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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.66%
Worth A Look35.54%
Average: 11.57%
Pretty Bad: 15.7%
Total Crap: 16.53%

4 reviews, 97 user ratings

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Event Horizon
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by Scott Weinberg

"Cool actors doing gory things in outer space. I'm so in."
4 stars

You know those movies that you only "kinda like" after seeing them once, but the magic of DVD and cable-induced repeat viewings give you a new appreciation for them? That's Event Horizon, which is one gory little concoction. Though it's not likely to win any originality awards (or screenwriting Oscars), this is a movie that more than delivers where it counts: Blood, jolts and gravity-defying gore!

Written by Philip Eisner (his first and so far only script) and directed by Paul Anderson (not to be confused with Paul Thomas Anderson, this is the guy who directed Mortal Kombat, Soldier and the upcoming Resident Evil), this is one of the nastiest and darkest haunted house movies ever to take outer space. With a surprisingly strong cast for such an obviously B-grade movie, a handful of thought-provoking concepts and a truly nasty sense of horror, this is a movie I find myself recommending more and more to people who are weary of such "science fiction" drivel as Lost in Space, Supernova and those two twin towers of astronomic ineptitude: Red Planet and Mission to Mars.

It seems that Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill of Jurassic Park and Dead Calm) has discovered a way to expedite interstellar travel by creating small black holes with a "gravity drive". Weir's invention is installed into the ship Event Horizon and the ship takes off for Neptune. It promptly vanishes without a trace.

Seven years later, Weir is informed that the ship has been located. The ship Lewis & Clark is dispatched to check it out, with Cpt. Miller (Laurence Fishburne of The Matrix and Deep Cover) at the helm. Weir is along as an observer, and the crew is comprised of the usual gang of colorful characters. What they discover upon their arrival at the Event Horizon is some truly nightmarish stuff. Not the typical bug-like aliens, but a "presence" that mystifies and horrifies the crew, while Dr. Weir becomes more and more...weird.

To say any more would rob you of a whole lot of nasty jolts and gruesome shocks. Suffice to say that Weir's "gravity drive" can not only travel through holes in space, but apparently has no difficulty in also visiting different dimensions (like HELL!!!) Although a fair amount is left up to the viewer's imagination, it seems logical that the Event Horizon has indeed traveled "to hell and back".

The best thing about this admittedly derivative movie is that it's just so damn nasty. Little or no time is spent on things like "comic relief" and the result is a movie that becomes more unnerving as it continues. And although Event Horizon certainly seems "inspired" by countless other sci-fi or horror flicks, it also succeeds in carving out a little niche for itself as well.

With few exceptions, the cast is first-rate. Sam Neill has a skill for making the most absurd ideas seem realistic, and Laurence Fishburne gives a great understated performance as the level-headed commander. In smaller roles, Kathleen Quinlan and Jason Isaacs do a solid job, and Richard T. Jones and Jack Noseworthy aren't half bad either. Obviously these "lesser" characters are simply corpses waiting to happen, but the actors infuse each part with just enough touches of personality to make you care.

What's particularly notable about Event Horizon is its stellar (and generally nasty) effects and dread-inspiring production design. The Event Horizon is simply an interstellar haunted house, but director Anderson has a keen eye for groovy details. Whether its a bunch of gravity-challenged blood drips or a split-second recording of some awful carnage, Anderson keeps tossing some fun stuff onscreen, most of it pretty damn gory. I mean that as a compliment.

Dismissed by many critics and the public at large as just another spaceship flick, Event Horizon has earned a strong cult following since its theatrical release. (OK, it's me and three of my friends, but hey.) If you're a fan of the outer space thing, and you have a taste for stuff a little on the gruesome side, you could do a hell of a lot worse than Event Horizon. I may be damning this movie with faint praise, but I'd list Event Horizon as one of the best sci-fi movies of the past ten years, and certainly one of the most underrated.

A warning to some and a recommendation to others: This is one visually nasty movie. It's about as gory as American studio pics will ever get.

