Warning! Warning! The following is a review of Event Horizon and so contains an extensive reference to the movie’s plot points. Contains spoilers. Read ahead at your own risk…
So as I huge fan of Sci-Fi I should have watched this ages ago but I decided to finally get round to it for the latest post you can find on the site where I look at black holes and how their presence changes throughout Science Fiction. So I’m probably thinking of more of someone that is looking at it completely analytically and taking mental notes of how the Sci-Fi is used and it’s scientific accuracy although I still have to look at it as a film in itself and want to discuss and few of those things here.
First of all, I think the concept is very very interesting and is set up well. There’s a really good script here that I felt used the concept incredibly well and could have made for a great book although having a major villain kind of ruined some of the psychological aspects of presenting each of these character’s personal Hell which I feel was heavily underutilised. I feel that the length also was a major problem because whilst we get all our characters and understand some of them, I feel like they could have done with some more development which a mini-series of around 4 episodes could capture in a better light.
The main problem I have isn’t with the writing or the acting or even the cinematography, it’s the perception of really good and horrifying material by an awful director. When it’s meant to feel tense and impactful, we get a shitty jump scare. When we are meant to feel attached for these characters something stupid happens or they get underutilised.
It should be up to the director to give them extra quirks and visually enhance the script and handle character interaction (which isn’t all that bad). In many ways, the concept feels like how The Shining looks at insanity although whilst the script tries to do that, visually a lot of that tension is taken away at the end when it should be increasing throughout the whole movie.
The editing in some moments such as near the end is also very lacking in creating tension and for someone who worked with Kubrick on Full Metal Jacket, he shows more of his sillier Mortal Kombat side of editing. I won’t, however, bag on him too much because this was the material he was given and for the first half, he creates an interesting bit of tension even if we get some dumb jumpscares in there as well.
There are moments I actually quite like especially the setup and the story. It could make a fantastic and to give credit. I feel like the gory aspects to show how Hell is seeping into this world through the black hole gateway needs to be gory and I feel like having Saw franchise level gore is kind of justified in something as sick as this.
It’s really just how the whole story towards the end never feels fully utilised although there are some very creepy and intense moments such as when the gateway first opens and everything that happens to the character of Justin is what I feel should have been more of the tone rather then the big Sam Neil is a demon whenever he should have been more of a passive role opening the gate instead of an Overpowered killer. They should have slowly been driven insane and it has an unusually bittersweet ending where some of them get out alive again.
In conclusion, whilst a lot of the writing works well and the script, production, acting and cinematography are actually quite good for the most part but the direction it takes and some horrible silly editing and special effects at some moments really makes it fall down to a much lower rating then what it could have been if a better horror director was on board. It should have been more psychological but most of the time it has no tension in how it is edited at all, it feels like all the elements were there was it just wasn’t planned and put together very well by the producers, director and editor. It’s also very dated. I would honestly say this is a film that could have been a very good horror movie but becomes one of your standard ambitious but lackluster 90s blockbuster movies. I’m giving this movie a: One of the Movies that could use a Remake/10.
You can watch Event Horizon on DVD and Blu-ray now. I really had big problems with this movie and really wanted to address them properly. I’m sorry for my long hiatus but I’ve been very busy. This is a companion piece to my Blackholes and Revelations post so check that out as well. Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts on the movie, future thinkers. Have you watched it? Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments below…
Michael McGrady, Signing Off.