Event Horizon was released in 1997 and was touted as one of the scariest movies you will ever see. While it does not live up to that bold claim, it does have some thrills and a great atmosphere that translates well onto Blu-ray.
The futuristic story in Event Horizon centers on a search and rescue ship, the Lewis and Clark, which is sent to recover the recently discovered vessel, the Event Horizon. The Event Horizon is a revolutionary ship that is equipped with an experimental faster than light (FTL) drive. It disappeared on its maiden voyage when the drive was activated and remained missing for seven years.
The creator of the FTL drive, Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill), is sent with the crew of the Lewis and Clark to rescue the ship. No-nonsense Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne) is reluctant to go but accepts his mission and his close-mouthed passenger. When they approach the Event Horizon, the Clark is damaged and they must repair the ship before they can leave.
Once the Event Horizon is boarded the crew discovers that everyone on board is dead and there is evidence of incredibly violent and bloody acts aboard the derelict ship. As they begin to unlock what really happened everyone starts to have visions and experience traumatic flashes from their past. Something is wrong with the ship and Dr. Weir appears to be in the middle of it.
The movie itself starts as a taut sci-fi thriller and changes at the midway point to a space-themed horror experience. It doesn’t quite find itself completely in either genre but it does entertain and keeps your attention till the bloody conclusion. The actors, led by Neill and Fishburne, all turn in decent performances, with Sam Neill noticeably stealing the show as his character degenerates over the course of the story.
Event Horizon is a movie that greatly benefits from the quality of the set pieces and the claustrophobic nature of the ships the characters are in. The scenes are tight and contained with effective lighting and cinematography that enhances the tension in the scenes. The special effects are very well done and hold together nicely considering the movie was originally released in 1997.
This was Paul W.S. Anderson’s first major film (after directing the surprisingly good Mortal Kombat) and he produced a complex and entertaining experience that he should be proud of. Event Horizon is by no means a stellar film — it has issues with pacing and abrupt shifts in style — but it is an enjoyable, scary, and compelling film that is well worth watching.