Horror on the Horizon

Sam Neill in Event Horizon (1997)

I remember it well, a time where my movie knowledge was a lot less and my likes were simple, a time when a pretty movie full of special effects and well known faces would impress me. That brings me to "Event Horizon" the exact sort of movie which once would have wowed me but now only manages to mildly entertain me. And the reason is not so much the fact that "Event Horizon" is derivative but because it is style over substance with what substance there is being quite messy. Now in fairness I know that "Event Horizon" was never intended to be a movie which challenged your thinking but a little more consideration to plot and continuity would not have gone a miss.

7 years after the research ship Event Horizon vanished on its maiden voyage Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill - Jurassic Park) joins the salvage crew of the Lewis & Clark who are heading to Neptune to board the suddenly rediscovered ship. Whilst their sensors suggest there is no life aboard when they adventure aboard they discover the crew dead but something definitely alive, something which affects them all.

Laurence Fishburne in Event Horizon (1997)

So to keep things simple "Even Horizon" has the look from start to finish. The opening scenes of a ship travelling through space impresses as does the scene where the crew board the missing ship with great attention to detail as we see cogs rotate. The entire interior the ships also impresses which draws you in to what is going on whilst managing to be vast enough to provide the playground for the action whilst just the right size to give that sense of claustrophobia.

The characters are also good with a wide if typical selection of stereotypes from Dr. Weir obviously a man with a secret to the beautiful second in command and the tough smoking crew member. None of the actors exactly wow with their performance but combined with some decent looking costumes adds to the delivery of having the right look. And whilst on the subject of look the action, the moments of horror and so on have a decent sense of style to them.

The trouble is that all which is good is style and when you step beneath the initial visual layer the substance is just not there. In truth narratively "Even Horizon" is all over the place serving up story threads but doing nothing with them whilst offering up little new which really grabs your attention and makes you want to follow what is going on. And as for the actual science part of this with black holes and so on, well as I said "Event Horizon" was never intended as a movie to make you think and so it is best to just go with the flow.

What this all boils down to is that "Event Horizon" would have once entertained me with its great look and style. But these days the messy narrative ends up letting it down and making it very much a product of the mid 90s.

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