Event Horizon (1997)

Rating: **
Review Date: 5/5/18
Director: Paul Anderson
Music: Michael Kamen
Cast: Sam Neill, Laurence Fishburne, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee, Jack Noseworthy

Seven years ago, the experimental spaceship Event Horizon vanished without a trace, but now it's mysteriously back in orbit around Neptune. An emergency rescue team led by Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne) is assembled to investigate, which includes the ship's designer, Dr. Weir (Sam Neill). No one knows where the ship has been, but it brought back something horrible that pushes Miller's crew to the edge of sanity.

Rather than being infested by monsters, the Event Horizon has developed a consciousness of sorts, and is permeated with an evil influence similar to that of the Overlook Hotel in "The Shining" (1980). The ship feeds on and nurtures the crew's fears, which slowly drives them mad. Unfortunately, the execution is weak and the story is underdeveloped. Most of the characters are unlikable and the dialog is hokey. Sam Neill looks completely embarrassed by the production and his sub-par performance reeks of B-movie sensibilities. The best thing about the film is the set design and lighting, which looks fantastic. The visual effects are pretty good for the most part, although they tend to be overly gory and gimmicky. At times, it feels like it was intended to be a 3D movie, but that didn't become popular again until about ten years later. To its credit, it avoids many of the standard horror pitfalls and the ending is refreshingly unpredictable, but don't misconstrue that as a recommendation.