Event Horizon, American/UK movie (1997)

Every movielover probably has their own favorite kind of films. While some might have a very broad taste in movies (and I certainly count myself as one of them), there are usually some genres that have a certain preference above all the others. For me those are science fiction and horrormovies. And of course it is even better when a movie combines both of those genres. Ever since I saw the first Alien movie directed by Ridley Scott, I have always been on the lookout for movies that could rival or even surpass that classic masterpiece. But let us be honest, that is a very hard task to achieve as that film is pretty much in a league of it’s own. Throughout the years a lot of attempts have been made, and most of these have resulted in films that were mediocre at best. But there is one film that came unnervingly close and is in my opinion a highly underrated gem that is still awaiting discovery by many people. The name of that movie is Event Horizon.

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This pretty much redefines the word meatgrinder. 

It is the year 2047. Seven years after the research ship Event Horizon vanished without a trace, it suddenly reappears near the planet of Neptune sending out a distress signal. Soon a rescue vessel, called the Lewis and Clark, is dispatched to find out if there are any survivors and of course what has happened to the ship during all those years that it was presumed lost. Headed by captain Miller, he and his crew are accompanied by the mysterious doctor Weir, who was the original builder of the Event Horizon. It soon becomes clear that the ship was one of a kind, and had an experimental drive system installed that allowed it to create an artificial black hole. With this drive it could travel farther than any human vessel ever went before. When the Lewis and Clark eventually arrives at the location of the lost ship, captain Miller and his crew are about to find out just how far the Event Horizon truly went. Because there are some places in the universe that are better left alone, and seem to resemble hell itself…….

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Sam Neill’s role in Jurassic Park left him a changed man. 

Event Horizon is a movie that still creeps me out after having seen it multiple times. It is truly a very disturbing and chilling film, that throughout the years has created a cult following. In still think it is one of the best science fiction horrormovies that I have ever seen. For starters the atmosphere in this movie is what sets the tone right from the very first second. It’s dark, scary and you constantly feel as if the bowels of hell are about to open and swallow you whole. The amazing setpieces that were created for this film only add to this feeling. This was a time when the use of CGI backgrounds was pretty much unheard of, and as such everything was build by hand. And then we have the music for the movie that seems to have been created by a madman and will make you feel even more creeped out than you probably already are.

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Yep, that really is the man known as Morpheus. Now where is Neo when you need him?

The cast for Event Horizon is headed by two very well known actors. First up is Laurence Fishburn who plays the role of the heroic captain Miller. It’s amazing how young he appears to be in this film, but his performance is as solid as ever. Miller’s character is truly the driving force for this one, and you really feel his desperation when the horror of what is happening around him keeps growing and growing, and almost threatens to send him over the edge. The other well known actor in this film is Sam Neill and he performs the role of doctor Weir. And it is a role that you have never seen him play before, and that only makes it that much scarier. Weir becomes increasingly more unstable throughout the movie, and his descent into madness is something only a very capable actor can pull off. Needless to say Sam definitely succeeds in that and then some. The rest of the cast for this movie also manages to shine, most notably Joely Richardson and Sean Pertwee. Every single actor in Event Horizon contributes to the film in his or her own way.

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Don’t let the ship’s beauty fool you. 

I’m not going to lie here, this movie contains some very, very disturbing imagery. It sometimes might remind you of Hellraiser, and if you have ever seen that film, you probably know what I mean. Yes people, this is a true horrorfilm in every sense of the word, and as such it certainly won’t be a movie that everyone will enjoy. If you have a strong stomache though, and like to be scared out of your mind, this film is definitely the one to watch. It will at times leave you breathless, and might even give you nightmares after you finished it. But I guess that is also part of it’s charm, if you can call it that. If you are interested in finding out more about the background for this movie you might want to check out this great post written by mr. Bobinsky. It contains not only a great review but also some great info about the making of the film that I myself did not know about. And while you are there, you might want to subscribe as well, as it is a really cool blog. So, all I can say is: watch this film, and I dare you not to be scared while you are at it.

I give Event Horizon a 9 out of 10 score.

 

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98 thoughts on “Event Horizon, American/UK movie (1997)”

  1. Another classic I haven’t seen yet, but really want to. You say that “Sam Neill’s role in Jurassic Park left him a changed man”, but I reckon it’s the 1981 film Possession that changed him the most. That thing was disturbing.

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    1. Hmm, okay you can call me intrigued now. Will definitely check that one out, as I haven’t seen it, and am ashamed to say haven’t even heard of it before now. I just googled it, and I like the premise for that one. Thanks for letting me know 😀

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      1. I hadn’t either until an old work colleague lent it to me with no warning. I do recommend reading up a bit on it a bit though, if you don’t mind spoilers. It’s trippy and a wee bit brutal, and there’s at least one scene with an octopus-like creature that can’t be unseen once you see it. If i’m being honest, years after seeing the film, i’m still not 100% certain what the film is going for, but it certainly does have the potential to draw viewers in enough to at least want to watch until the end, just to see what’s happening.

