Customer Reviews: Event Horizon (1997) [Blu-ray]
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on October 25, 2005
Update: 1/23/06

Some comments edited due to this writing being included in the spotlight reviews section.

-end update-

Event Horizon.

First of all this isn't a perfect film. It is, however very good and worthy of purchase.

Many other reviewers have savaged the film for being too slasher, too weak or open to intrepretation. I would offer many of them were expecting general science fiction not a bloodbath in space. The gore is what makes them take a step a back. The gore serves the story very well. Hell isn't a primrose path.

Many other reviewers have covered the plot in detail. So I'll avoid being redundant in that aspect.

What makes the movie good is that its a taunt piece of space horror. You hit the ground running almost immediately. Pacing and storyline are well done (amazing some people don't get the story details - made perfect sense to me). The set design and visuals are simply sublime. There is good character development. Sam Neill plays Dr. Weir to creepy perfection. The Event Horizon calling to him in his dreams by using his deceased wife is disturbing.

Lawerence Fishborne as Miller delivers a good performance with edge.

The other actors hold the story up well too.

One of the other elements that makes the movie enjoyable is that it doesn't lay it all out for you. Sure, we see the hell the Event Horizon crew endured in limited blips. The movie lets your imagination run wild just how bad things got. I kept wondering to myself - ok its bad, but just *HOW* bad is it? Not until almost 3/4 of the way through do we get some answers as to the fate of the original crew.

The ending also is open to intrepretation - makes you think. The short latin message recieved also built the story nicely too. "Liberate Tutame Ix Inferis..."

In the end analysis, this movie is a combination of science fiction and horror. Its a uneasy marriage, as the combination isn't done very often (vs. regular sci-fi). To that end, many of the people who wanted to see science fiction got the unpleasant surprise that this was more of a hellraiser in space than a 'star trek.'

It also didn't help with cinematic audiences that the cliched "good guy saves the day and himself" doesn't fly here. Good guy does save the day, but gets dragged into hell with Wier. Not a pleasant end for Miller.

If you are a fan of both genres (scifi/horror) you'll enjoy this like I did. If you are more inclined towards sci-fi only this one probably isn't for you.

Falls just short of brilliant in my opinion. The bashers need to be honest with thier tastes instead of bashing for gore. Event Horizon isn't Star Wars. EH accomplishes what is sought to do quite effectively.

There are rumors of an extended edition with deleted scenes being re-edited in. Length is said to be over 2 hours. Lets get this out on the market!

Not recommended of course for the kiddies either.

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VINE VOICEon May 25, 2006
This is a fascinating idea for a horror movie. Unlike Jason X (yes, you can laugh), this is a true horror film set in space. Set in the year 2047, the crew of the Lewis & Clark, along with Dr. Weir, set out to investigate the Event Horizon: a ship that disappeared for seven years somewhere in space and suddenly reappeared in the orbit of Neptune.

The Event Horizon (designed by Dr. Weir) provides the desolate and haunting setting for the movie. The darkness, the unknown and the inability to escape create a real sense of desperation aboard the ship. There is literally nowhere to run in space, which adds to these feelings of dread. The crew slowly begins uncovering the mystery of where the Event Horizon had been for the past seven years. During this phase of the movie, we are shown some horrifying images, conjured by the ship itself. These images play on the fears, memories and even the guilt of the crew members. There are some freakish occurances leading to the ultimate discovery of the truth about the ship and what actually happened to the original crew.

As for the horror genre, this movie represents something different. It's a good departure from the slasher movie or the "teens go on a road trip, break down and are terrorized by a madman" movie... The fact that it is set in space is rather unique and, I feel, works quite well. Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill give great performances. I recommend this movie to horror and sci-fi fans.
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on November 17, 2000
Event Horizon is a horror movie and a sci-fi movie. This combination is very effective and terrifying. An extremely imaginative storyline and top notch special effects. Event Horizon is very graphic as far as gore and somewhat disturbing overall. Not for the weak stomach or weak mind. A must for a horror fan and a sci-fi fan.
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on March 3, 2007
Even though the movie as a whole could have been a lot better, I gave it a strong rating because I think it's such an interesting premise.

In 2040, the Event Horizon, a ship whose purpose was to do deep space research, disapears without a trace. The entire crew is presumed dead and the public explanation is the ship was destroyed as the result of a reactor that went critical.

Seven years later, the ship suddenly reappears near the place it was last seen, in orbit around Neptune. The reappearance is accompanied by a strange transmission that at first doesn't make any sense.

