In the words of Captain Miller: "F*ck this ship."
MOVIE REVIEW /// Event Horizon
Movie summary: A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned...with someone or something new on-board. (IMDb)
It had been over a decade since I last watched this movie before watching it again for this review and I was worried that it wouldn't live up to how I remembered it. I wondered if my tastes would've changed and that I would agree more with the majority of critics who absolutely slated it at the time of release. Fortunately, Event Horizon proved up to the challenge and then some.
The most surprising thing I didn't remember was how long it even takes them to read the abandoned ship in the first place, with them only starting to explore it a third of the way into the movie. Considering it's only ninety minutes long, that's a big chunk of time to spend on the characters, which is a choice that actually serves the movie well.
Most of the characters don't have too much depth thanks to how little time there is to fit everything in, but they all still have distinct looks, personalities and character traits to distinguish them from each other and that opening third of Event Horizon really helps with that - it's pretty much non-stop interaction between the rescue crew sent to investigate the ship and Sam Neill's Doctor Weir.
The middle third revolves around both trying to figure out what happened to the ship and dealing with hallucinations and other strange goings-on that unsettle all of them. And that's another thing that I really like about this movie: they don't fall into the same trap of having stupid characters taking actions to make things worse like so many other horror movies.
There are only two moments like that in Event Horizon, and one of them is the fault of one of the crew that has been spooked and traumatised the most, and is actually pretty understandable in the end. Even the other moment isn't that bad and it would certainly be harsh to condemn a character for touching something out of curiosity that is just sitting there - no staring into opening alien eggs here.
And it helps that I really like the whole crew, which also helps to make their actions more forgivable - even the more abrasive or aggressive moments work well because we've spent enough time with them and they behave realistically enough to the bizarre shit going on around them that you'll probably end up agreeing with a lot of what they say and do anyway - at the very least, you'll understand their behaviour.
There's two sizeable flaws that stop me from rating Event Horizon even higher than I do, one of which is a simple case of technology marching on - some of the VFX are very dated (as you'd expect for a movie coming up on it's twenty-fifth anniversary in 2022) and there's some camera work that definitely stood out as being a little odd, although it does added to the movie's charm.
I'm just so happy that Event Horizon pretty much dealt with all my concerns and threw them away. I loved that we got to spend so much time with the crew at the beginning - really enjoying Laurence Fishburne's Miller, Sam Neill's Weir and Joely Richardson's Starck; the atmosphere on the ship is incredible; and it doesn't outstay its welcome. Hell, I wish it was 15-20 minutes longer just to see more creepy shit on the ship.
Event Horizon has dated a little as far as some of the effects and cinematography go, but is still a lot of fun to watch, even if I do wish it could be longer - it actually takes the movie a while to reach the titular ship and it feels like there's only just about enough time spent on it before everything goes to hell. The cast is great, giving really good performances too, and this is otherwise still as good as it's always been.