Lawrence Fishburne and Sam Neill are amongst my favorite actors. Neill for his roles in The Omen series, Jurassic Park, and In the Mouth of Madness has always stuck out as a believable portrayer of tense situations. King of New York was my introduction to Laurence Fishburne aka Jimmy Jump, and then I don’t have to tell you that you can find him or his work across the spectrum of film, play, and T.V. work. In Event Horizon, we get to see these two go head to head in a very macabre scenario.
This movie is about Hell. Not any particular Hell, but it leans towards the endless suffering by playing off your fears theme. Now, we’ve seen this kind of psychological, multidimensional system in Hellraiser and I believe this movie was actually criticized for mirroring some of Clive Barker’s elements. Each of the cast’s fears plays out in bloody scenarios. Memories come to life and distort in suffering and pain and you can almost swear Doug Bradley stepped in for a single frame before Sam Neill’s full reveal as a mutilated disciple of darkness.
The reason we find ourselves in space is because of the ship, the movie title, The Event Horizon. It’s been missing for seven years, when the movie begins eerily with the introduction of Dr. William Weir (Neill). We already know something’s up because the flashbacks are of his naked wife without eyes… The Louis & Clark, the ship he and a small crew including Sean Pertwee, who had a role in 2000’s Equilibrium, board on the rescue mission. They are forced to then board The Event Horizon after malfunctions and that’s when the fun really begins. Paul W.S. Anderson, director, really took his feel of his previous flick, Mortal Kombat, in that time and imposed it fairly well in outer space. The entire film has a more mature feel, but with the accenting 90’s cyberspace elements and techno.
As we follow the unfolding experiences, each personal conflict in hallucination/entity encounters, we learn more about the ship and the origin crew navigating the lost vessel. Regrettably, much like Ash, the android on the Nostromo in Alien, Dr. Weir serves as a monitor for Hell, itself. Instead of actually being there to locate any survivors or salvage, we learn that he is there to bring everyone back to the dimension it was lost in. Whaaaat??!
Yep. The Event Horizon, Mr. Sam Neill reveals at the chilling conclusion, was actually testing artificial black holes for travel and during its last attempt at cutting through space, it actually went and chilled out in a Hell Dimension. Now that it got a taste of human suffering, it wants more souls… and even MORE suffering. Fortunately, Laurence Fishburne is a total badass and gives the darkness a run for its money. With a final plan of action, he, Cooper (Richard T. Jones) and Lt. Starck (Joely Richardson) blow the ship in half, disconnecting control with the rest of the blood filled debacle. Dr. Weir gets blown into space and we hardly get a settled conclusion because the darkness is now very much real in our dimension leaving a loose, Lovecraftian world.
I can’t say I’m turned off at the similarities between the Hellraiser world because the concept of oneself being Hell is fantastic. This realm offered way less bondage and molten sexy cenobites and really does feel helpless for the victims because they never really had a chance.
Tony Giallo’s final film rating is 3 eyeballs out of 5.