Search and Rescue Ship, The Lewis and Clark, and its crew are sent to investigate although they aren't told much more about their mission. Dr. William Weir, the scientist who designed the ship is sent to accompany the crew.

As the Lewis and Clark nears Neptune, they learn the real reason for the mission. Dr. Weir explains to them that the story behind the Event Horizon was a cover up. The truth is that after a completely uneventful trip, the ship simply disapeared shortly after they engaged the experiemental engine that Weir designed. The experimental engine was designed to "fold space" by creating a black hole. The idea was that this tehnology would allow the ship to travel almost instantaneously to places in the universe that were light years away. The Lewis and Clark's crew are skeptical and wary of the doctor's explanation saying that faster than speed of light travel is impossible.

Once docked to the Event Horizon, three crew members board to do a preliminary exploration. Things start to go wrong immediately. Engineering crew, Justin, goes into the engine deck and the gravitation drive, on it's own, opens the dimensional gateway, pulls Justin in, and sends an explosive wave that destroys part of the Lewis and Clark's hull making the ship uninhabitable. This forces the entire crew onto the Event Horizon which has oxygen and life supprt while the Lewis and Clark is repaired.

The remainder of the movie is about things going from bad to worse to life and sanity threatening. The crew including Dr. Weir begin experiencing very real-seeming hallucinations drawn from their very worst experiences and feelings. Weir sees his dead wife who committed suicide due to his obsession with work, Miller sees a subordinate who he left to die in an on-ship fire, Peters sees her crippled son with twisted, gangrenous legs, and Justin tries and comes very close to committing suicide in a depressurized air lock.

One element that makes the movie so disturbing and scary is in the way you feel like you're experiencing the crew's terror and pain. The airlock scene where Justin suddenly awakens from his catatonic state and becomes aware that the airlock will be fully depressurized in 30 seconds is horrible and painful to watch. He begs them to open the door as the effects of depressurization (basically, our skin can no longer contain our blood and organs) begin and the crew can only stand and watch his suffering helplessly.

And then the movie gets even gorier and more disturbing.

One point that reviewers who hated the movie seemed to miss (although I may be totally wrong on this score) is that that violence, pain, and gore was gratuitous. My take was that the Lewis and Clark crew was being slowly integrated into what the ship had become.

So what *did* happen to the Event Horizon? The answer is never really fully explained but according to Weir (who has gone completely insane and sys he now is part of the ship), the gravitational drive went beyond folding known space and actually "tore a hole in the fabric of our universe into another dimension of pure chaos, of pure evil."

If you don't apply traditional definitions to what Hell or Heaven actually are, did the ship really "go to Hell?" My take is that it went to a dimension that is so entirely different from ours that by our definition it *is* hell.

Towards the end of the film, the ships log video which shows the crew at the moment before the gravitational drive is engaged and suddenly goes fuzzy, begins to play showing what happened the moment after the gateway opens and it looks hellish. Crew membes who moments before were grinning shyly at the camera as the captain thanked them as now disemboweling themselves, being raped, and screaming in pain and terror while they seem unable to stop themselves. The captain seems to be struggling with all his might to hang onto a shred of sanity gouges out his eyes and sends the final transmission, Liberate tutemae ex inferno "Save Yourself from Hell."

There are lots of loose ends in this film and although it would be more satisfying if they were addressed I don't think it diminishes the effect of the film that they are not. There is the question of whether the first crew and Lewis and Clark crew members are really dead or somehow alive and being eternally tortured in another dimension. Of whether the Event Horizon is really gone. There's also the question that when the three surviving members are found by a rescue team, that anyone will get off alive (at the end you see the door hatch closing as rescue members are reviving them).

