I have to admit I am somewhat of a horror fiend; I just think that as far as genres go if done right horror elicits has the most rewarding pay-off. As a child I found this out the hard way. In fact there were plenty of nights where sleep was postponed due to the lingering suspicion that an extra-dimensional being made the space underneath my bed his new abode. Raw Head Rex, Jason, Freddy, Michael, Pinhead and a whole host of others were definitely staples of my childhood. I always find it interesting to look back at what scares you as a child and what unnerves you as an adult to see the minute or, in some cases, glaring connections between the two. Like many of you, I have gone back and watched the films that made me an insomniac during my preadolescence, and quite frankly the movies were terribly laughable. However, there are a few that come to mind that really have not only aged well but still to this day send chills down my spine. Which brings me to EVENT HORIZON. I was 10 at the time I saw this movie and the year was 1997; I had no idea of what soul sucking abyssal eyeless horror awaited me at the cinema that day. I left that theater a changed person.
I guess like anybody else, the notion of Hell is a very disturbing and creepy undertaking. As a little kid we have this concept of little guys running around with pitchforks jabbing you in the ass, and to a child that is enough to freak you out. But two movies EVENT HORIZON and HELLRAISER took the concept of hell out of the fire pits and into the dark and seemingly infinite corridors of the human psyche. Where twisted flesh hangs from hooks, where the macabre and the sensual become one and the same and endless screams for mercy might as well be whispers at rock concert. EVENT HORIZON took a campy idea and forged it into a full-fledged plasma-spewing nightmare. The movie is about a spaceship that was able to find a loophole in the theory of relativity and it essentially rips a hole in the universe. Therefore instead of traveling from point A to B you bring B to A. Thus you are able to travel anywhere in the known universe, simple enough right? Unfortunately, for the first crew this ship manages to wiggle its way into the worst possible place… Hell. Too bad for the salvage crew because the ship comes back from Hell and many things have changed, and not to sound cliché but the ship is pissed. Thus the proverbial s*** hits the fan, and things start getting quite Freudian.
Before EVENT HORIZON there were only space horror movies and, the truth is, it is a hard genre to do well as space is typically the realm of Sci-fi, so if it is not about aliens then it’s hard to make it work. What makes this movie work where others have failed is, number one the believability, two a decent enough cast and three atmosphere. The story is unique as it does not try to bury you in speculative science but it does recognize the theoretical possibilities that we may someday have at our fingertips. The cast does a good job of balancing believability and likability. Even the comic relief ends up being a decent character. The final but biggest thing EVENT has going for it is atmosphere, this ship oozes it from the moment we see it ominously floating around in space to the arrival of the salvage crew this ship screams HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, Dracula’s manor and a whole host of iconic paranormal hot-spots. Yes, I could take the easy route and say it is the Nostromo (see*ALIEN*) like others have before me but honestly its much more than that. This ship is like THE SHINING and FANTASY ISLAND except in space, a weird analogy I know but I will explain. The ship plays on your emotions (mostly guilt) and turns the manifestations of said emotions against you. Essentially, this thing has taken a crow bar and broken into your psyche, it already knows all about you.
By now you are either cowering in the corner, thinking of the endless horrors this film could possibly conjure in your mind. You are bored by this incredibly long recommendation, to which my reply would be a “Well, I’ll let you know when I think of it”. Then there are those that are that perfect balance of curious and strange, and you want to see this film immediately. Hopefully most of you will fall in the final category in which case enjoy. For the best results you should watch it before you go to sleep.