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      2. Haha, well, I can tell you: this comment has only made me even more curious about this movie 😀 Now I just have to see this lol. I always like films that try to do something differently,and this sounds just like that kind of film 😊

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  2. Oh God, this movie creeped me out so much when I first saw it. Damn, those visions of hell still creep me out! Just that idea of something being able to interpret your fear and use it against you is pretty scary.

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    1. Haha, you are so right. It’s not just the imagery it self that is so scary, but the entire vibe and atmosphere throughout this film is truly terrifying. As are some of the lines that are said by Sam Neill. It’s one of these movies that really crawls right under your skin 😊

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      1. You can see that it references Hellraiser and Alien, which I noticed upon my first viewing, but has enough of its own scary moments to stand out. Oh yes, some of his lines are freaky. ‘Where we’re going, we won’t need eyes to see’

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      2. True enough, that is what made the scene so powerful. It’s just amazing to me that some films just are so very highly underrated and others just seem to gather so much buzz. Really don;t understand that at times.

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      3. I feel the same about how some movies that are quite excellent are underrated. And on the flip side, certain movies that are deemed to be of a highly mounted quality are completely overrated and tiresome.

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      4. That’s another thing I like about movies, everybody experiences them differently which is awesome. Yeah I definitely think it looks intense alright. The reactions to it have been pretty mixed, kind of like mirroring what we were just talking about 😊

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      5. Yeah, trailers these seem determined to show us the whole movie. I do like what they are doing with the new Bladerunner movie though. Giving us a small short film to fill in some gaps between the old and new movie. That is pretty cool 😀

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  3. There are films you don’t like, or love. I rented this film soon after it came out, and for some reason – I don’t know why – I just didn’t like it. I tried watching when it came to the idiot box ( my dads pet name for the TV ) and still didn’t care for it. So I guess this the kind of film you like or dislike. It just didn’t grab me and say “watch me.”.

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    1. Lol, I like that petname for the tv, have to remember that one 😀 But yes, I can certainly see how this movie can also not be liked. It’s certainly not a mainstream movie, and it also contains pretty disturbing imagery. But that is also one of the things I enjoy about movies, everybody experiences a film in a different way. Someone can truly love a film, while a different person might absolutely hate it. Sometimes there doesn’t even have to be a reason for it. 😊 Thanks for your comment and my new name for tv: idiot box 😀

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    1. Yeah, he is also a terrific actor in my opinion. I really liked him in the tv series Brotherhood which I highly recommend if you haven’t seen that yet. Agree with the film, I loved it too. It recently reappeared on Netflix which was a signal for me to watch it again, as i had not seen it in quite a while. It was still every bit as terrific as when I first saw it 😊

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    1. This certainly is one of the better horrormovies that I have seen in my life. It’s one of those films that I watch every once in a while when I am in the mood to watch something genuinely frightening. You can see it on Netflix 😊 Hope you will enjoy it 😀

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  4. I know I missed something with this movie but I just never really liked it. Which is odd given it seems like exactly the kind of thing I would enjoy watching. I just never really care what happens to any of the characters so it ends up being just a string of grotesque imagery without a lot of point behind it for me. Still, a lot of people I watch movies with really love this one, so the problem is definitely me in this case.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

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    1. Well, I always say that the most interesting thing about movies, tv series or anime is that everyone experiences it differently. And that;s what is so great about it. A very good example for me recently is Stein’s Gate. Everybody seems to love that anime, I really did not like it much. But I am going to give it a rewatch in October (I promised Weekend Otaku) so who knows I moght change my opinion. As for this movie, it’s one of those films that everyone seems to have a love/hate relationship with. There really is no middle ground. And trust me you certainly aren’t the only one who does not like this film 😊

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      1. I can see why Steins;Gate doesn’t work for some people, but I love it. It takes awhile to get going but then it just draws me into it and I end up loving all of the characters and caring so much about them. Even the horrible ones.

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      2. Well who knows, maybe my opinion for it will change. I’m definitely doing a new post for it in October so I will let you know my thoughts for this after the rewatch. Occasionally it happens that the second time I actually like it after disliking it before (which happened with The Matrix 😊).

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  5. The first time I tried to watch this, it freaked me out so much, I couldn’t finish it, haha. The second time, I managed to finish it, and still felt very creeped out. It definitely retains that chilling and disturbing aura long after you watch it. It was enjoyable, in a scary kind of way. I feel it’s quite underrated.

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    1. Haha, yeah this movie defintely seems yo be able to put you in a very creeped out mood. Even though I have seen it multiple times now, I still get scared during certain scenes in this film. It’s most certainly very underrated that is for sure 😊 Thanks for your comment 😀

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  6. I thought this name sounded familiar! I watched it a while ago. For the life of me, I can’t rememeber if I finished it. I don’t think so. I do remember it being fun in a very creepy way.

