Sunday, 14 March 2010

Stupid Films That I Love - Event Horizon

This instalment of SFTIL features a Paul WS Anderson movie, Event Horizon. No, wait, come back! It's really quite good. You see, years before Mr Anderson made a mess of Alien Vs Predator (and the Resident Evil franchise, and made a movie where Kurt Russell says bugger all), he made an entertaining horror movie.

Event Horizon stars Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne (who admittedly seems to sleepwalk his way through this movie) as a scientist and spaceship captain, respectively. Their mission is to travel to Neptune to retrieve a missing ship, the Event Horizon, that has returned to the solar system after spending seven years missing. Laurence Fishburne and his crew of stock characters travel to Neptune where they discover the price the Event Horizon crew paid for meddling with black holes.

Needless to say things do not go well for the intrepid crew of stock characters (look, it's Sean Pertwee playing a gruff cockney! Oh, and over there is the wisecracking crewman who gets all the catchphrases! If you peek around the corner you can see the inexperienced crewman who will do something stupid and get into trouble! And there's the guy who works for the government and therefore cannot be trusted!) The ship seems to be possessed and has it in for the retrieval team, cue lots of dark, space corridor porn and loud bursts of sound designed to make you jump.

Despite its faults there's a lot going for Event Horizon. The ship itself has an interesting design, especially the engine room with its pool of coolant and spherical gravity drive. The effects work is good (the shots of the space station orbiting Earth and the Event Horizon orbiting Neptune are great) and the technology looks solid and largely plausible. The stock characters are entertaining in their own sub-Alien way and Sam Neill puts in a fun performance as the scientist who, SPOILER - goes a bit loopy and serial killerish.

I have to mention the soundtrack, it's a combination of Michael Kamen and Orbital and it works very well. The blending of traditional orchestra sounds with techno elements creates a pulsing soundtrack that gives the Event Horizon an ominous, growling, pulsing heart beat.

Event Horizon is a fun B-movie and, as with all the Stupid Films That I Love, not an example of cinema as high art but it is an enjoyable and occasionally frightening way of spending an hour and forty minutes. Also, the film ends with a Prodigy tune over the credits which always scores bonus points in my book.

"Where we're going, we won't need eyes to see."


Matt M said...

I loves me a bit of Event Horizon too. It's a perfect film for when it's pouring down with rain and you can't be bothered going out for the evening.

Aaron said...

Yeah, a dark and rainy evening suits it well. It also works if you're drunk. It's multi layered!

Rev/Views said...

Yeah, it's a film which is surprisingly better than you first think it is.

Sort of like Hellraiser in space... Wait, no, that's Hellraiser: Bloodlines. :/

Elrossiter said...

awesome sci fi goodness, one of my top films in the genre! and like you say, the effects work is good and the technology looks solid and largely plausible! plus sam neil is legend. and i don't have a copy fo it.......shit


Aaron said...

Thanks guys, it looks like a lot of people have a certain fondness for Event Horizon.