I loved the Alien films and although Event Horizon is not at their caliber, it is still at times elegant, well-acted (although I found Sam Niell's character to be more annoying than menacing), and really, really scary. If you enjoyed movies like The Exorcist, Hellraiser, Alien, and The Shining, I highly recommend Event Horizon.
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on February 11, 2000
In scientific terms, the Event Horizon is the precipice of a black hole, the point of no return before one is hurled into the endless unknown. How appropriate for this Sci-Fi set gothic Horror. I loved this twist on the derilict spaceship plotline. At the beginning of the movie it feels like another Star Trek - Battlestar Galactica-esque movie; you are in deep space searching for a lost ship and then when you find it there are no life signs. The movie stays calm for exactly 15 minutes.. then all Hell breaks loose, literally. I have seen such darkness come from H.R. Geiger as and artist, and Clive Barker as a writer so you will understand my shock when I found neither name attached to the film. With a feel like "Hellraiser" and nonstop action like - well, anything with Bruce Willis - "Event Horizon" grabbed my attention from the first pulse-pounding chord of it's soundtrack to the very last (?) scream. I enjoyed seeing the dark transition of Dr. Weir from a seemingly normal scientist to an individual so obsessed that he becomes the darkness we all fear. Sam Neill has shown a tremendous expanse of acting through the past several years, from a Palentologist in "Jurassic Park" to the fantastic "Merlin" even as far back as "Dead Calm" he has unerringly played the good guy, it's a delicious twist to have him cast as the antagonist in Paul Anderson's horrifying tale. The one hard point in the movie is the decision one must make as a viewer, can you really hate this man? From the beginning of the movie we share his pain and loss, we share his desire and then are challenged to share his mania a truly unique psychological horror. I must give this a perfect "10" as this movie shows no signs of a "cheese factor," no overacting, nothing overdone and everything played and built to perfection. This is where reality and fantasy meet to push the envelope within the mind.
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on April 11, 2006
This DVD is a bit of a rip of to be honest. Many times I've read online forums and read copious preview blurbs stating that there was going to be a directors cut of this movie, restoring 40 minutes of blah...blah....blah...Yawn.

You get 2 DVDs. The first disc is where you will find the ORIGINAL THEATRICAL VERSION. Yes you heard it right...THE ORIGINAL THEATRICAL VERSION. Gasp, how can this be, what about the deleted scenes....etc. Well, there are deleted scenes but they have not been put back into the movie, something which will be explained later on.

I already had bought the first DVD release and was looking forward to seeing deleted scenes put back into the movie. This release IS better though as you get a very nice looking anamorphic version and you get DTS which sounds sweet. But this still is the original.

The second disk contains a good making of documentary and some other supplemental behind the scenes stuff however the best part of this disk is the deleted scenes and after listening to the commentary it soon becomes apparent why there wont be a directors cut. Also the quality of these deleted scenes are terrible. The print is covered with pen markers and edit markers and looks like its been made by a first year film student.

You find out that a lot of the "CUT" stuff was actually from different versions of the movie that was used during screenings to help gauge reactions from the audience and could no way be re-integrated into the film.

Also, because this movie was made in the pre-DVD era the studio dumped a lot of the deleted stuff away as it was envisaged that none of this would ever see the light of day again. One example is the deleted crew torture sequence which was to be part of when weir was showing hell to fishburn. However this no longer exists on film and is only on poor quality video.

So, to sum it up what you have here is this.

1. A better looking and sounding version of the movie previously released (Nice DTS track!!!)

2. An interesting commentary

3. Some nice extras that put the rumours to bed about a directors cut.

If you dont have the movie already then I would recommend you getting this one as this is probably the best version you will see until paramount release it in HD.
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on December 19, 2008
Version: U.S.A / Paramount / Region A, B, C
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
MPEG-4 AVC BD-50 / High Profile 4.1
Running time: 1:35:57
Movie size: 32,42 GB
Disc size: 40,01 GB
Total bit rate: 45.06 Mbps
Average video bit rate: 36.31 Mbps

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 3452 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3452 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround

Subtitles: English / English SDH / French / Spanish / Portuguese
Number of chapters: 17

#Audio Commentary
#The Making of Event Horizon - 5 Documentaries (1h:43m:01s):
#Secrets - Deleted Scenes (26m:36s)
#The Unseen Event Horizon:
--The Un-Filmed Rescue Scene (2m:52s)
--Conceptual Art (3m:20s)
#The Point of No Return : The Filming of Event Horizon (8m:03s)
#Theatrical trailer (HD) and Video trailer
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on September 24, 2013
Great plot, fine protagonists, lots of verve BUT, in the end, a disappointing underachieving SF film. About a spaceship that is sent out to find out what happened to another ship presumed lost years before. The mission is actuated by the reception of a creepy message from the ill-fated vessel. Clearly inspired by ALIENS [1986], IT, THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE [1958]---the latter the template for ALIEN [1979]---and the "original" STAR TREK episode "The Devil In The Dark", 1967. Unlike these, however, the final destination is not a colony on a planet but another spaceship. And this doozy of a craft seems to have sped across the galaxy using a technology that gets you to where you wanna go not by traversing long distances over many years but by traversing contiguous parallel planes in a fraction of the time. Minor problem: the ship seems to have accessed an aperture through one of these planes---and it doesn't lead to Disneyworld.