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originally posted: 08/02/01 09:22:46
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User Comments

8/19/20 J.S. I'm sorry, but this film is the fucking worst! Avoid it at all fucking costs! 1 stars
10/30/16 morris campbell good effects thats about it & im not a horror snob 1 stars
1/22/16 lmjnptp USA 3 stars
4/13/14 Proximus centauri Completely underrated & overlooked 5 stars
11/03/13 The Big D Good, clean, comic book-style sci-fi fun--great effects! 4 stars
7/30/11 joe fucking awesome 5 stars
9/14/10 bored mom Opens nicely, but then degrades into dreck with a cheesy boogieman, bad Hell themes, etc. 3 stars
8/04/09 the dork knight Underrated movie that attracts a lot of irrational hate from horror snobs. 4 stars
12/31/08 Freela Oh god, the eye gouging....I had to sleep in my contact lenses that night! Freaked me out! 4 stars
11/14/08 Jonn I first watched it when i was 8 scared me shitless now its almost funny 4 stars
10/04/08 deen mark Good horor movie, liked it. 4 stars
6/01/08 Vinnywonder Not awful, not a masterpiece, and very scary 4 stars
3/17/08 dev awsome movie, this reviewer dosent know what the hell they are talking about 5 stars
3/01/08 Ivana Mann Spooky! More horror than science fiction...Freddy Krueger meets 2001. Worth a gander! 3 stars
9/05/07 Jubei I've always liked this movie.Almost Hellraiser in outer space. 4 stars
7/02/07 johnnyfog A few really scary parts. Sam Neil is a creepy mutherfucker. 4 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK Boring, lonely and deppressing, the only people that will like this are miserable goths. 1 stars
7/11/06 Adrian Wonderful idea, just wasn't pulled off too great, decent acting as well..wasn't THAT gory.. 3 stars
6/04/06 William Goss Relatively decent sci-fi rehash that looks great and holds up quite well. 4 stars
5/10/06 sweetgrrl1972 The horror, the horror! (That I actually paid money to see this!) 2 stars
3/11/06 Sam very scary 5 stars
8/29/05 Blissful Johnny 'Saw this on opening day not knowing anything about it. I was pleasantly surprised...scary 4 stars
8/29/05 Jabberjaw Almost as good as CUBE. 4 stars
8/28/05 hicks THE HAUNTING in space...and not bad for what it is. 4 stars
8/28/05 Joker Better than it has any right to be...that first hour is top-notch! 4 stars
8/27/05 cam-ron What? A Paul Andersuck movie I actually didn't hate?!?! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!! 4 stars
8/26/05 Termite PWSA's only halfway decent film...I still insist that someone else directed it... 4 stars
6/30/05 Naka I hate Paul Anderson, I hate films like this...yet I enjoyed myself. 4 stars
6/10/05 Indrid Cold A loud mishmash of scifi and horror concepts. Quite stupid. 2 stars
6/08/05 JD Decent creepy sci/fi horror. 4 stars
2/19/05 LilyM Took 2 days to watch this cuz I could only watch it in 20 minute spurts before I zoned out. 1 stars
12/30/04 Dan Good movie 4 stars
10/24/04 HankHill Excellent balance of presentation and having the viewer fill in the blanks. 5 stars
8/26/04 R.W. Welch Watchable til the finale' which dissolves into overdone goofiness. 2 stars
8/26/04 Ortman This film is so bad that the only thing that could increase it's level of suckiness would b 1 stars
8/01/04 Scully Let me get this right. A ship gets lost... and ends up in hell? 2 stars
7/31/04 Kate Loathesome and dull, anti-intellectual and BADLY edited 1 stars
6/12/04 FranklyFrank Suggest Ignoring the actors and just watch the ship, poor DVD as well. 2 stars
3/20/04 Pap Antoaneta Iuliana The perfect horror-sf movie 5 stars
3/01/04 LIAM JACKSON The fuck was up with that 'Burning Man' character? good flick though. 5 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge About as scary as a care bear. Totally ripped "Hellraiser" comics. Not enough plot or gore. 3 stars
2/18/04 Kyle I'ts by far my favorite movie ever 5 stars
2/05/04 john bends over backward to be original but ends a up plain bad 1 stars
1/14/04 Helius Believe it or not, Paul Anderson did something right. 4 stars
11/11/03 Rafael Yes, it was a bad script, but I can't deny that the movie as a whole gave me the shivers. 4 stars
10/24/03 william wallace where we're going,you wont need eyes too see!class film 5 stars