    (sorry I’ve been absent lately; had some stuff on my plate)

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    1. First off: there really is no need to apologise whatsoever. Life sometimes catches up with us in not such a good way, and that always comes first instead of blogging. Hopefully things will settle down for you soon 😊
      As for this film, it was a pretty recent addition to Netflix and since I had not seen it in quite a while I thought it fun to revisit this one again. And after all this time it still creeps me out: in a good way lol 😂

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  7. love this movie, so much so that it was one of the first digital downloads purchased on my amazon account. The film is downright creepy and disturbing, though I would have liked to have seen a few more personal demons of the crew of the Lewis and Clark. Still, that doesn’t detract from how awesome it is. Good article as ever

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, always appreciate it 😀 I have a dvd collectors Edition for this one, which looks really awesome. I had actually not seen this movie for a while, but it never fails to creep me out, no matter how many times that I see it.

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    1. The imagery is one of the most powerful things about this film, you are truly correct. It’s also amazing, that after all these years, the film is still so much erm fun to watch (although fun might be the wrong term for such a movie lol 😂).

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    1. Well…I don’t know if you have Netflix, but this has very recently been added to it’s line up. Which is the reason I watched it ( I could not resist it, as I had not seen it for quite a while). But you are correct, it’s a truly great film, and highly underrated in my opinion 😊

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  8. Fantastic review, as always! I’m a huge fan of Event Horizon too. This was one of my first sci-fi films, and it still holds up well today. Like you said, its imagery does leave a lasting impression. So many modern films like Sunshine and Pandorum take cues from its brilliant narrative and visual style! 😀

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  9. Wow, something that comes close to THE masterpiece? Sounds amazing! For horror sci-fi fans, that is xD (I’m not one of them but I might recommend it to a good friend of mine who loves Alien and even played the videogame – which is apparently just as creepy as the movie).
    For a movie to be able to evoke all those feelings within its audience with so few resources – when compared to today’s standards of CGI, etc. – it surely must deserve the high praise. The cast does sound magnificent, too.
    Another wonderful review by Mr. Raistlin, I must say! Made me, the non-fan, super curious about this movie hahaha

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    1. Aww, thanks again for another very kind comment. Always nice to read one from you. I know the videogame you are talking about, and it actually is supercreepy. It’s really done well and certainly gets almost as scary as the movies. As for Event Horizon…yeah it is true horror. I loved it, but I don’t think from what you have told me about your taste in movies, that this one is hit you. Still glad to have made you curious for this though 😀

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  10. Awesome review!! I’d never heard of this before (probably cos I’m not a massive horror fan) but if I’m ever in the mood to be creeped out (who knows? Halloween is coming up after all), I’ll check this out cos it does sound very cool!! Great review!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, appreciate it 😊 I hope you will enjoy the film. It can be watched on Netflix, and you are quite right, this is a perfect movie to watch for Halloween 😊 Leave the lights on though, if you don’t want to have any sleepless nights lol 😊

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  11. I would probably rank sci fi and horror as my least favourites. That said, ranking them low also means they have the greatest capacity to surprise me, so if I like one, I usually really like it. This one is a bit under the radar and undervalued, I’d say, so I’m glad to see it’s getting all this attention and due.

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    1. It really is an underrated movie. I had not seen it in quite a while but I am honestly surprised at how well this movie has withstood the test of time. It’s still a really scary movie, and did not fail to impress me after all these years 😊

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  12. I couldn’t agree more. Event Horizon is a great example of how the environment itself is often the “monster” of good horror. There are “things” in the environment that actually threaten the characters, but the environment itself provides plenty of places to hide, plenty of threats, plenty of ways to hinder the characters in their struggle to survive. Event Horizon really cultivates that potent atmosphere of “never being safe”. Ironically the last segment in many ways feels like one of the weakest to me, as the full scope and potential of the danger has been made clear, the antagonist established and present. It’s in those earlier scenes, when neither audience nor character know what to expect, that I really felt something special; particularly those early scenes where the crew are wandering through the ship and seeing signs of the aftermath, and imagining what could have transpired.

    Same thing for the film The Thing. One of my favorite scenes is when the characters are looking through the other base, and see signs of all the tragedies that befell the others.

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    1. Thanks for this very eleborate and great response. I agree with you on all points. The atmosphere of this movie was one of it’s strongest points, and really gave me the chills at a lot of scenes, which was awesome. As the movie progresses, especially nearing the ending, that atmosphere was certainly less chilling, but still it was good enough to not spoil the entire movie.
      And don’t get me started on the Thing. Because wow, that really is a terrific film. I did a rewatch and review of both the Thing films quite recently, and I am truly amazed at the way this film still manages to instill that fear into me after all these year. And especially the things that were unknown and the paronia between all the characters was one of it’s strongest points. Terrific movie! 😊

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  13. I haven’t heard of this movie before but I do like futuristic films. This movie sounds like a great one to watch but then, I’m reluctant because you said there are many disturbing horror-like images.. I may have to think on it haha.. I like that ship in outer space’s picture. Great review as always Michel!

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    1. Well, I am not going to lie to you: the horror elements for this one are erm pretty horrifying. But the sci fi elements are also great, so it’s hard to say whether you are going to like it 😊 But it definitely is worth a try at least 😀 Thank you for the kind words 😊

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