Laurence Fishburne has never been better as the terse, no-nonsense first-in-command who sacrifices himself at the end to save the last of his crew. Perpetual hero and good-guy Sam Neil [JURASSIC PARK, 1993] seems miscast as the deranged scientist-inventor of the accidental portal to hell but is eerily effective as a transformed inhabitant of the netherworld. The rest of the cast includes Kathleen Quinlan but the various members of the crew are only superficially characterized and we don't really bond to them.

The story is not well paced with suboptimal tension development and minimal claustrophobia engendered, and there are multiple missed opportunities to scare the pants off the viewer. There was also too much focus on the metal sphere responsible for the mayhem and some supernatural hogwash. There are some brief, lurid, unsettling visual depictions of what appears to be hell but we don't get enough glimpses and there is no actual ingression into the abyss.

The ending seems to leave an opening for a sequel. If this ever does happen I can only hope that the project lands in the hands of a real pro like director James Cameron [ALIENS].
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on April 5, 2015
I was so impressed with this movie the first time I watched it I instantly bought it. I don't understand all the hate for this movie... The sets are amazing like when he has to crawl around to fix that circuit board, that place is trippy! This is NOT a B movie, this is not a CHEESY movie this film has great acting and a decent cast. Everyone I introduce to this movie thinks it's great. My 13 yr old nephews couldn't stop talking about it for days. Yes the ending is a little hokey with all the last minute efforts to get the viewer to jump, but it IS sci-fi and it is a HORROR movie. She won't let you leave....
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on April 29, 2001
Event Horizon can be viewed as two different movies, one fairly awful, the other simply tired. It offers thrills and spills aplenty, but the viewer in search of intelligent life is sure to be disappointed. The actors do the best they can with what they have--"Now, when we drop these 500 gallons of red water on you, you look surprised, okay?""Sure, but what's my motivation?""Uh, it's supposed to be blood from outer space!" but they don't have much to go on.
The first film is science fiction of a sort which I think, in spite of the comments of some reviewers here, will drive hard core sci-fi fans to distraction. Within 30 seconds of the film opening, there is water dripping from a faucet on a space-station in orbit. One character smokes cigarettes (yes, on an interplanetary rescue ship) in the open and the smoke mysteriously billows around him just as if there were gravity. Now, granted, later on we see that we have developed anti-gravity, but there are more inconsistencies. Our intrepid heros end up in the orbit of Neptune, but there is some apparent turbulence in space, and space-clouds, and a lightening storm which no one seems to think is at all unusual in a vaccum. They receive a distress call from the haunted ship, but Earth technology in 2047 doesn't allow them to cut out the high frequency interference enough to understand the message clearly--this in spite of the fact that I could do it at home on my Mac today in a matter of minutes. By 2047 we've apparently developed enough technology to create gravity, contain a black hole, and warp space-time--we must have let our audio technology lapse as we put all our resources into physics--something had to give, I guess. With regularity explosions make noise in a vaccum, and even though we get computer-graphic-created liquid globules in zero-gee, we never get zero-gee gas venting. Oh, yeah, and in 2047 kids are apparently still wearing the same kind of bulky coats they wear now. Design and fabric technology must have had to take a backseat to physics, too. Beyond the setting, there is really nothing else that is sci-fi about this movie.
The premise, interesting as it could have been, exists simply to deliver the second film, a slasher/horror film along the lines of Nightmare on Elm Street. And if you like Freddy Krueger, you are likely to enjoy Event Horizon. The special effects (loads of gore, watery blood splashing in hundreds of gallons, Krueger-like makeup for Sam Neill and supporting ghosties) are neither bad nor exceptional. We get the explanation that all these apparitions are supernatural, so just like Freddy Krueger they don't have to look real. This kind of nonsense may make you jump, but there's nothing really intriguing about it. The suspense derives solely from the whims of the director and his minions, and not from the storyline itself. If literally anything can happen, why don't more imaginative things happen? We've seen the stripey face horror makeup before, we've seen the buckets of blood, we've seen the eye in the middle of the palm....oh, wait, maybe real horror of hell is that it's boring!
The only person involved in this film with imagination was the set-designer, who created some pretty terrific looks, especially for the gravity drive. As others have noted, there were many allusions to the look of other films (most notably Alien and 2001), but there was enough new in the design to be interesting. However, if set-design is the only thing of merit, probably the movie is worth giving a pass.
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