9/10/03 looney anyone that rips out their own eyes is ok in my book, woo 4 stars
9/10/03 McNasty How can holding your eyeballs in your hands and intoning Latin get a poor review? Eyeballs! 4 stars
8/28/03 anna Agree with Adam B. Reviewer more concerned with sniffing own farts than intelligent review. 5 stars
8/25/03 Russell I think the movie is great, and I'd like to see a sequel. 5 stars
6/22/03 Johnny The movie's horror puts the likes of jason and freddy to shame...keep the lights on...... 4 stars
1/15/03 Adam Bishop "The Ship That Went To Hell"! Good movie, good premise. Want Sequel. Unfairly reviewed. 5 stars
1/01/03 Jack Sommersby Scary and well-directed. Good leads, but film has been badly re-cut for U.S. release. 4 stars
12/19/02 Getchell Williams Very cool... and freaky! 5 stars
11/29/02 Charles Tatum Slow and unmoving 2 stars
11/12/02 YES Scary, super suspenseful horror thriller. Sam Neill is great! 5 stars
10/28/02 snowconehead this skippy is the shiznit 5 stars
7/09/02 tim ferriday ace 5 stars
6/21/02 Bart Weak and derivative 2 stars
5/10/02 connie knight kurt russell breakdown. i love kurt russell 5 stars
4/06/02 Veronica Tatterworth Yuck! Sam Neill egregiously wasted. And what's with the evil ship being cross-shaped?!? 1 stars
3/18/02 INCUBATOR Not a super script, but definetly nice to watch 4 stars
12/11/01 Andreas Krantz I love it!!! 5 stars
9/21/01 Redwork amazing on so many levels, it showed in visual form, 1 persons description of 'Pure Evil' 5 stars
8/06/01 badfish good special effects,great movie 4 stars
5/12/01 Geebo Far too much gore, however, excellent action and suspense 2 stars
5/10/01 Trevor Vos scary, intense movie - who needs to think? Just have fun! 5 stars
4/20/01 Matthew Bartley Hey we've already seen The Shining, Carrie, Seven, Alien etc. 2 stars
4/07/01 xyl an amazing depiction of our greatest fear: being out of control 5 stars
3/17/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) They tried to do "Seven" in space, it looks like to me...and failed... 3 stars
3/17/01 Bionic Booger Quite effective until the last 15-20 minutes. Excellent musical score, fx, and atmosphere. 4 stars
1/26/01 Diego Romero Hellraiser in space,nuff said! 5 stars
1/16/01 Aurora If you really want a treat, watch the quick flashes on frame by frame, now that is freaky. 5 stars
12/06/00 Cristopher Revilla it's bullshit, please, no sequel. You like it, CRAM IT UP YOUR ASS, baby!!!!! 1 stars
11/29/00 The Evil Penguin pretty dang scary but the dialogue is so spotty 3 stars
4/16/00 JDC Good: visuals, sense of menace. Bad: pacing, script. Could have been better, but not bad 4 stars
10/11/99 Weird Andy Hey, I kinda liked it! 4 stars
6/15/99 Dylan I dont get the mostly negative attitude towards this movie. Worth seeing. 4 stars
3/30/99 Ryan_A No, no, I wanna be lame here. 1 stars
3/07/99 CYaniDERuSH All of you who were to stupid to apreaciate this mastery of sci-fi/horror be lame elseware 5 stars
3/02/99 THE Juicester DO not see this! 1 stars
11/25/98 DrEvil Passable gothic horror space opera. Cool art direction. Could have been better/worse. 4 stars
11/15/98 Barrie doesn't even deserve one star. Worst Fucking Film Ever Ever Made, Ever. EVER. 1 stars
11/14/98 Per Kihlborg Nice one... 4 stars
11/12/98 Jules Luc Besson has sold out. Bastard. If you want to scare me, make me care first... 2 stars
10/27/98 cyanide rush this film is a classic baby 5 stars
10/24/98 Vincent An uneven mess to be sure, but some GREAT, HORRIFIC sequences make it worth seeing 4 stars
9/29/98 Johny A mess 2 stars
9/21/98 MR HOLLYWOOD i threw up,shit in my pants & nearly went deaf with THX,but its not the best 4 stars
9/02/98 f*r*o*s*t*y AHHH! Sam Neill is the devil! 1 stars
8/30/98 Matt the plot holes cost it a star 4 stars
8/25/98 Miss Stress ifa ship has been missing for 7 years i say leave it be 2 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Where's my escape shuttle!?!?!?! 1 stars
8/23/98 Mister Whoopee Kath Quinlan is a yummuy-mummy. But... 2 stars
8/18/98 zubilicious my friend puked after one of the scenes.the gore was a bit much at times. 3 stars
8/17/98 Mike F Some parts scared me. 4 stars
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  15-Aug-1997 (R)
  DVD: 18-Apr-2006



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