Blu-ray Review: Event Horizon (1997)

March 27, 2021

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill) is brought on board the Lewis and Clark, a deep space rescue vessel under the command of the no-nonsense Captain Miller (the legendary Laurence Fishburne); the mission at hand: explore the Event Horizon… a ship (shaped like a massive crucifix no less) Weir designed that went missing near a black hole seven years prior… before mysteriously re-appearing, which 9 out of 10 dentists will agree “es no bueno”.
Naturally, the blue-collar spacers aren’t in any way equipped to handle what they encounter on that doomed ship; namely, an evil presence that tortures them with horrific hallucinations before moving on to forced suicide and oh so very many more nasty surprises!
Will Miller and his crew have the sinister sack to survive this hell off (waaay off) Earth scenario, or will they come to lament their joltin’ journey into extra-terrestrial  terror?
On the special features of this very release; Event Horizon‘s scribe, Philip Eisner, said he set out to create “The Shining in space” with this film, and to that I say: “Missed it by that much… “, but he did manage to create a deft blend of Alien and Hellraiser… and that’s a thing of beastly beauty indeed, cats n’ creeps!
Long story short; what we have here is a cosmic themed dark ride made into a feature film… and under the directorial eerie-eyeballs of Paul W.S. Anderson (the Resident Evil films, Mortal Kombat), it looks absolutely spectacular, as the screen is filled with all manner of draconian spacecraft, lacerated bodies, and a true sense of malevolence and dread… although that last bit has something to do with the thespians assembled!
Speaking to that; Sam Neill is absolutely off-the-charts here as the troubled scientist… and the thing he becomes, and he handles the whole thing like a pro, so I’m guessing he’s been a few other things before this…
I’m kidding you freaky fools!
But with a cast that includes Fishburne, Jason Isaacs (all them goldarn Harry Potter flicks, as well as about a million other things), Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers), and Kathleen Quinlan (2006’s The Hills Have Eyes remake) our boy Sam is going to have a run for his monstrous money!
Also of note are the amount of practical effects on display here… a real feat considering how batshit crazy all of Hollywood was for ultra-shite CG effects back in the late ’90s (to be fair, this flick has a dash of the ol’ computer vomit as well)… model spaceships, splashing gore, cuts, mutilated bodies… all are here, and all look rad as fuck!
As for special features on this Blu-ray release from Scream Factory, we kick things off with a shit-ton of new (read: mostly recorded Skype convos… thanks a heap Covid) interviews with Anderson, Eisner (as mentioned above), actors Quinlan, Jack Noseworthy, and Peter Marinker, production designer Joseph Bennett, set decorator Cripian Salas, production manager Dusty Symonds, second unit director Robin Vidgeon, location manager Derek Harrington, and sound designer Campbell Askew.
Following those we get a four-part, feature-length “making of” documentary that details the film’s production in minute detail, and is essential viewing for fanatics of this fright flick… as is the selection of behind-the-scenes  footage that follows it (narrated by Anderson as he discusses his process).
Also included are a brief selection of deleted scenes (one featuring narration by Anderson), storyboards for an un-filmed sequence, concept art (again narrated by Anderson), the film’s theatrical and video trailers, and an audio commentary featuring Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt… you know, just incase there are any more secrets to wring out of the film’s production history!
Bottom line; Event Horizon is unsettling, astoundingly well-acted, and just a damn fine haunted house story… that just so happens to be set in the deepest reaches of outer space… and this version is the definitive edition for your creepy collection!


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