could easily play the same role and it wouldn't change the feel of the film.
It's not hard to see why Siskel and Ebert hated this film, but on the flip side it's easy to see why Event Horizon has become a sci-fi cult classic. It's better than half of the crap that Hollywood produces (granted that's not saying much) and contains some of the best film making collaboration in the sci-fi genre. I'm not going to say you have to go out and see this film, but it certainly is not a waste of time. If you're a sci-fi or horror movie junkie, you should probably go and see this film.
Final Say: Watch It (But only if you have a VHS player... or the Paramount Collector's Edition DVD)